The busiest shopping stretch of the year is coming up soon, and many business owners like yourself may be wondering what the best Black Friday tips are to have a successful season.
Black Friday kicks off not only the busiest shopping time of the year but also the most important to a business’ success,—especially for retail businesses. While the official season won’t start until the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 28 this year, the earlier you begin preparing, the better.
6 Black Friday tips to have a smooth sale
The National Retail Federation estimates that roughly 164 million people in the United States plan to shop the weekend after Thanksgiving, which includes Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday. This means that, hopefully, your business will be packed with customers in-store and online.
While all these shoppers mean great things for your bottom line, they can cause a lot of stress and panic among the chaos. By heeding these warnings, getting your ducks in a row now and listening to some tips from seasoned retailers, you can set yourself up for a great Black Friday and holiday shopping season.
1. Get organized
One of the most important Black Friday tips is to make sure you get yourself and your business organized in all facets. This means cleaning the store and arranging merchandise in a visually-pleasing way, designing a window box to lure customers in (if you have one) and decorating for the holiday season to make it festive.
Also, you should check to make sure your eCommerce (if you have one) can handle the expected traffic from online shoppers. Have your tech team double-check everything to make sure you’re prepared to handle extra orders and extra traffic. Spruce up your website to reflect a holiday theme.
You should also make sure you’re organized from an accounting perspective. Do you have plans in place to track all your orders, invoices and payments? What about the expected returns that come after the holiday season?
2. Set goals and projections
One of the best ways to achieve success in business is to set goals and do realistic projections for sales. This will not only give you a number to shoot for, but also allow you to make proper preparations when it comes to investments into the business.
Once you have set your goals, you can figure out what you need to do to reach them.
Will you need to spend some extra money on marketing and advertising?
Do you need to beef up your social media presence?
Learn more marketing strategies for Black Friday.
3. Adjust your business to these projections
Goals are good levels to shoot for, but projections are realistic expectations for sales that should be used to make business decisions.
For example, once you know what you expect to sell, you can make sure that you have the proper amount of inventory stocked in your store or ready to ship. Having a property inventory management system is crucial during Black Friday.
Having enough product on hand will also make sure that your customers have the best experience possible. If they go into your store but you don’t have a product they want on hand, they’re likely to go somewhere else to make the purchase. Similarly, if customers make a purchase online but the shipment will be delayed because you need to re-stock, they likely won’t finalize the purchase.
4. Ensure you have proper staffing
One common thing businesses do during the holiday shopping season is extending their normal business hours. They do this to maximize the opportunity for sales in the last few weeks of the year.
One of the quintessential Black Friday tips for business owners is to make sure that you have adequate staffing to handle both these extended hours and the extra volume of shoppers you’re likely to have. Not only will you be trying to staff up for the extra hours, but you’ll need them to help the extra customers.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of people looking for extra money during the holidays as seasonal workers. This could include college students home during their winter break or just regular folk looking for some extra spending money in their pockets.
If you’re a solopreneur, you may want to see if family and/or friends would be willing to chip in some of their free time to help you during the holiday shopping rush. Maybe they could help you print labels, pack and ship products—if that is something you do from your home, for example.
5. Test your systems to make sure they work
Once you have made all the updates to your store, your website, your systems and your staffing, it’s a great idea to test everything to make sure it works. This could mean calling the staff into the store before it opens on a weekend—or staying an extra hour or two after the store closes—to make sure everything is in proper working order.
Run your systems through a “stress test” by placing a bunch of test orders to see if your payment systems work correctly. Ensure that your front-end store systems are syncing properly with your back-end systems that help manage inventory. This “dry run,” if you will, will also be good practice for your long-time employees as well as the new seasonal employees you just hired.
By ensuring everything is in proper working order before Black Friday, you’ll be ensuring a smooth transition to a busy time for your business. At the same time, you’ll be making sure that your customers get the best experience possible.
6. Ask fellow business owners for advice
If you’re new to Black Friday as a business owner, one of the best things you can do is to ask colleagues and others in the industry for any Black Friday tips they may have. Asking experienced professionals that you trust for advice can go a long way in helping you be prepared for something you haven’t experienced before.
Maybe a colleague of yours has some great insight as to how you can better track your orders, hire workers or even handle the demand for parking around your store. Maybe another colleague has thoughts about how you can internally handle the extra stress and hours that you’ll be working.
There’s nothing quite like the sound advice of someone you trust who has been through what you’re about to experience.
Are you ready for Black Friday?
Black Friday is quickly approaching, and while that can mean a huge influx in sales, it can also mean a huge increase in the amount of stress on you and your business. While there are still a few weeks before Black Friday arrives, the more you prepare now, the better off you’re going to be.
Having a smooth Black Friday is extremely important. Not only will it mean better results for your business, but it will also allow you to enjoy the holidays yourself the way they were meant to be enjoyed—with family and friends.
At Camino Financial, we want to make sure that you have the best holiday shopping season you can have, and that starts with following some of these Black Friday tips. If you’re also thinking of offering discounts, why not keep reading:
Providing educational and informational resources is just another way we at Camino Financial continue to live up to our motto of No Business Left Behind.