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Tis The Season To Shop Small Business Saturday

by Guest Author 21 November 2019 15:37

Before the advent of Small Business Saturday, the 30 million retailers in the U.S. defined as "small" (independently owned and operated, typically staffed by fewer than 250 employees and with annual revenues under $25 million) lacked the competitive marketing edge major retailers enjoyed on the last weekend of November, the busiest four shopping days of the year. The additional online buying frenzy known as Cyber Monday adds choices for consumers, but also presents challenges for small businesses without the resources or the technology to compete with major advertising campaigns or complex online ordering.

Then came Small Business Saturday (also known as Shop Small Saturday), set for November 30 this year. Started by American Express in 2010, this day is designed to highlight and promote the brick-and-mortar, locally owned stores in everyone's town that provide jobs and contribute to the community.

Shop without a big budget drop: a spending plan for Small Business Saturday

Use every form of advertising you have to compare prices

Reviewing newspaper, radio, TV, digital and in-store ads offers a comparison of prices and provides the opportunity to map out your shopping day efficiently.

Know what you want before you go

Don't shop by chance or by accident; make a list of who's getting which gifts and shop for those gifts only. Window shopping is wonderful, but leads to wishful thinking and wanting, which leads to an empty wallet.

Make a budget, use cash

Have an overall spending budget for holiday shopping and use cash as much as possible. When you see what you spend, rather than pulling out plastic, it restrains your instinctive generosity.

Check for apps, digital coupons and online saver plans

Many small businesses are using apps, digital coupons and offering online membership discounts. There is a small price in terms of consumers relinquishing some personal information, but the savings at your favorite local shops is a plus.

Get out early, engage the staff

No matter where you shop, start early. The best selection goes to those who show up the soonest. Chat with store employees while you browse and find out more about future sales, behind-the-counter specials and custom orders. This community-based conversation is almost impossible in a big-box store during the holiday shopping rush. And Small Business Saturday is more than sales; it's creating connections between the merchants next door and the neighbors who know them as both business owners and friends.

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