On Saturday, Nov. 27, America celebrates Small Business Saturday—Main Street’s answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is a holiday that FranNet is proud to support, as franchise businesses in this country deserve to have a day where consumers can patronize stores owned and operated by the small business owners who make up the backbone of U.S. commerce and industry.

In 2010, American Express launched a campaign to incentivize patrons to support small businesses that often get overshadowed by the massive promotions run by big-name department stores. Eleven years later, and the concept of Small Business Saturday is still flourishing—according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “American consumers spent an estimated $19.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday” in 2020, and that number is supposed to increase this year.

As we prepare for the inevitable retail frenzy of the holiday season, below are some ways for franchise owners to take advantage of Small Business Saturday. Use these tips to provide your customers with a small business experience they won’t find anywhere else.

Utilize Social Media. In the lead up to Small Business Saturday, ensure that your social media platforms are consistently highlighting your product mix and promotions. By informing your customers of any promotion in advance, they’ll be aware of exclusive deals designed to increase foot traffic. To make your social media posts stand out, you can create gift guides featuring your current products, offer giveaways to attract new customers, and use relevant hashtags to grow your audience. LocalIQ’s “40 Easy Small Business Saturday Marketing Ideas to Stand Out from the Crowd is a suitable place to get ideas for social media content.

Craft An Experience. You don’t necessarily have to offer deals and discounts to your customers to create a fun Small Business Saturday event. Get in the spirit by offering festive refreshments, live music, and even activities. Brick and mortar storefront franchises can decorate their stores and craft product displays that highlight some of the most popular offerings. By turning a simple event into a lively experience, customers will be more likely to notice and patronize your business. They’ll also be more likely to return in the future, for they’ll remember your small business as one that fostered a sense of enjoyment and community.

Partner With Other Small Businesses. Small Business Saturday is all about supporting the local community, and there’s no better way to do that than by partnering up with nearby businesses to offer coupons and complementary products. Cross-promotions should be mutually beneficial and provide you with the opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships with other small business owners in your community.

For the consumers reading this, do your part to patronize the local small businesses and franchises in your own community. Last we heard, Amazon.com was doing quite well, so let’s turn our attention and focus on shopping locally on Saturday, Nov. 27. Remember, the money you spend in your own community supports those who live, work, and play in your own community. In a way, it’s a shame that Small Business Saturday only gets one full day a year. The least we can do is make the most of it!