How to Prepare your Small Business for Black Friday

Despite how it may sound, Black Friday actually has nothing to do with the attitude of retail employees who are dreading the massive crowds looking for doorbuster deals that will make it worth it that they were camping out all night. In fact, store accountants recorded their profits in black ink and losses in red ink back in the day.  According to historians, the day after Thanksgiving in 1924 became the first official day of holiday shopping. Many store owners saw their sales records going from red to black on this day.  

You don’t have to be part of a large corporation to be part of Black Friday sale numbers. If done correctly, small business owners can reap profits just as well as larger companies. Here are 10 tips to make the most of Black Friday that won’t overwhelm you, will engage your customers and will bring in profits for your small business.

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  • Pay attention to social media.  A lot more online shopping is going to take place this year. Probably more than ever. Consumers will share what holiday items and events they are anticipating the most. Make sure your business is part of this by asking your customers in real-time what’s on their minds. Focus on trends for your store and stock up.
  • It’s okay to Replicate on a Smaller Scale. Study a larger corporation (for example, Amazon) and find out what promotions worked and didn’t work. Learn from their mistakes when offering promotions in your establishment.
  • Get Mobile. Make sure your online strategy reaches the largest possible virtual audience. Since COVID, more and more people will be searching and shopping online. Reach out to a third-party client that can make sure your Black Friday ads and promotions are visible to any and all online customers.
  • Make it Personal. When people shop at a local establishment, they are mostly going for hospitality, an experience that large corporations don’t always do well. Use this to your advantage as a small business owner. Offer incentives that the larger companies may not even know about. Is there a holiday concert at the local auditorium? Give away tickets to your shoppers that showed up before noon. How about a free personalized cookie with certain purchases? Make it worthwhile for those customers who visited your establishment. They’ll be back and will tell their friends.
  • Brainstorm with a Target Group. As store owners, take the time to find out what customers really want. Engage them in conversation or maybe email a survey to certain shoppers to see what you can do to meet their specific needs. Nothing makes a customer feel more special than to know they are personally being listened to. 
  • Watch Your Budget. Lots of times, business owners want to make the holidays memorable by hosting multiple events or offering many promotions. Be realistic:  does your budget afford this? If not, focus on just one goal, secure your time, energy, and funds to this, and you and your budget won’t be spread too thin.
  • Hire Local Help. If you hire people within the community during your holiday peak season, your reputation will soar. You will be surprised how people will want to help, even if you’re only offering a store discount.
  • Amp up Small Business Saturday.  American Express started this marketing tactic in 2010 in order to persuade shoppers to frequent local establishments versus giant retailers. Share the benefits with your customers by an email blast or a creative flyer in your store. Take advantage of this opportunity to flaunt your shop because this day was made for you.
  • Keep and Share Holiday Countdowns. Take the approach of an Advent calendar. Make your own version that promotes your specialized products and services. Spotlight different products and services each day until Christmas Day. Of course, you’ll need to make it tailored for your establishment’s offerings.
  • Enjoy Yourself! Customers’ attitudes will reflect the atmosphere. If you and your staff are having fun and being relaxed, your shoppers will notice. If the employees are stressed out and harried, of course, customers will pick up on that vibe, too. Be creative:  host a scavenger hunt or raffle so long lines at the cashier station aren’t so stressful. Hire students from a high school choir to perform in house. 

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Black Friday is easily one of the most significant sales holidays of the year, and the last thing you want to do is move slowly in using this time to promote and makes sales in your local business. Keep our tips in mind and you’ll be sure to have the best Black Friday promotion yet!