With all the excitement around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s easy to forget another important shipping holiday: Small Business Saturday. From brick and mortar retail locations, to Etsy and eCommerce stores, this day celebrates small businesses and encourages consumers to shop small. This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 28th, and it’s important for small business owners and operators to prepare early for increased sales and shipping demands. Below, we go into more detail about Small Business Saturday shipping, so you can make the most of this day.
What Is Small Business Saturday?
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 out of the Shop Small Movement where shoppers, small businesses and civic leaders came together to support small businesses and to help their communities prosper. In fact, The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy states that small businesses make up more than 99% of businesses in the U.S., and employ over 47% of U.S. workers.
According to an American Express study, not only are small businesses an integral part of local communities, they are also responsible for $4.8 trillion in GDP, which is equivalent to the third largest economy in the world. The study also pointed out that $0.67 or about two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in the local community. Additionally, the study found that for every dollar spent at small businesses, an additional 50 cents is created in local business activity because of employee spending and local businesses purchasing goods and services. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday occur back to back, making it more important than ever to have your holiday business shipping plan ready to go.
Supporting Small Businesses
Small businesses make a big impact, and supporting small businesses means you are part of the impact they have on the community. From retail locations to eCommerce, there are many ways you can support small businesses.
One of the best places to support small businesses this holiday shopping season is on Etsy. By shopping on Etsy this year, not only will you be supporting small businesses, but you’ll also be buying one-of-kind pieces that no one else will be gifting.
If you own a small business, consider helping other small businesses in your community by partnering with them or purchasing their goods or services. Perhaps, your business could also benefit another business in a similar way. Building strong small business partnerships can help strengthen the businesses, bring in new customers, and increase your business and brand awareness. It’s a win, win, win.
Small Business Saturday Shipping
This year is predicted to be a busy one for holiday shopping and that means it will be a busy shipping season, too. Prepare early and ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your possible shipping needs:
- Do I have enough shipping and packaging supplies on hand? From crates, pallets, and cardboard boxes to packaging tape, internal packing materials and more, you want to have your packaging shelves fully stocked. For more information on packaging supplies and tips, download your copy of our complete Guide to Freight Packaging.
- What types of items am I shipping? Consider what kinds of items you’re shipping. Any cargo that weighs more than 150 pounds is considered freight shipping (not parcel shipping). Most small business shippers can utilize less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping option, which is similar to a ride share for freight. Your cargo will share trailer space with other shippers’ items. This helps reduce shipping costs.
- Am I shipping very large, oversized or overlength items? For very large or overlength items, you may need to consider full truckload (TL) shipping. In truckload shipping, your cargo requires the full use of the trailer and is especially useful for small business shippers who are fulfilling very large orders to a single destination.
- Does my cargo require special equipment or handling? Some cargo is more fragile or requires special shipping and handling. In this case, it’s important to consider certain kinds of accessorials or add ons. For example, for the cream of the crop in shipping and handling, you may want to choose white glove services, where your item receives the highest level of service. This option is great for furniture, antiques, or any other valuable items. Some accessorials, such as lift gate services, may be required while others may be optional.
Work with a 3PL Who Gets Small Business Shipping
As a small business ourselves, we’ve been helping other small businesses ship smarter and more efficiently. We simplify the shipping process for our small business shippers, giving you more time to spend running your business and making your customers happy. Our freight shipping experts can help you every step of the way, such as sourcing capacity, locking in the best freight rates with top carriers, identifying the accessorials you need, answering your questions, and tracking your shipment from start to finish.