Big retailers like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target lure you into their stores on Black Friday with special deals. If that’s not enough, these same stores offer online deals on Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day too. But where’s the love for the little guys, the small businesses that are a big part of our nation’s economy? Only a day later!
Small Business Saturday is a nationwide initiative to highlight small businesses in the community and encourage shoppers to patronize small businesses. American Express, who created this holiday, reported a 28% increase in sales for small businesses in 2010 (the first Small Business Saturday) compared to the same date in 2009. This year, more large businesses are showing their support for the holiday, including Google, Facebook and Twitter. Here’s NerdWallet’s rundown of resources available to small businesses on Small Business Saturday, free of charge.
1. Online advertising: American Express is providing a free personalized ad and geo-targeted online advertising to drive customers to your business’s website or Facebook page, as well as online banners and logos.
2. Video advertising: Google has released a free tool for creating online videos, My Business Story.
3. Printed signs: FedEx is allowing small businesses to print two 11” x 17” signs for free.
4. Social media: Google, Facebook and Twitter have provided preloaded posts and example blogs and tweets to help small business owners optimize and customize their social media.
5. Piggybacking off of other’s networks: Let the Voice of Small Business spread the word about your small business on Saturday, Nov. 24. Submit your business details to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) so your business can appear on NFIB.com; it will subsequently be shared with NFIB’s 160,000+ Facebook fans and 30,000+ Twitter followers.
6. Free money for your customers: American Express cardholders can receive a $25 credit for purchases made on Small Business Saturday at qualifying small businesses.
Many communities are offering their own workshops and events as well, and you can find other local businesses to team up with by inputting your zip code on the website. Take advantage of these free marketing materials to start your holiday season with sales!