Inspired by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is set to change UK shopping habits. In 2017 it will be held on Saturday 2nd December for the fifth year running.

Initially, a US phenomenon, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010. Ever since the shopping holiday has been held on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever since.

Small Business Saturday in the UK

Here in the UK, Small Business Saturday began in 2013. Despite being held a week later than its American counterpart, it emulates the success the event inspires across the pond.

Small Business Saturday is run independently in the UK to support and promote small businesses through a range of programmes.  This achieved mostly by giving independent retailers and small businesses a platform and inspiring them to use it.

It’s supported by the Federation of Small Businesses, Small Is Big CIC, Indeed, Lightspeed and Vistaprint, as well as many local authorities and companies, and the day’s founder in the US, American Express.

What happens on Small Business Saturday?

In the US, sales generated by Small Business Saturday in 2016 are estimated to be worth $15.4 billion, and estimates for Small Business Saturday in the UK suggest sales worth £717 million in 2016, an increase of 15% compared to 2015 figures.

The day aims to change the way consumers shopping habits and outlook on business. However, it doesn’t aim to stop shopping with big business and large retailers; it aims to get consumers thinking about where they’re shopping and spread their spend around the smaller business community too. All helping to support and encourage the UK’s economic recovery.

Over 80% of local authorities across the UK actively supported Small Business Saturday in 2016 in one way or another. Wherever you are this December 2nd, rest assured that there will be events nearby.

What can you do to get involved?

Small business Saturday is for all small businesses, and not just for independent retailers, and there are many ways to get involved. It’s not too late to show your support for the event and to get some sales success – here are our five top tips for taking part in the day:

1.    Download the digital pack

The organisers of Small Business Saturday have put together a pack of posters and marketing support that can help you with your promotions for the day. Place the posters in your windows to make people aware of what you’re doing, and add the logos to your website and other marketing material.

2.    Get active in your local business community

Contact your local authority and find out if they have any events going on to support Small Business Saturday – many do. And network with the other small businesses local to you to find out what they’re doing and to encourage them to be involved. It’s great to be coordinated whatever the date, helping your customers to get the best from their shopping experience.

3.    Put on a promotion

There’s nothing more enticing than getting a good deal and a special Small Business Saturday promotion could help to increase footfall or online visits and sales. Whether that’s a discount, a freebie or the lure of a cup of tea and a piece of cake, you’re also likely to find that word travels fast that you have something on offer.

4.    Go social

Small Business Saturday is already big on social media, and you can get in on the action easily too. Last year the campaign reached 130 million people on social media, with #SmallBizSatUK trending on the day. This year you’re encouraged to share pictures of your business on Small Business Saturday tagging them with #SmallBizSatUk and your local region. Small Business Saturday can be found on Facebook, as well as on Twitter – @SmallBizSatUK.

5.    Talk about it offline too

As well as telling your friends, relatives, customers and suppliers about the event and asking them to support it, why not contact your local newspapers to tell them what you’re doing and invite them along.

What The Formations Company is doing to get involved

If you haven’t yet formed your company, Small Business Saturday could be just the inspiration you need. To spur you into action, you can register your company with us today for as little as £3.99.

Registering your company is easy with The Formations Company. With our 100% secure online process, you can form your company within  24-hours for less than using Companies House directly.

Published Monday January 28, 2013