5 Black Friday Survival Tips for Small Business Owners
The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s an annual tradition for deal-seekers and cutthroat consumers, not to mention small business owners who get a chance to end the year with their finances, ‘in the black.’ You might think that’s where the term, ‘Black Friday,’ was coined, but the truth is, the unofficial holiday received its name from the Philadelphia Police Department when they described the heavy traffic the day after Thanksgiving.
Small business owners have long supported Black Friday even before society repurposed the phrase. You’ll most likely be opening the doors of your metal building and welcoming the ‘controlled chaos,’ for the entire Thanksgiving Day weekend. Even if you can’t afford to cut prices as deep as corporate retail stores, there are still several ways you can compete with the big chains.
Get more help
There’s a good chance Black Friday is a substantial source of your yearly revenue, so it’s important to give this day the attention that it deserves. Don’t think of Black Friday just as a single day; think of it as a shopping season. With the advent of, “Small Business Saturday,’ you can’t afford to treat this weekend the same as any other. Make sure you have extra hired help on hand. Don’t hire seasonal help just to man a cash register or stock the back room. Invest in people who will provide top-notch, personalized customer service. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are great opportunities to establish new relationships with customers and create memorable exchanges. One of the biggest reasons people support small businesses is because of the superior customer service they receive.
Offer packaged deals
As a small business owner, you know its tough to compete with the big box stores. While they’re offering rock-bottom prices, your profit margins may be too slim to drop prices any further. Instead, offer packaged deals. If you sell TV’s, offer to include high-end accessories with every purchase. If you’re a camera shop owner, toss in a free tripod or a camera bag. Try to encourage deals consumers can’t get anywhere else.
Promote your brand
This is always a great idea with your small business, but use this holiday as a chance to interact more with your customers. Your audience wants to be engaged! The idea behind your marketing efforts on social media is to engage clients to patronize your small business and find an exclusive deal rather than a cheap deal. If you can’t knock 15% off each item, create some kind of interactive competition that gets people excited about coming to your metal building.
Optimize online traffic
Some customers don’t want to leave the comfort of their home and stay in their pajamas on Black Friday. You can’t afford to ignore these prospective dollar signs. Techcrunch.com conducted a study last December, and found Americans spent almost two billion dollars shopping online on Black Friday alone, and that number was up nearly 19% from 2012. The same study found that almost 25% of all online traffic came from smartphones, and 14.2% came via tablets. Now is a good time to make sure your IT department has your website running efficiently. You don’t want to have the extra traffic crash your site. Like I said earlier, view this as shopping season. That includes planning for, ‘Cyber Monday,’ as well.
Don’t dismiss window-shopping
Every time someone walks by your metal building, it’s an opportunity for a sale. Small business owners can get so wrapped up with different aspects of their business, they forget about foot traffic. Set your company up for success by putting your best foot forward. Make it impossible for people to bypass your store. Offer ‘door-buster,’ deals and catch the eye of the public.
In such a competitive marketplace, small business owners must constantly evolve to acquire new business. As you continue along the path to success, consider a metal building to accommodate your space and business needs!Photo courtesy: Seattle Municipal Archives, Matthias Ripp, Diario Critico Venezuela