How to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Small businesses Saturday is on the horizon again for the 5th year running. If it doesn’t ring a bell with you or you’d like to learn more about it, you can read about its history and why you should get involved here . It’s the small businesses across the UK that are the life blood of their communities. Absolutely crucial. Vital. So much more than just money making machines, they make are neighbourhoods unique and give them identity. They make us happy to live where we live. Small business Saturday is a chance to celebrate small business success and encourage consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. Here your step by step guide in how to prepare for small business Saturday

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2017 Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, December 2nd.

We encourage you to take part, as customers across the UK come out in support of all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. If you’re a small business and interested in getting involved, here are some ways you can prepare for small business Saturday.

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Sign up to the Small Business Finder

The small business finder is an online map of all the businesses across the UK taking part in small business Saturday. Before you do anything, you’ll want to get your business listed here for maximum exposure. The great thing is you can register online and advertise your business on the Small Business Finder for free!

So what are you waiting for?


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Remind your customers

Small Business Saturday is popular. Even Barak Obama promoted it back in 2015 when he bought 9 books and an ice cream from his local shop. But it won’t work if your local neighbourhood don’t know about it. Start promoting it now.

One of the best ways to prepare for Small Business Saturday is to think early on about your social media campaign. It is after all how you’ll spread the word in your area fast. Whether, you’re on facebook or twitter, instagram or part of local community forum, your job is to spread the word. There are a number of downloadable digital banners especially optimised for social media. These tools will help you with online branding.

Don’t forget social platforms like instastories and facebook stories are great ways to record the day in real time.


PORTLAND, ME – NOVEMBER 28: A stretch of stores along the base of Munjoy Hill had open signs out and were ready for business as part of small business Saturday, November 28, 2015. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

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Update your website and online presences

This year’s social hashtags are:


According to American Express, more than 241,000 posts appeared on twitter, facebook and instagram throughout November 2016, 41% of them taking place on the actual holiday. So be sure to use the social tags to increase your reach. You may even want to change your online banners too.

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Download the Marketing Pack

If you have a market stall or brix mortar retail shop, there’s a Small Business Saturday UK Marketing Pack, with how to’s and window posters you can download for free. You can be request the pack in one of two easy ways. Either sign in to your My Small Business portal and choose the Marketing Pack Tab, or if you don’t have a My Small Business account and would like to benefit from promotion from our Small Business Finder, registration is very easy.

WBC's guide in How to Prepare for small business saturday

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Offer a Small Business Saturday Discount  

Everyone likes an incentive, and a special promotion or discount can increase footfall and create a buzz. Remember, small business saturday is all about championing small business, so unlike cyber Monday or Black Friday, don’t feel you have to go crazy on the discount. It could be a buy on get one free, or buy 6 craft beer bottles and get a craft beer bag holder. Whatever your offer is, it should act as sweetener, not a way to out price your fellow retailers on the high street.

Don’t forget to promote your incentive across all social platforms and in store. If you have a mailing list of email subscribers, this is a great opportunity to let them know about your offer in advance. Plan to send out an eshot mailing one week in advance and a second reminder the day before.

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Partner with other nearby small businesses

A number of high streets are spreading the love during Small Business Saturday and joining together to promote it.

One of the great successes of SBS is that it brings community together. That in turn drives footfall and encourages cross-over business. In my area of East Dulwich, local businesses club together to produce a map of all the local shops participating on the day, along with the their special offers. It isn’t anything grand or costly, just an A4 printed map, but it means that when people descend on the village, they make a full day of it; follow the local shopping route.

Other ways businesses are partnering is by serving hot drinks, mulled wine or cava outside your shops. some offer raffle tickets. The bigger the party the bigger the crowd.

Why not reach out to other independent business in your area. Brainstorm ideas on how you might pool marketing resources and make the day an even bigger success.

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