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Ready for Black Friday? Tips to Boost Small Business Sales

If you are in the retail industry, then the holiday season is the perfect time of year to boost your sales and optimize profits for the year. Shoppers have a buying mentality right now as they are searching for gifts to share with friends and family this holiday season.

Often, businesses take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way to lure in more shoppers with time-sensitive bargains. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or your business is run online, this time of year shouldn’t be overlooked. Right now is when you need to start the preparations to be sure that you are ready for the influx of sales that will come from interested customers.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to sell physical products to take advantage of Black Friday shopping. Shoppers are looking for all types of bargains, which means that it might be a great time to offer discounts or packages for your business if you provide services or digital products.

Think Outside the Box to Catch People’s Attention

While Black Friday can be hectic and busy, your company doesn’t have to get caught up in the noise of the holiday shopping season. Instead, look for ways to make your offerings stand out from the competition. Here are a few options to help you think outside the box so that you can set your company apart from the rest in the industry:

  • Don’t Fight the Early Morning Rush: As a small business, you shouldn’t be trying to compete with the big-box stores by starting your sales before the sun comes up. Most shoppers will head to the big-box stores in the wee hours of the morning (or even on Thanksgiving evening). You can bring in more interested shoppers by starting your sales later in the day. Everyone will be done with the crazy morning rush and ready to move onto your special promotions by noon. Communicate your sales hours in advance so that your customers can arrange their shopping schedule to match. You might be surprised to see how many people are happy to know that they don’t have to set an early-morning alarm to access your Black Friday sales.
  • Longer Holiday Hours: Regardless of the time that your store opens in the morning, consider extending evening shopping hours. Some people like to head out for holiday shopping after spending the day with family. So, extended evening hours could bring in more shoppers that wouldn’t have visited your business otherwise.
  • Encourage Gift Card Sales: How often do customers walk out of the store empty-handed because they were unsure about the right gifts to purchase? Instead of letting your customers get stuck in analysis-paralysis, offer a simple solution: gift cards. It has been found that gift card sales always go up during this time of year. You need to be sure that you have gift card options available and on prominent display when customers walk through the doors for the Black Friday sales.
  • Start a Marketing Campaign Right Now: Why should customers choose your products or services over other options that are available? Start a marketing campaign right now to show the reasons why you are the go-to resource for holiday shopping. In this campaign, highlight the reasons why your business is better than the competition. For example, do you have handmade items, locally-sourced products, or limited-edition options that are hard to find? These hooks are often more effective than the race-to-the-bottom with discount prices.
  • Don’t Offer Unsustainable Pricing: Be strategic with the way the holiday sales are structured. The goal should be to increase conversions. But, don’t boost sales at the risk of harming your profit margins. While it is important to offer deals to bring people in the doors, you should be strategic with the structure of the sales so that you don’t take a hit. The most effective way to ensure that your profit margins are still built-in is by offering product bundles or quantity discounts. Or, offer deep discounts on old inventory that needs to be moved.
  • Bonus Services: What is an extra service that could be offered to bring people in the door? For example, you might go the extra mile by offering free gift wrapping on Black Friday or passing out balloons for children. Or, have stocking stuffers that are complimentary for purchases over a certain amount. Consider the extra services that your customers would value. Don’t forget to share these details in your marketing messages that are shared via email and social media.
  • Schedule an Event: Plan Black Friday to be a day when there is a party in your store. Offer snacks or drinks, play fun holiday music or bring Santa Clause into your store. Send out an email and share these happenings on social media so that your customers know what to expect when they visit your store.
  • Incentives for Social Media: If you are trying to boost social media engagement, then let your customers help with the difficult work. You can share great content on social media to highlight the Black Friday sales that are available. Another option is to add an incentive for customers who share on social media. For example, a share on Facebook gives the customer access to a special discount on the products they are buying. Always include the popular hashtag #blackfriday and a hashtag that is unique to your company.
  • Product Bundles: Gift bags or baskets are always a great solution when people are looking for fun, creative gift ideas. Instead of selling items individually, look for logical ways to package your products. This strategy is an effective way to upsell people to a higher price point. Plus, people love the gifts that are ready to go without additional work. If you don’t have pre-designed packages, consider offering a discount when customers choose three items that are related.

Step Up Your Digital Presence

Promoting your Black Friday sales on social media is a good way to share information online. But, more and more customers are turning to online shopping options. People love the idea of completing their shopping lists without leaving the comfort of home.

As a small business, you can take advantage of Cyber Monday and/or Small Business Saturday. If you don’t have online shopping options available, then right now might be the perfect time to expand your offerings to include e-commerce sales so that you can capture a larger portion of the market.

Offer coupons that are exclusive to Cyber Monday or Small Business Saturday. Or, you could also capture the people who procrastinated their Black Friday shopping by offering sales that are available through the first few weeks of December.

Administrative Prep for the Holiday Season

You might be busy stocking the shelves and working on holiday marketing and promotions. But, don’t overlook the importance of keeping up with the necessary tasks that need to happen behind-the-scenes for your business. For example, right now is an excellent time to get caught up on bookkeeping and accounting if you have been slacking on these tasks.

Procrastinating the financial reporting, auditing, and other business paperwork that needs to be handled means that these essential items will just build up through the holiday season. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of the year to discover that you have a huge task list of unfinished business that should have been addressed for your company.

Make sure that your payment processing system is ready for the increase in sales. Upgrade accounting and bookkeeping software so that you don’t run into glitches during the busiest time of year. Assess inventory and redirect cash flow if needed so that you have plenty of product to offer when customers are ready to buy. Evaluate the employee schedule so that you have plenty of help available during the busiest times of the season. These small details will go a long way to help you increase sales, improve customer experience, and optimize the results that are available for your company.

Outsourcing the Services that are Needed

A little bit of work right now will ensure that you aren’t overly stressed as you reach the end of the year. If you don’t have the time or desire to work on these tasks by yourself, then it is the perfect time to bring in an industry expert for assistance.

For example, an accounting team can get your books in order so that you are ready to close out 2018 and start 2019 on the right foot. It is important that you have a good financial system in place so that the growth of your company isn’t hindered by the work that needs to happen behind the scenes. Professional accounting services are essential to assist with tax strategy, cash flow, and more.

Easier Accounting is here to assist with your small business efforts. If you need financial advice or you are looking to implement an improved financial strategy for your company, then we invite you to call to learn more about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770