AMEX_Shop_Small_Stamp_RGB_Primary_Blue_Logo Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 and is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year’s Small Business Saturday is November 30 (tomorrow)! This special day was created to celebrate small businesses that support their communities. While Black Friday is about finding the best deals, Small Business Saturday is the avenue for supporting companies that help their communities thrive.

Today’s post is dedicated to small businesses looking to take full advantage of this year’s Shop Small movement.

1) Participate

There are no requirements – other than being a small business – to participate in Small Business Saturday. So long as you’re a small business, you are automatically included. However, for businesses that act early there are added benefits. American Express does offer a Small Business Saturday map. It’s too late to add your business to this year’s version – but if you want to be included in the 2014 map, reach out to American Express in early December 2013.

2) Take Advantage of Free Resources

American Express offers tons of free resources to those small businesses that wish to participate. They’ll create free personalized digital banners, downloadable signage, social posts and much more. They also provide suggestions for ways to take advantage of the Shop Small day.

3) Create Great Offers

Following the big-box stores’ Black Friday can be a difficult undertaking. While it might not be beneficial to offer the same price cuts as the big-box stores, it would be wise to have some incentives for locals to shop small this Saturday. Free gift wrapping, small discounts or special touches like snacks or door prizes can make the day extra special and draw in more business.

4) Spread the News

Let your community know your shop is open for business and participating in Small Business Saturday. Post on social platforms, advertise in the local paper, place signage at your business and tell everyone you can. If people don’t know you’re participating, it’s less likely they’ll stop by.

5) Make it a Tradition

Hopefully you’ll see great results from your first year of participation. But don’t worry if you don’t. The more you participate, the earlier you start promoting each year and the more people know to shop small at your business, the bigger your Small Business Saturday will be.

Will you be participating in Small Business Saturday? Have you done so in the past? Please share some helpful tips for other small business owners looking to get the most out of this year’s Shop Small movement!

Featured image courtesy of the Rocket Lawyer blog.