It’s hard to avoid the doom and gloom headlines about the British high street right now. As Christmas approaches many big retailers are reporting declining sales and profit warnings, so it can be hard to see the positives.
But, as an optimistic bunch of small businesses ourselves, we know it’s not all bad news. There are some fantastic – and successful – independent retailers out there. The Norwich Lanes, which are just on our doorstep, are filled with shops selling everything from plants and gifts to wedding dresses and drill bits. And they’re thriving, both in real life and online.
The Norwich Lanes, which are just on our doorstep, are filled with shops selling everything from plants and gifts to wedding dresses and drill bits
In fact, there are 5.7m small businesses in the UK and the event is a fantastic way of raising awareness of these entrepreneurial companies and encouraging their future success.
So, what is Small Business Saturday?
Like many retail traditions, Small Business Saturday is a State-side invention. Launched by American Express as part of its Shop Small® initiative, it was developed to encourage people to spend money within their local communities and support small businesses. Following its success over the pond, a UK version has been launched. According to the official UK website, an estimated £748 million was spent on the day in 2017, which surpassed spend in previous years.
An estimated £748 million was spent on the day in 2017
It is now supported by workshops and a Small Biz 100 list, promoting 100 small businesses over 100 days. There’s also a searchable directory, so users can find small businesses near to where they live.
When did Small Business Saturday begin?
Small Business Saturday was set up in the US in 2010 to help businesses struggling with the financial recession. The UK version of the event began in 2012 and has grown ever since.
How do I get involved with Small Business Saturday?
The best place to start is on the Small Business Saturday UK website. There you can register your business, so you appear in the directory.
You can also download free marketing materials and posters promoting your involvement in Small Business Saturday.
If you want to go beyond this, you could hold a special event on Small Business Saturday. For instance, offering nibbles and drinks – or team up with neighbouring businesses to host a larger community event.
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If you’re able, you may want to add a one-day discount to incentivise potential customers to visit your store.
Whatever you do, be sure to promote it. Pop news on the website about what Small Business Saturday is and why you’re taking part. You can also promote your involvement on your website and social media channels.
Use the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK and ones relating to your community. For instance, businesses local to us could use #Norwich or #Norfolk, to appear in their local community feeds and Twitter Chats.
When is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is on 1st December 2018, the weekend after the US event.
Need help taking your business to the next level? Drop us a line via live chat to find out how we can help you!