How Merch Can Take Your Small Business To The Next Level

With Small Business Saturday taking place in just a couple of weeks (on 5 December 2020, to be precise), there's no better time to bring you insights and ideas for helping your SME to reach whole new heights in 2021.

Of course: the bulk of 2020 has been incredibly difficult for many businesses across the UK. With that in mind, it's never been more important to celebrate SMEs, local start-ups and everything in between, as well as to explore ways to promote and generate positive awareness if you're a small business owner yourself. 

So grab a cuppa and settle down for our whirlwind guide to Small Business Saturday, and how your brand can get involved.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in December 2019 but we believe it could be helpful to readers and provide stimulating value and inspiration for businesses amidst COVID-19. 

What Is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is an annual event that encourages shoppers to support small businesses by investing in their products or services. It typically takes place on the first Saturday of December, with the UK edition of the event occurring on 5 December 2020, with consumers urged to lend their backing to small businesses in their local area and across the UK. 

According to statistics obtained by American Express and shared by Small Business Saturday, the event attracted businesses worth over £812 million for small businesses across the UK in 2018. This was a significant increase from the £748 million spent the previous year, with over half of the people surveyed revealing they had spent more on Small Business Saturday 2018 than they had in 2017.

With the impact of Coronavirus wreaking havoc for many businesses and industries throughout 2020, supporting small start-ups and local-born endeavours has never been more important. The good news? According to research shared by Small Business Saturday, COVID-19 has inspired 59% of Brits to shop more with small businesses than they did previously. 

How Many Small Businesses Are There In The UK?

According to data shared by the Federation of Small Businesses, there were 5.8 million small businesses (with 0-49 employees) across the UK at the start of 2019. By the start of 2020, this figure had risen to 5.94 million.

The same data-set demonstrate that small businesses account for three-fifths of employment in the UK private sector, with SMEs accounting for around half of private sector turnover in the UK. 

Nearly a fifth (17%) of those very same SMEs sit within the construction industry, with arts-and-recreation accounting for 5%. Other sectors include finance and insurance, education and health and social work.

Am I Too Late To Involve My Business In Small Business Saturday 2020?

In a word - no! This year's Small Business Saturday awareness drive includes a virtual roadshow, online workshops and even virtual mentoring sessions available, with the goal of supporting small business owners as they continue navigating what has been an incredibly difficult year. This can all be accessed via the Small Business Saturday website throughout Saturday 5th December.

Whilst current social distancing guidelines make it hard to anticipate what you will be able to do in-store come December 5th (if you have offline premises, that is), there are plenty of ways you can get involved online. For example, you could...

  • Share samples of your work on your social media platforms using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBizSaturday. 
  • Have a quick check over your website to ensure your online presence is looking at its tip-top best and representing your brand in the best possible light. 
  • Run a #SmallBizSaturday-inspired competition. Ask customers to share a photo on social media of the products/services they've received from your business, spreading awareness for your brand among their own social networks as well as generating valuable user-generated content. Offer a small incentive for one randomly-picked winner in order to encourage entries. 

Of course, while the event itself lasts for a day, the overall goal of it is to help create long-lasting awareness for small businesses across the country.

Promotional merchandise can play an important role in helping your brand generate meaningful and long-lasting awareness among potential customers - even if they don't shop with your business straight away, they will still be aware of your brand. 

What Are The Best Marketing Giveaways For Small Businesses?

If you want to help your business to soar in 2021, look no further than promotional products to help it rocket.

Total Merchandise offers a huge range of promotional products that are ideal for small businesses across the UK, with low order quantities and budget-friendly prices meaning you can bag a bargain for your business and watch awareness for your brand soar! 

Contour Ballpens

They're continuously one of our most popular promotional pens - and now available at a brand new reduced price, our Contour Ballpens are a must-order for any business.

Choose it because... Promotional pens are long-lasting and offer awareness for your brand every time they're picked up. They can make great mail-out items - for example, if you're planning a mail-out campaign, you could easily add in a branded pen as an extra 'thank you' that will ensure additional awareness for your logo. 

Cambridge Promotional Mugs

Our Cambridge mugs are always popular, with their generous print area and practical design combining to make a product that's beloved by businesses and their customers alike. Available in white as default, these best selling branded mugs can also be ordered in a range of other colours at a small additional cost. 

Choose it because... Who doesn't love a branded mug? They're a sure-fire way to keep your logo at the forefront of people's minds and with a minimum order quantity of 36 units, they're 

Insulated Travel Mug

Our popular branded travel mug is ideal for printing with your artwork. Promising to keep drinks at their optimal temperatures, they're life-savers for the morning commute, allowing your customers to enjoy their favourite tea or coffee with minimal fuss.

Choose it because... It will become a daily part of your customers' lives - and a morning essential!

15g Baton Chocolate Bars

With its neat proportions and fuss-free branding potential, promotional merchandise doesn't come much sweeter than these promotional chocolate bars.

Printed with your design to the wrapper in unmissable full colour, they're available to order with a price drop of up to 18% currently available.

Choose it because... Whether you're planning to send them to customers or colleagues, a chocolatey treat in the post is the ideal way to remind customers of your business and create positive connotations for your brand. 

Promo Budget Golf Umbrella

High-impact and incredibly long-lasting, our branded umbrellas are classics that can offer your colleagues and customers alike shelter on even the drizzliest of days.

Your corporate artwork will be printed on one panel in up to four colours; take your pick from a wide range of colour combinations for the umbrella itself, 

Choose it because... Available to order in quantities as low as ten, it's ideal for either presenting to customers as a gift or for keeping in-house for your staff to use. Either way, brand awareness is guaranteed!

A5 Note Pad

Another promotional essential, our best selling branded notepads are ideal for creating the 'write' impression for your business.

Whether you keep them stocked-up for use in your office or order them for use as giveaways at events or trade shows, the slimline design of this classic A5 Note Pad means it can also be easily popped in the post to customers, too.

Choose it because... Budget-friendly and portable, our branded A5 Note Pads are perfect for keeping all eyes on your branding. Also worth considering is our range of branded sticky notes - white post it notes are perfect for making your logo pop!

Double Layer Reusable Face Masks

If this year has taught us all one thing, it's that face coverings aren't going anywhere fast - and our best selling branded face masks could make a great option for your 2020/2021 awareness drive.

Available to order in six colours, these reusable branded face masks can be printed with your design in full colour, or delivered plain stock for a more simplistic take. 

Choose it because... We all need face masks right now - and what better way to assert your business as one that cares about the wellbeing of its customers?

Fruit of the Loom Valueweight T-Shirts

Whether they're worn by staff when your premises reopen or are handed out to customers who sign-up to your services, our classic printed T-shirts are ideal for flaunting your branding. The beauty of them, of course, is they can be worn over and over again, meaning that whether they're donned by staff or customers, they'll offer long-lasting awareness for your business. 

Available in a wide range of colours, the generous print area of our custom tshirts means customers won't be able to miss your branding! 

Choose it because... Our promotional T-shirts offer incredible awareness for your business. With your logo printed in up to four colours, customers won't be able to miss your branding! 

Total Merchandise has a wide range of small quantity promotional items that are perfect for small businesses across the UK. Browse our range in full and contact our friendly Sales team today to get a quote for your brand!

From promotional pens to branded notepads, we've got all the promotional giveaways your business could need this winter. Need help finding a specific item? Simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced Sales team on 01376 509092 or email today. Main image via Pexels.

Written by

Katie Clark | Head of Digital Marketing

With over a decade in print and digital journalism, Katie possesses a wide skill-set that incorporates everything from SEO to PR. Joining the team in early 2019, her expertise lies in writing sparkling copy about promotional merchandise and related topics, as well as managing social media activity and developing creative solutions to keep the Total Merchandise brand at the forefront of people’s minds. With a background that includes event-planning and volunteering for charitable organisations, she has a first-hand appreciation for the needs and questions a customer might have when acquiring promotional products for their organisation. In her spare time, she loves reading, going to the cinema and learning to cook.

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