Small businesses around the UK across all business sectors and communities are to be put back in the national spotlight when the UK’s third annual Small Business Saturday takes place on December 5th.
Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. Last year 16.5 million adults went out to support a small business on Small Business Saturday with 64% of the UK aware of the campaign. The UK’s small businesses between them provide 60% of private sector jobs and nearly 50% of private sector turnover. Last year the campaign was featured by all major media, trended at number one on Twitter on the day (above One Direction!) and received around 3.5 million views on its Facebook page. This year Small Business Saturday carries the theme “5 million small businesses, one big day”.
It is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and, although the focus is on one day, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets so that people aim to support small businesses all year round.
“Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is personal and means you are supporting somebody you know,” explains National Campaign Director, Michelle Ovens.
“The Small Business Saturday campaign plays a valuable role in focusing the minds of consumers and business people on what small businesses in any sector or line of business can offer in terms of range of products and services and levels of customer service.”
American Express originally founded the hugely successful ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative in the U.S. in 2010 and remains the Founding Supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Association of Convenience Stores, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association and the Federation of Small Businesses.
What’s in it for small businesses?
The campaign exists as a nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses, something for business owners to join up with and use for the benefit of their own small business. It is totally free to participate and all and any small businesses can get involved, from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the campaign itself, the team also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.
And if your business doesn’t trade on a Saturday, don’t worry. Small Business Saturday has events, workshops and support networks happening all year round and we also encourage small business owners to plan something on the Friday before Small Business Saturday, if it works better for them. So, whatever your business, whatever your size, whatever stage you are at – if you are a small business, the campaign exists to help you.
How can you get involved?
Small Business Saturday 2015 will be even bigger than before. Whether you have supported the campaign for the last two years, already have activities planned, or are getting involved for the first time this year here are some ideas of how to support and get involved with the campaign.
- Logos, digital banners, a social media guide and lots more are available on our website and are available for you to download at smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com. Display them on your website or on your premises.
- Team up with other like-minded businesses either in your local area or your sector and create a Small Business Saturday map of participating businesses. We have found that small businesses working together can often make more of a splash than those trying to work alone.
- Host entrepreneur events or workshops in your area or your sector to focus on best practice and share new ideas.
- Talk to your local or trade media about how your business will be getting involved with Small Business Saturday – we can help you out with press release templates.
- Many MPs are supporting the campaign again, so invite your local MP to visit your business.
- Create a business blog with advice, articles, success stories, local business news or profiles. Perhaps invite other small businesses to contribute guest blogs, which you can then share across your social media platforms.
- Be sure to link to the Small Business Saturday website. Join our Facebook page and Twitter feed and encourage other small businesses to do so. Our social feeds are really interactive and you can great advice from small business owners like you there.
- Network, share ideas and team up for Small Business Saturday. Use the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK. Follow Small Business Saturday UK on Facebook. ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ our videos, images & blog posts. Create & upload videos yourself.
Nationwide Bus Tour
Visit the website for details of this year’s Small Business Saturday UK Bus Tour to see if it is coming to a town near you. The bus tour will run for the entire month of November, stopping at 27 towns and cities on its journey to all four corners of the UK. There are always opportunities for small businesses on the route of the bus tour to exhibit their business at the bus in a high footfall, city centre location. Your business could even benefit from the publicity generated by the bus tour in local, regional and national media throughout its duration. You could also take part in workshops and seminars for small businesses and those considering starting their own business.