The holiday season is upon us … already. Many stores now feature a mashup of Halloween/Fall/Thanksgiving/Christmas items. In order to compete for guest dollars, small businesses–including restaurants–need to start preparing now to meet this swelling tide of customer demand.
Held this year on November 26, Small Business Saturday was founded as day for communities to band together in support of their local businesses. American Express has been a chief sponsor of the event to promote brick and mortar, small and local businesses in the wake of the avalanche of publicity and sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“This is a huge critical sales period for retailers, including restaurants,” Amy Marino, Vice President, Head of Small Business Saturday American Express, told Modern Restaurant Management magazine. “It’s important to approach Small Business Saturday in an authentic and native way and there are so many different ways to be engaged with customers.” Her suggestions for restaurateurs include coming up with a special menu or prix-fixe event on the day.
Marino also pointed out it’s important for businesses to refresh their SBS thought process to both retain customers and attract new ones, emphasizing the impact of social media, always a key force for Small Business Saturday promotion.
New this year, American Express will host three Small Business Saturday Boot Camps throughout October in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Each will focus on how small business owners can excite customers and market their business on November 26 to maximize their presence throughout the entire holiday shopping season. Small business owners can sign up for the events at ShopSmall.com. American Express also partnered with industry leaders in a series of videos, such as restaurant resource site The Infatuation in the clip above, to emphasize the opportunity available to small businesses.
American Express also has a number of free turnkey tools and resources, including customizable materials and educational content such as:
- Shop Small Studio: In just a few clicks (including agreeing to terms of participation), small business owners can now create customizable print and digital marketing assets and download them for free to promote their businesses and Small Business Saturday events at ShopSmall.com.
- Small Business Saturday 101or “SBS 101”: ShopSmall.com will also include a multi-media content hub, called Small Business Saturday 101 or “SBS 101”, featuring how-to guides, and tips and insights from small business owners and influencers. “SBS 101” is designed to educate, prepare and inspire small business owners to participate in Small Business Saturday through videos, articles, infographics and more.
- Neighborhood Champions: The Neighborhood Champion Program encourages small business owners, individuals, and community organizations to work with their local small businesses to organize and host events on Small Business Saturday each year. Neighborhood Champions can get free Shop Small® branded merchandise while supplies last to help promote and draw attention to their Small Business Saturday events.