This year marks the seventh annual Small Business Saturday shopping holiday. The day was created as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it’s all about celebrating and supporting small, local, brick-and mortar-stores as opposed to to big box and e-commerce stores. Not only is fighting the crowds on Black Friday terrifying and exhausting, but supporting local business keeps mom-and-pop stores afloat while making your community stronger. It’s a great day to visit your local yarn shops and fiber providers in your area.
Here are some tips to make the most of your 2017 Small Business Saturday, which will fall on November 25.
1. Check for deals beforehand
Get on the up and up about what local yarn shops are planning to do for Small Business Saturday and if they’ll be running any sales. Follow Facebook pages and Instagram feeds and check them during the week prior and the morning of—many companies and shops often get the word out about their sales via those channels. Try getting to the places with sales earlier in the day so you don’t miss out!
2. Map out an itinerary
First, make a list of the shops you want to go to. Then, put them in an order that makes for the most efficient driving route so you don’t waste time backtracking. Try making a loop from start to finish. If you are staying with relatives for Thanksgiving weekend and aren’t sure about the yarn shops in the area, use the Knitmap tool to find out.
3. Plan for breaks
Make sure that when you are planning your yarn-shop schedule, you include time for breaks. Not every yarn shop has a public restroom, and you’ll most likely need some food and rest at some point during the day. Include a place or two (preferably small businesses!) at specific intervals in your itinerary where you know you’ll be able to use the bathroom, rest your feet, and get a snack or beverage to keep you going for the rest of the day. If you want to save time and money, plan to bring snacks with you in the car!
4. Make a budget . . .
. . . and stick to it! This one can be difficult but it’s so necessary. Figure out roughly what you might be looking for (yarn or supplies for yourself or gifts for others) and what is realistic for you to spend that day. Even if you end up with some different things, do not go over your budget! The holiday season is expensive and you don’t want to wreck your spending balance from the get-go.
5. Talk to the shop owners
If you don’t know them well, take this opportunity to have a conversation with the owners of the shops you go to and establish a relationship. A huge benefit of shopping local is experiencing one-on-one interaction, and by becoming a known regular you get a personal shopping experience you wouldn’t otherwise at big box stores. They’ll appreciate getting to know more community members that they know support their business.
Engage with the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday on social media, sharing the places you visit and checking out where others are going. In addition to supporting businesses with your dollar, another great way to support local businesses is by spreading the word about them and all they have to offer.
There’s no need to get bent out of shape about that last skein of whatever getting sold before you could grab it, or to elbow people so you can get a look at something. Just stay calm and enjoy yourself and those you’re surrounded by, and the day will be good, regardless of the haul you bring home. Look at the day as a fun experience rather than just a means to get stuff.
What are your plans for this year’s Small Business Saturday?
Happy local shopping,