• Calla Norman

7 Ways to Promote Small Business Saturday 2021 (That Aren’t a Sale!)


Soaps from Pip and Lola's

Pip & Lola’s crowdfunded $96,900 to open up a third location of their soap shop - just in time for the 2021 holiday season!


There are many traits that make small businesses so much more special than Big Box Stores: unique products, personal touches, and the contribution to the local economy are just some of them. So why, on Small Business Saturday, are so many small businesses tempted to emulate the Black Friday and run doorbuster sales?


Here are seven unique tactics that you can use to promote Small Business Saturday to your community that don’t involve slashing your prices. Read them and try them for yourself to set yourself up for a successful Small Business Saturday in 2021.


Take advantage of Main Street’s Biggest Day by running a Honeycomb campaign this Small Business Saturday!


Now is the perfect time to take control of your business’s growth by running a crowdfunding campaign with Honeycomb Credit. Take advantage of the spotlight shone on your business today and set yourself up for growth this winter. Fill out the form below, and a representative will be in touch with you so you can learn more!



1. Run a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunding campaign this Small Business Saturday


Ok, hold on: what does crowdfunding have to do with Small Business Saturday?


Well, Small Business Saturday is the one day a year that your business is really put in the spotlight. You can take advantage of so many opportunities to promote your business, whether it’s by teaming up with local business development centers or by creating your own promotions. This extra attention on your business makes it a perfect opportunity for crowdfunding your capital projects.


By running a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunding campaign, you’re not just raising money for your business, but you’re also building wealth in your community by allowing your customers to invest in you! You can show just how much small businesses matter to your community by giving your customers one more way in which to benefit from your business.


Also, just as Small Business Saturday can help promote your Honeycomb campaign, your Honeycomb campaign promotes your Small Business Saturday! Small businesses that crowdfund through Honeycomb often see increased marketing buzz around their campaign and their business through social media and press attention.


Leveraging this double whammy of positive associations to your business - through Small Business Saturday and Honeycomb Credit - will improve upon your ability to not only raise capital through your campaign, but also your business’s reputation in the community.


Luke, owner of Blue Sparrow Food Truck in Pittsburgh

Luke Cypher, owner of Blue Sparrow Food Truck in Pittsburgh notes, “Being associated with other small businesses, as well as Honeycomb itself, expands your profile to other people. I think that's always going to be a benefit, as being a part of something makes you a part of something bigger.” Luke was able to use his Honeycomb campaign to outfit his new retrofitted Greyhound food bus and expand his food truck empire.


2. Offer a collaborative deal with another small business


Who doesn’t love collaboration among small businesses? One of the major selling points of small businesses is that they have the ability to work closely with others in their communities to create unique, hyperlocal products.


Perhaps for Small Business Saturday you can link up with another business in your neighborhood to create a limited-edition product only available this holiday season. For instance, if you’re a bakery, why don’t you utilize beer from a local brewery in a special seasonal brownie? The possibilities are endless.


If you don’t want to go through the ordeal of product development with another local small business, another way you could collaborate with them is by working out a Small Business Saturday receipt promotion. The way this works is that if your customers bring in a receipt from the business you’re partnering with, they can get a deal from you, or vice versa.


Say, for example, you run a juice bar, and your neighbor is a yoga studio. If they’re already hosting a Small Business Saturday yoga class deal, why not connect with them and say if their customers bring in a receipt from that day to your store, they get buy-one-get-one on juice?


You can get creative, but this really works best when your two businesses complement each other, like yoga studios and juice bars or coffee shops and bookstores.



a fall beer from Acrospire Brewing

In addition to coming up with local collaborations, you can also come up with a seasonal product like Acrospire Brewing, who crowdfunded over $143,000 with Honeycomb Credit to grow their brewery!


3. Use a gift card deal to attract customers now and later!


One tactic that a lot of small businesses use for Small Business Saturday is to offer deals on gift cards. If a customer spends $100 at your business, you offer them a $10 gift card for later!


“But, why would I offer free money to my customers?” you say. “Isn’t that kind of like a sale?” Well, yes. But, it also helps your business generate revenue not just on Small Business Saturday but also in the coming months.


The gift card deal incentivizes customers to spend larger amounts of money at a time at your store on Small Business Saturday. There’s a win right there. Then, by giving a gift card now, you’re essentially inviting your customers to come back soon and spend more money. And chances are, on their return visit they’ll spend a lot more than that $10 gift card.


Using this strategy can actually really help you as the holiday season fades away and the winter doldrums might start setting in for your business. Giving that incentive of a gift card will encourage customers to come back long after the New Year!


4. Extend your hours on Small Business Saturday


Why not get the most out of Main Street’s biggest day? Small Business Saturday would be a perfect time to expand your business’s hours to fit in as much possible customer traffic as possible.


You can definitely be strategic about this: find out if your neighborhood or city is doing anything special for Small Business Saturday, and make sure your business hours fit in with those hours. You can even extend beyond those hours to make sure you fit in some stragglers.


Also, have fun and get creative with extending your hours! Maybe you don’t often stay open past 5 pm - can you run an “After Dark” promotion on Small Business Saturday, with perhaps special activities or complementary snacks? Or, run an Early Bird promotion, with complimentary coffee and breakfast food to shoppers who come in before 10 am.


5. Team up with a local charity for Small Business Saturday


Another great promotional opportunity you can do to market your business on Small Business Saturday is by integrating a chance for your customers to support a local charity by doing business with you!


This could be as simple as providing a receptacle for people to donate cans to the food pantry in exchange for a discount at your store, or it could be more elaborate!


Small businesses can make an impact on their community in so many different ways, including getting involved with causes they care about. One of our alums, Pip & Lola’s donates some of their handmade soap to domestic violence shelters, for example, not just for Small Business Saturday but as a part of their day-to-day operations.


Maybe you can create a special limited-edition product where a certain amount of proceeds go to the charity of your choice: this is especially relevant to businesses with relatively malleable offerings, like restaurants or breweries.


Here’s a freebie: if you want to support an organization that helps kids like Big Brothers Big Sisters or CASA, maybe you could make a product using something super nostalgic that reminds you of childhood - like breakfast cereal? You can be as creative as you’d like with this!


6. Run a Small Business Saturday raffle


Running a raffle on Small Business Saturday can be super useful not only in getting people through the door on the date, but also for building up your marketing efforts!


The way this works is that people can sign up for the raffle by putting in their contact details, which you can then use to include them in your email marketing and so on (this is especially helpful when you want to build a crowd for a Honeycomb campaign!).


This strategy can also be used in conjunction with some of the other strategies we’ve already talked about here.


For one, you can assemble a variety of your own products, or make a basket of an assortment of other products from local small businesses as a collaboration!


You can also, in addition to asking for contact information to enter the raffle, include a donation to a charity in your community, like we discussed in the previous point. That would be a great way to multitask and use multiple promotional tools to boost your business this Small Business Saturday. Also, you can raise money for a good cause!


7. Offer a reward for social media check-ins


We probably don’t have to tell you that marketing and social media are often very challenging for small businesses. (And if you need any extra help with it - check out these 12 social media strategies for your small business.) So, why not use Small Business Saturday to help grow your following on social media?


An easy way to do this is to offer a reward on Small Business Saturday when people follow your page and/or post about your business and tag you! It can be as simple as a free pastry or coffee at your bakery or a piece of branded merch (to double the marketing impact).


Using Small Business Saturday to strengthen your marketing reach will also be super beneficial when you decide to run a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunding campaign - you’ll have a built-in audience of people interested in your business who’ll potentially invest in you!


Invite your community into your business this Small Business Saturday


By crowdfunding your growth and allowing your customers to invest in a business they care about! Learn more about how Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loans unlock capital for your business and help you build community wealth in your neighborhood, and sign up below to receive more information!