‘Tis the season for shopping … and to shop local. With the winter holidays just around the corner, small businesses have a big opportunity to reap the rewards of the holiday sales season. From Small Business Saturday® on November 24 through Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the final stretch to Christmas, small brick-and-mortar businesses and SMBs with a strong online presence can captivate customers with unique shopping experiences.
It’s a time for small businesses to shine — a beacon for customers who would rather shop local than drop another dime at a big-box store.
The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday shoppers will spend about 4 percent more during the 2018 holiday shopping season than they did last year. And that’s not just on gifts at retail establishments — the holiday sales numbers include seasonal decor, food and other non-gift purchases. There are many types of small businesses that will benefit from the shop local movement, including bakeries, florists, salons and spas, entertainers, lodging establishments, events facilities … you get the idea.
The winter holidays give myriad small businesses a frosted window to cozy up to local customers and other shoppers who want to support the shop local movement — even purchasing goods and services online from small eCommerce websites. We can get our crazy low prices on computers on another day.
Entice holiday shoppers to your store by reminding them that you offer what your big-chain competitors simply can’t — a personalized service experience, unique products or services, and perhaps most important, the entrepreneurial spirit that buoys the U.S. economy.
Shop Local Resources
The resources on this page can help your local venture make the most of Small Business Saturday® and the rest of the holiday shopping season:
- Go local: Here’s why supporting small businesses matters and how you can prepare for the holiday sales season — whether you operate a local brick-and-mortar business or a small online store. You don’t have to have a physical storefront to cash in on the shop local movement — eCommerce shops can make a splash, too!
- Local business stories: Get inspired by stories of local businesses who are making it work — like the family-owned Donut Parlor and Ponderosa Cactus, fashion boutique Jan’s on Main, local florists and gift shops, artists and more.
- Starting a local business: Thinking about being your own boss? Find resources for starting a small business in your local community — from ideas for small towns to what you need to know about crowdsourcing and licensing your new venture.
- Connecting with local customers: Learn how to define your target audience, network at local events, support worthwhile community causes, leverage social media and other strategies to make connections with local customers.
- Marketing a local business: Get a marketing checklist for Small Business Saturday®, social tips (think Instagram for local artisans), info about local search listings, insights into forging partnerships with other local businesses, email marketing tips and more.
- Taking a local business online: Stake your claim on the world wide web with tips and tricks for getting a domain name, starting a website or blog, and marketing online to customers far and wide.
- Helpful tools: Explore how-to guides and nifty digital tools aimed at making your small business successful both online and off.
These resources will help you build a holiday sales and marketing plan from the ground up — even if you are a new business hoping to benefit from the holiday shopping rush and shop local movement. You’ll find articles, videos, infographics and tools aimed at helping you to start and grow a local business, take your small business online, and find inspiration from successful small businesses in communities across the United States.