This November 25 is officially Small-Business Saturday. The brainchild of American Express, the idea is to empower small businesses to get their share of the holiday shopping frenzy that happens around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The goal of Small-Business Saturday is to support your local small retailer, rather than spend all your holiday cash at the big-box stores--or online.

But how can the mom-and-pop store on the corner take full advantage of the day, on a budget certainly smaller than that of Amazon or Macy's? Here are 9 short and sweet ways to rock Small-Business Saturday.

Take advantage of the free marketing materials offered by American Express.

American Express has a site dedicated to Small-Business Saturday where you can download ready-to-use or customizable promotional materials, including social posts, website badges, signage, email templates, and more.

Shore up your website basics.

Don't assume all the information on your website is up to date or even accurate. Make sure your contact information, locations, social media, and hours are all current and easily findable.

Increase your hours.

Even if your business usually follows a 9-5 routine most Saturdays, consider expanding your opening and closing times to accommodate the event. Don't forget to promote your Small-Business Saturday hours on your website.

Offer a Small-Business Saturday promotion.

The event gives you an opportunity to offer your existing and potential customers a reason to do business with you on the day. Be sure to put the offer front and center on the home page of your website, so visitors can spot it right off.

Sell globally, give locally. 

Do some good for your community by committing to give a portion of your proceeds from Small-Business Saturday to a local charity in your area. Post the plan on your social media and website.

Encourage social sharing.

Extend the branding value of the one-day event by encouraging your customers to give you a boost on social media. Offer the chance to enter a drawing for posting on Facebook or Twitter, or give out a prize for the most creative photo from your shop on Instagram.

Feed people.

If you have a brick-and-mortar building, break out the coffee and cookies. No one ever went broke overestimating the sweet tooth of the American public at holiday time. OK, well, for those folks watching their weight, you may want to put out some healthy raw veggies.

Get festive.

Besides offering food, the more holiday-like you can make your store or site, the more people will get in the spirit. Decorations, live music, videos, and other accoutrements can get folks in the spirit and signal a celebration.

Make it a neighborhood affair.

If there are other stores in your area that complement what you offer, consider doing a cross promotion of each other for the day. Whole blocks of businesses have even gotten together to sponsor events for the day.

Will one day a year make or break your business? Probably not. But done right, Small-Business Saturday can introduce you to a whole new slew of customers in your area who just might like your business enough to drop in the rest of the year.

Published on: Nov 20, 2017