Small Business Saturday is a marketing gimmick dreamt up by American Express.
The primary purpose of Small Business Saturday is to get the American Express Brand in front of consumers and to encourage small shops to accept American Express Cards, despite the fact that the premium is higher than other payment methods.
The focal point of Small Business Saturday is the Shop Small advertising program by American Express which includes Small Shop Guides for America's largest cities.
The site for the event says: "Only qualifying American Express Card accepting small merchants will be featured on the map. Please." This excludes most small business.
Big media loves to push Small Business Saturdays. The name just resonates in the brain. Tweeting about small busness saturday makes a media outlet feel all comfy and progressive.
I like Small Business Saturday because the idea is so full of contradictions that it borders on the humorous.
First of all, anyone who regularly works with small businesses know that a huge number of small business owners prefer to do business during the weekdays and not on the weekends.
If you actually want to do business directly with the owner of a small business; your best bet is to march into the small business on some nondescript Tuesday. Most family owned business owners prefer spending holiday weekends with family.
The event is, from the ground up, a gimmick dreamt up by marketers from big business and follows big business type thinking. The multimedia campaign around the gimmick is big marketing to the core.
My Contribution to Small Business
A decade ago, I realized that small business was getting the shaft in the digital age. My small contribution to small business was to make small directories for small towns. The goal of the effort was to raise community awareness and promote locally focussed web development.
My small effort has sent tens of millions of hits to small businesses, blogs, community organizations, churches, artists and charities.
The Community Color sites have small directories for select towns in the Mountain West (Utah, Colorado, etc.). There were more directories in Idaho, Oregon and Montana. I gave those sites away; So, I only have a few left.
I get a couple million pages views each month.
The original idea of the directories was that I would link to all of the web sites I could find in a given town for free. The directory would also include affiliate links for big businesses with a local presences. The big affiliate programs would pay for local services. My affiliate income completely dried up a few years back.
Currently I get about $25 for every 100,000 page views on the site. That is a CPC rate of 25¢ per thousand impressions. My earnings per clicks (EPC) is about 1 penny per click.
I've been experimenting with the idea of selling ads directly to local small businesses for $25 for 100,000 page impressions. I haven't received any orders yet.
Anyway, I was thinking about making a big push on Small Business Saturday to sell the advertising, but a voice inside my brain is yelling: "Are you nuts? The people who would make the purchasing decision like this aren't working on Saturday.
Here is the announcement that I am selling ads at a rate of $25.00 per 100,000 page views. You can order the ads on my Park City Site. This is the only site on my new server. The ads will go live on all the sites as I port them to the new server.