Launched last year by American Express two days after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is designed to build support for small businesses by encouraging consumers to think small when buying big on the most popular shopping weekend of the year. It’s any small business owner's "one-stop-shop for growing your holiday sales."
Don’t believe it? Look no further than last year’s results, which speak for themselves. "Our goal was to build support for the locally owned and independent retailers that make up our communities," said American Express OPEN’s Vice President for Brand, Marketing and Social Media Julie Fajgenbaum in a recent blog post. "While we had high hopes going into last year's event, we were blown away by the results." In fact, small businesses who actively participated in 2010 enjoyed an estimated 28 percent increase in sales as compared to the same day in 2009.
“Our mission is to help businesses do more business,” Fajgenbaum continued. “We believe small business growth is essential to the health of our economy―and that’s good for everyone.” Endorsing Fajgenbaum’s sentiments with more than just words this year are a number of giants in the online industry, including Facebook, Google and Twitter.
More specifically, these innovators and others like them are teaming with American Express to create a FREE toolkit that will help small business owners to not only make the most of Small Business Saturday 2011 but to capitalize on the resources and guidance it provides well into the future. In further articulating the goals of this year's effort, Fajgenbaum said about last year's event, “More than 130 advocacy groups demonstrated their support, as did more than 1 million people who ‘liked’ Small Business Saturday on Facebook. And more than 100,000 small businesses took advantage of the marketing materials and opportunities. This year,” she said, “we’re aiming higher.”
Small Business Owners who don't want to miss out on this incredible marketing opportunity are encouraged to do the following:
- Download the Small Business Saturday Checklist―This checklist provides a quick overview of just some of the many promotional materials and activities small business owners can employ and how they can access all that they need to get the job done.
- Go to facebook.com/shopsmall and click on “For Your Biz”―This is where you’ll find a whole range of easy-to-use marketing tools and resources, including free Facebook ads, a Facebook “page-maker” tool, a Video-Maker to help you create a high-quality video for your business, sales promotion strategies and platforms to reach prospective customers via social media channels and other means, tips to grow your Twitter following, signage and email marketing suggestions, online promotional strategies and site suggestions, point-of-purchase displays, and so much more!
- Maximize Small Business Saturday investments with FedEx―As one of Small Business Saturday’s biggest supporters, FedEx has announced it will offer a special 20% savings on all related materials that small business owners are able to print through FedEx Office® Print Online. The offer is good through November 26.
- Be aware of consumer incentives and register as necessary―FedEx will further be supporting Small Business Saturday 2011 by distributing 40,000 $25 Shop Small℠ American Express® gift cards for customers to use at small businesses on November 26. While 30,000 of those cards will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis beginning on November 1 via Facebook, the other 10,000 will be distributed directly to consumers by FedEx. Additionally, for the second year in a row, American Express will offer its Cardmembers a $25 statement credit when they register and shop at any qualifying small business that accepts American Express.