How Can My Small Business Prepare for Black Friday?
It is the day that has come to define the holiday season once a year. Black Friday has become a global phenomenon that has reached a popularity even outside the U.S. in countries that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. The reason for this is simple: Everyone likes a good deal. Being able to purchase gifts and things that you personally want for less than normal is what makes this holiday-selling extravaganza more and more popular each and every year.
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While many of the large chain stores and corporations get the majority of the attention when it comes to Black Friday, there’s nothing preventing small businesses from taking advantage of the day as well. In fact, preparing for Black Friday can keep your business competitive with the larger players and bring in more customers at the same time. The key is knowing how to prepare for Black Friday correctly. Here are a few different strategies and steps you should take before this year’s Black Friday events.
Plan Your Deals
First and foremost, Black Friday is all about the savings. Whether customers actually save a significant amount of money or not depends on the business, product and service. However, the psychology of saving money is what really draws huge crowds to retail stores. As a small business, you too can offer these types of savings. You need to know ahead of time what your customers may be looking for or are expecting when it comes to Black Friday deals. This will also depend on the type of small business you have.
Traditional retail small businesses are probably most well-prepared to offer Black Friday deals. You can discount any number of products in any number of ways to make them more attractive to new and returning customers. If you offer a service or less traditional product, however, you can still participate. Think about your bottom line and profit goals for the month and the season. You will need to create discounts that are both attractive to customers without drastically cutting into your profits if you don’t generate greater numbers of purchases.
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Research the Competition
If your small business operates in a competitive space, it is helpful to know what your competition is planning to do for Black Friday as well. Businesses that participate in Black Friday events can give you an edge if done correctly, especially if the competition is ignoring the day altogether.
Once again, remaining competitive to businesses that are participating on Black Friday requires some research. You can’t take the simple approach of offering better deals if your business can’t support the cut or generate the extra business necessary to make a profit. Instead, you may have to think of other ways to remain competitive such as better advertising, unique events and activities, extended promotional periods and more.
Increase the sense of community
While many businesses and corporations focus on the deals themselves, it is important to remember that Black Friday has become a communal experience. Sometimes, this experience is negative as shoppers push each other to get to the in-demand, hot products that are in limited supply. You can turn this day, however, into something more positive for your customers and other people online.
This is a perfect day to advertise other communal aspects about your business. For example, if you have a membership or mailing letter for people to sign up for, adding this into your Black Friday advertising is a good idea to prompt more customer loyalty. If you manage to temporarily increase the number of customers visiting your small business, these steps can help with higher conversion and retention rates in the long run. As a result, you will be doing more for the health of your business in the future than just having a temporary boost in sales.
Boost Your Marketing Efforts
More than anything else, a successful Black Friday event or campaign requires good communication. No business can make Black Friday a profitable day if potential and existing customers don’t know that the business is participating. This means you have to think about the marketing of the day itself. More importantly, you have to plan out the best marketing strategy, including the timing, to increase the awareness of your business’s participation.
You don’t necessarily have to spend more money on your advertising leading up to the big day. Instead, you should modify your existing marketing to focus more heavily on the deals and events you are planning to have on Black Friday. Think of it as a basic information campaign: You need to be spreading the word about the particular day more than your business or general products. You can use existing marketing channels, paid or organic, to increase your customer’s awareness about the day.
If you have a healthy community on your social media platforms, for example, start sharing information about the day ahead of time. Ideally, you should begin a month or two depending on the scale of the event, deals and your own objectives for Black Friday.
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Making Black Friday Work for Your Business
Ultimately, the decision to participate in Black Friday events or not is up to you. Sometimes, keeping things normal without catering to the hustle and bustle of this unique point in time is enough. In other words, don’t feel pressured to participate if you don’t feel like it will be beneficial for your business overall.
If there is some value, however, make sure you take the necessary steps ahead of time. Really think about the deals you want to offer, the extra activities and sense of community you can generate and how you will spread the word to the relevant audiences. Account for the steps and your budgeting so you don’t spend more money than expected or that is available.
Even though Black Friday is just a single day of sales, it takes a lot to get a small business prepared to maximize its performance that day. Really do your homework to increase your chance of having a successful Black Friday.