Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. It can make or break a retailer’s sales numbers for the quarter, even the year. Last year, reportedly $59.1 billion was spent on this event, which now spreads from the Thursday before to post Black Friday weekend deals, with Small Business Saturday (November 30) and Cyber Monday (December 2) closing out the weekend. But how can a small business compete?
We’ve come up with some ideas for small businesses to engage in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and even Cyber Monday.
Before you begin, take the time to clearly define your audience. What is most meaningful to them? What needs do they have that pertain to your business? How can you help them? Reach out to members of your audience for ideas.
Hold an Off-Black event.
While 307 million Americans shopped Black Friday last year, there are many of us who just won’t go there. It’s been known for death’s and disasters, and that’s enough reason to steer clear for many. Take advantage of this group of non-shoppers and the power of the internet. Hold an Off-Black event by distributing Black Friday discounts that can be used for a longer period of time but need to be purchased online on Black Friday. No lines. No stress. Sounds like a winner to me.
Giveaway free items that complement your business products or service.
With this promotion, give away something for free that complements items you already sell and plan to discount. For example, one of our cafe members sells grills and outdoor kitchen supplies. Their giveaway item could be a kitchen set, a bottle of spices or grilling sauce with the purchase of a new grill or kitchen set. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s another idea, find volunteers and offer in-store free set-up as your free giveaway.
Partner with other small businesses for one big discount.
There is power in numbers. Whether your business is run strictly online or you own a storefront, pull out that networking list and find partners to share in a Black Friday event. Create a one page flyer listing everyone’s discounts and include a coupon that can be used across stores and websites.
Make it a social event.
Host exclusive Black Friday deals on your social media channels. If you’re feeling really creative, host a different deal on each channel.
Jump on the time-sensitive, limited supply frenzy.
Shoppers rush out to Black Friday because of the time limit and limited supply. Their mission is to be one of the few to score the coveted sale item. Identify the service or item you will discount and start your promotions early, like yesterday. Use a variety of digital channels to generate interest in the sale, such as video clips, contests, photo albums, and even live chats.
Get those sale items front and center, and on display.
Whether your storefront window is your website homepage or a real storefront window, dress it up with excitement for your upcoming sale. We recently used a Before & After display for our From Drab to FAB Fall event, consider this idea to boost excitement for your event. It’s a great way to highlight your talent.
Promote the mess out of your deals.
If you hold the sale, they won’t come. They have to know about it! So start RIGHT NOW with getting the word out. Use #hashtags (#blackfriday) and get social. Use Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube, Vine… use them all and get the word out. For Small Business Saturday, many large associations have Facebook pages and Twitter pages where you can advertise your event (great for online deals), but reach out to your local associations, chambers, civic clubs and your network to share about your deals. The official Small Business Saturday Facebook page offers a link to a free welcome mat and bags for the event.
I know you have some great ideas too. What has worked for you in the past? Please share in the comments below.