How your small business can prepare for Black Friday

The shopping season is well and truly upon us and nothing says SALE SALE SALE more than the newly adopted Black Friday. What used to be an exclusively American tradition, which occurs on the day after Thanksgiving, has now been embraced by us Brits. It is the biggest day of consumer spending in the calendar year, with retailers offering significant discounts on many of their products. Over the years, Black Friday has brought up some negative images, normally involving frantic shoppers fighting over TV’s, blenders or any item that might happen to be on sale. But there are ways to prepare for Black Friday and ensure that you can make a success of it. Here’s some points to have in mind before the big day on November 24th.

Be resourceful

As you might expect, Black Friday is going to to see a lot of footfall for the major retailers. John Lewis, Dixons, Argos and others, are likely to see significant consumer spend. People will naturally flock to these established giants because of the array of deals they will have.

As a small local business you might have to be a little bit different. If you are based in an area with a large concentration of other local businesses why not team up with them. Get a hashtag going to promote the area, so you can make locals aware of sales that are going on.

Consider holding an event on the day. Set up a stall outside your shop and display your products outside. This is a good way to engage with your audience which provides something more intimate than just holding a quick fire sale.

Prepare your staff

If you employ a lot of staff then this point is crucial. You may need all the help that you can get on this day so prepare accordingly. Make it clear to your staff that they will need to be in to help. So if some staff don’t take Friday shifts, it will be up to you to emphasise the importance of their presence for this day. The last thing you want is to have a full store of interested punters and not enough staff to help things run smoothly.

Reward your employees for their efforts. If they are coming in early think about bringing in some breakfast or at the end of the day you could buy a round of drinks - we think you’ll need some.

Maximise your digital marketing

To get customers physically in the door it would be wise to ramp up your online efforts. Firstly, update your site to tie in with Black Friday - yes even if your site isn’t ecommerce. This will make it clear to your shoppers when they can arrive. Make it clear which of your products are going to be a part of Black Friday. Don’t underestimate how determined shoppers are on this day to get good deals. If you are able to provide value you’ll make some sales. Be totally clear on this from the outset through your website.

Also, ensure that all of your communications make it clear that you are having special offers for Black Friday. Emails and social media posts need to state that your business will be taking part in the Black Friday sales. If you know someone who can help you utilise PPC (Pay Per Click) then this could be another useful way to get attention. If you aren’t focussing your marketing on Black Friday you need to begin doing this now.

Make sure you stock up on inventory

You’ll feel pretty silly  if you don’t have enough stock of discounted items. So make sure you do a full audit of discounted products. What do you need in stock for Black Friday that you are offering to consumers for a reduced price? Identify exactly how much stock you might need and order plenty of it so that you don’t run out. Again, you don’t want to arrive at your store on Black Friday and realise that the item you are promoting will soon run out. Do your homework and try and avoid this situation altogether.

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David Goulden Copywriter
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