By Beth Bruce, Field Marketing Lead at eBay Advertising

For many small business owners, being your own boss means juggling many responsibilities—whether working on your own or with a small, close-knit team. From managing a website to keeping an eye on inventory, there can be a lot on your plate. And, as the holidays approach, things can become even busier than usual. However, this season has some very unique opportunities to drive growth and increase sales.

While Black Friday is a red-letter day for the mainstream retail industry, Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) is dedicated to budding companies and cottage trades.

Founded in 2010 by American Express, the holiday spotlights the unique appeal of independently-run businesses on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As Small Business Saturday approaches, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when it comes to advertising for your company.


Help your Site Shine

A well-organized and impressive website is crucial for not only making sales, but also advertising your brand. Aesthetics are important, so make sure your business puts its best foot forward online.

Ensure that links, contact information, promotions, and product information is up-to-date and properly displayed. Visit your website as if you were a potential customer—is everything easy to read, intuitive, and understandable? Gather a list of questions that a new customer might ask, and make sure your site addresses them clearly.

And, whatever you do, don’t forget about mobile browsing! A recent study found 40 percent of small business websites in the US aren’t optimized for mobile. In this age of mobile technology, keeping up with customers on-the-go is increasingly important; as is making sure they have an overall positive browsing experience.


Get Social

Your brand’s social media channels will play a huge role in reaching customers with seasonal promotions, offers, or specialty products leading up to Small Business Saturday.

A great way to utilize these channels is to join in the ”Shop Small” campaign, leveraging hashtags in your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In 2016, a staggering 112 million customers shopped and dined on Small Business Saturday. Social media has become a crucial way for shoppers to stay up-to-date with their favorite small businesses – make sure to get noticed on these new platforms.


Get Educated with Free Marketing Resources

At eBay, we’ve enjoyed partnering with small businesses on our global platform for years. Today, our site has 168 million active buyers worldwide. If you’re considering tapping into this audience, check out our 2018 eBay Retail Moments Guide for insights into each seasonal opportunity and top-selling items.

American Express also provides a range of helpful and free resources for small companies, as part of their Small Business Saturday marketing program.


Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

The holidays are all about creating memorable moments, which are especially valuable in converting new customers into loyal, return customers. If you are considering a partnership with a marketplace or commerce brand like eBay, make sure that in-store shoppers are aware of your online presence.

Create an exciting shopping experience by hosting a Small Business Saturday event, showcasing new seasonal products. Thank customers for their continued support with beverages or baked goodies while they browse. Remember, holiday shopping should be enjoyable!