2011 Small Business Saturday considered a failure

December 27, 2011 by  

Last year New Jersey started what was meant to be a retail coup: Small Business Saturday. This shopping gimmick was designed to be a low-key alternative to Black Friday. Unfortunately it was so low-key that many shoppers were not aware it was on.

This event started in 2010 when American Express ran television commercials which asked shoppers to frequent local stores. While most shoppers like the idea of supporting their community, this event lacked a strong marketing campaign. When interviewed a couple of friends from Livingston said they were aware of the event. Sadly they were in the minority.

Small Business Saturday is an important event as it puts the spotlight on small, local businesses. Generally these stores do not have the resources to compete with big stores at the mall. Due to this it is difficult for a small business to become part of Black Friday.

In order for the holiday to perform well in future years small businesses will need to do some marketing. These marketing campaigns do not need to be expensive. For example posting an event on social networking websites is free. Those who have money to put into advertising should consider using printing services for flyers, brochures and leaflets. These can be placed in local letterboxes and handed out on the streets. Businesses with initiative could look for sponsorship from large corporations. For example finding another company to place an advertisement like American Express did in the previous year may be successful.