Blog & Company News

Nov 20, 2013

Black Friday Week: 5 Tips For Keeping Your Small Business In The Game

Black fridaystampFor any good retail junkie (me) or small business owner (you), the highlight of the holiday season is not Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving – it’s the day after Thanksgiving. It is on this blessed day every year that over-zealous, deal-hungry shoppers everywhere wake up at an obscenely early hour to get a head start on their holiday shopping. What gets consumers out of their turkey coma so early in the day? Deals. Super sweet deals on everything from clothing to electronics to furniture – basically everything. Retailers of all sizes tend to cut prices in an effort to get as big a piece as possible of the holiday spending. So, unless it’s your first day in America, nothing I just said was especially new information. Black Friday is not only well-established by now, it’s also incredibly well-marketed. What might be slightly less known is how Black Friday has expanded into a far more complex, specific, week-long event. Right now is a particularly good time to be a small business owner; movements to support locally owned businesses have sprung up around the holidays with increasing fervor over the past few years. That said, if the big corporate retailers are offering Black Friday Week discounts, it is essential for small business owners to be aware and keep their business equally in the game. After all, even if people want to support small and local businesses, they expect a bargain at this time of year. Even if you can’t cut prices like a corporate chain, participating in Black Friday on your terms will go a long way towards appealing to customers. Participating in Black Friday on just that one day is easy enough – but how do you go about extending the event for your small business throughout the whole week? We have some tips: 1.     Feature different products/services each day Keeping Black Friday active and vital for your small business for a whole week means a lot more than just running your usual Black Friday deals for longer. It means making each day of the week a distinct special event. Come up with a schedule that features certain goods and services being discounted or supplemented on certain days to give people a reason to engage with your business all week. 2.     Keep certain deals running all week That said, come up with a set of discounts and specials that will be consistent throughout the week. The idea is to offer week-long deals as a short-term incentive for shopping right now, with the day/hour-specific deals as an extra incentive to shop really right now. 3.     Offer shipping discounts Largely, people who embark on Black Friday shopping sprees are looking for score loot to give as gifts for the upcoming holidays. With that in mind, it will go a long way with your customers to assure them that you will do everything you can to facilitate that, be it timely and cheap/free shipping, or custom gift wrapping. One of the primary reasons why people choose to patronize local and small businesses (both brick-and-mortar and online) is to get the personalized customer service that is lacking from big companies. Black Friday is an excellent time to establish your small business as one being run by real people who are truly interested in working closely with their customers to not just provide a product or service, but to make sure all the needs surrounding the purchase are lovingly tended to. 4.     Host special events Part of making the most out of Black Friday Week involves coming up with appealing deals and discounts for your customers, but the other side of making this time of year successful for your business includes creating original ways to drive traffic. After all, there’s no point in having fantastic deals if no one there to take advantage of them. Try planning small events that would be of interest to your target audience. Own an independent book store? Schedule an evening (or several!) of reading by local authors, or host a Saturday morning story hour with holiday themed books for kids. People relish an opportunity to gain access to businesses beyond regular hours (which is one of the reasons why Black Friday, with its super early/late hours, is so exciting for shoppers in the first place. It’s the VIP factor.) 5.     Promote the whole week as one or separate events on social media Speaking of events, it’s a good idea to treat Black Friday Week as one big event, or a series of small events, or both, and promote them as events on Facebook and other social media platforms. The key to making the most of your Black Friday marketing efforts centers around the idea of establishing the whole thing as “something exciting, exclusive, and temporary to participate in” rather than “something cheap to buy”. Don’t forget: you’re selling participation in a consumerist pastime as much as you are selling your small business’ goods and services.