by Art Piccio . November 20th, 2013
It’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but a lot of small business – particularly in retail – are eager to get a bit of the Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) action. While it might be too late for you by the time you read this, the same principles apply for nearly any long holiday and shopping season in most markets.
If you have a business in a shopping center or any other place that gets Black Friday traffic, go through the list to see if you’ve missed anything:
Might be hard to imagine, but Black Friday and its sister “holiday”, Cyber Monday are pretty recent phenomena. Both are just fairly arbitrary days for businesses to announce the start of the holiday shopping season – which has gone progressively longer and longer throughout the years. They didn’t even have a particularly high volume of sales to begin with.
It’s not uncommon to see holiday tie-ins as early as August and September. If you project or feel that business will pick up during the holidays, it makes complete sense to start as early as to get the most out of your promotions and marketing expenses.
On the actual day, you might also consider opening your doors earlier than other businesses, but if you’re cutting your employee’s family-time, you might not want to do that.
This doesn’t mean you have to inundate your social media followers and mailing list with Black Friday reminders. That would be a good way to lose followers. Your Black Friday promotions have to be fairly regular, yet not intrusive enough to annoy your market.
“But that’s just like every other promotion!” you might be saying. Yes and no. Yes, you’d want to go with basic “inbound marketing” principles most of the time – especially if you run a small business.
While your customers might be aware of you and your services, they probably won’t be aware of your Black Friday offers the first time you execute your promotions. This means you have to apply steady, calculated efforts to inform both old and new customers.
Who would you want to appeal to? You decide.
There is almost no business that couldn’t do better without an online presence. Even a Facebook Page works to begin with. Following the basic sales funnel principle, a business webpage and online promotions can give your funnel a very wide mouth and while traditional promotions help you establish some semblance of “realness” and is especially important if you’re targeting a specific locality. Even Google prints banners and has business cards after all.
If your business has has an actual physical location, and you expect crowds (not uncommon if you decide to set up shop in a shopping center, or participate in a fair or convention), make sure that the way you present and sell goods doesn’t cause any bottlenecks that can delay decision times and cause customers to be dissatisfied.
Your promotions have to be straightforward and easy to understand. If you confuse customers you may very well end up damaging your own brand.
Here’s a more detailed look at the basic principles behind sales processes and reducing decision times.
What other Black Friday promotions ideas for small business would you like to share?
You might enjoy our Basic Marketing Concepts series!
The Marketing Mix: The 4 P’s of Marketing
Customer Relationship Management
The Sales Process
The Purchase Funnel
Black Friday Crowd: Malingering via photopin cc
Clock: FJTUrban (sommelier d mojitos) via photopin cc
Google Outdoor Ad – sostav.ru
Jams and Jellies: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc
Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.