smb-tech-trendsYou still may be thinking about a summer vacation, but before you know it, November will be here. November is not only notable because of Thanksgiving; it’s also the month we pay tribute to small business owners on Small Business Saturday®. American Express, who founded the event in 2010, is encouraging small business owners to start planning now for the big day. This year, Small Business Saturday will be celebrated on November 30, falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as it has each year.

Small Business Saturday has captured the hearts and minds of local communities, and consumer enthusiasm to Shop Small® continues to grow. Last year, spending reached $5.5 billion, over the $5.3 billion originally forecast.  Also nearly half of those aware of Small Business Saturday (47 percent) shopped small on the day, according to a survey conducted by American Express and the National Federal of Independent Business (NFIB).

Main StreetAt the Small Business Saturday site, you can download free marketing materials, including printable and customizable signage; sample emails and social media posts; online banners and Shop Small logos. You’ll also want to be sure your business is included in the Shop Small map so that local American Express® Card members and potential customers can have another way to find your business. And, if you haven’t already done so,  connect with other small business owners on the OPEN Forum® where you can share ideas and advice, and sign up for the Small Business Saturday Facebook page to keep up to date on activities.

Last year, Plantronics got into the Small Business Saturday spirit by asking small business owners, “Where is the craziest place you’ve taken a business call?” The responses just go to show it’s possible to conduct business anywhere at any time these days on your mobile phone,  even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Small Business Saturday also has become a tradition for me in my own small community in Silicon Valley.  Last year, I spent the day dining at local restaurants and visiting some of our town’s unique shops.  With names like Purrsnickety, where you can buy cool toys for your favorite feline, and The Black Cat, which specializes in jewelry and hats, how can you resist?

Help us get out the vote for 2013 Small Business Influencer Award

Vote-2013-125x125-red - Copy-4It’s an honor to be among the nominees for the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards. Voting is underway and continues until September 9. You can vote daily until then.  We appreciate your vote!