Over the last five years, "the little guys" have helped put a new holiday on the map: Small Business Saturday. After shoppers stuff themselves full of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and brave the big box retailers for Black Friday sales, the following day now belongs to small business owners and their employees. It's a reminder of how much small business matters to the U.S. economy and how starting one's own company lives at the heart of the American dream.
But the truth is, small businesses should operate like every day is Small Business Saturday. Here are a few tips to apply the benefits of this new holiday, regardless of the date on the calendar.
Take online listings to task
In the lead up to Small Business Saturday, many small businesses may plan to update the look of their website and the functionality of their online store, as well as integrate mobile-mindedness into their customer service. That said, small business owners who attempt to put their best technological foot forward in anticipation for big Saturday sales might be missing a major issue staring them right in the face.
A SinglePlatform survey revealed half of all small businesses found incorrect or old information about their companies across third-party listings. Moreover, 70 percent say they simply can't fact check every marketing platform broadcasting their contact and sale information. It's like inviting the whole neighborhood to a party, dressing up, cleaning the house, but writing the wrong address on the invitations. Small businesses should prioritize listing inspections as part of day-to-day operations throughout the year to continuously optimize services.
"Communities that care for their small businesses will receive the the same kindness back in full."
Be an 'always' advocate for your neighborhood
Communities that care for their small businesses will receive the same kindness back in full. That's the message behind Small Business Saturday. But can we quantify this sentiment into hard numbers? A study performed by the American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics found small businesses see a higher rate of local revenue recirculation than chains. Depending on the nature of the business, the figure could be anywhere between roughly 50 and 80 percent. In short, small businesses pump serious money back into their local economies.
Small business owners who take a more active approach to local advocacy will fuel their own engine for success. The revenue they invest back into the community will not go unnoticed, unless of course they're only vocal one day out the whole year.
Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.