Summer’s coming to a close and everyone is preparing for hot cocoa, football games, hoodie/sweater weather, sitting around the fire, and literally everything food becoming available in pumpkin spice flavors. While this may all sound nice, as a business owner there is only one thing that should occupy your mind in this moment and that’s the question, “Is my business prepared for Black Friday?”. You may think, “Man it’s only the end of September, I have another two months before I have to be ready for that.” If this is what you just said to yourself, you, my friend are sadly behind schedule. The truth is that your business should always be a quarter ahead in your planning. For most small businesses that’s a large ask, but the good news is that even planning 6-8 weeks out vastly helps.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday, the largest shopping days of the season, often belong to big business, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. We’ve taken the time to brainstorm the 4 best ways to prepare your business for Black Friday/Cyber Monday & the entire holiday shopping season.
#1: Start Planning Early
As stated above, this applies to all marketing campaigns, especially holiday campaigns. From the moment you decide that you are doing business during the holiday season there is a list of things to decide first:
- What sales are you offering?
- What items/services do the sales apply to?
- How long will the sale last? One day, one week, or one weekend?
- Will the sale take place in-person, online, or both?
- How many people/employees will it take to accommodate all potential orders?
- How will you advertise the sale to make sure your customers know?
- How will you add a special feel to your brick and mortar or online space?
#2: Stay Within Your Means
It’s easy to get caught up in the contest of who’s offering the best and biggest sale? As a word of advice, you probably aren’t in a financial position to be able to really compete with big businesses. Instead of competing, you should focus on accentuating your strengths. People love to shop with small businesses for three reasons: comfort, convenience, and communication. What can you do to make sure that you’re prepared to perform at maximum efficiency in those areas?
#3: Kill Two Birds With One Stone
The two birds referenced here are increased sales and increasing social media presence/following. For starters, put a poll in a newsletter of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts to ask your customers what type of sale they’d be most interested in. The more involved customers feel, the more they’ll be interested. The most universal way to use social media to increase sales is to offer exclusive deals to your followers. This will make them feel like part of an elite group and will also help to turn them into advocates for your business. Be sure to include your email marketing list in those exclusive deals as well. Include messaging into your efforts so that everyone who purchases knows to share their pictures with your products on their social media and tag your business.
#4: Promote Like Crazy!!!
There’s nothing in the world that’s as bad as wasted time, but that’s exactly what you’ll have if you plan out your entire holiday marketing calendar and barely anyone knows about it. Don’t bet solely on, “If I offer a sale, the people will come.” To put things very plainly, that’s foolish thinking. Take every measure you can to make sure as many people as possible know about the deal(s) you’re offering. Send out coupons, put up posters, feature it in all of your email marketing, and make sure it takes primary focus in your social media throughout the season. This is the most important part of the entire process!
Now you know what it takes to get your business prepped and ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the major influx in shopping. Take these four tips and start Q4 fully armed. The holiday sale season is like hunting season for business and you now have the tools/knowledge to go out and crush it. Remember that your friends at The Kool Source are more than happy to help you accomplish these goals. Good Luck!