What does Black Friday and coffee have in common?
If sales in your business are a cup of coffee, then your promotions and discounts are your teaspoon of sugar.
Are you Black Friday ready? Let's talk Black Friday for small business:
Working with small business owners I see:
· A lack of understanding of how promotions can help their business grow.
· A fear of devaluing their brand with too many discounts.
Let me explain my second point:
You know when you have a great cup of coffee? It’s perfect. You are ready to go.
Well, for some small businesses, promotions or more specifically, Black Friday, is a bit like putting salt instead of sugar in your coffee- it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth or even you end up spitting it out altogether. Not a great cuppa!
So, are you saying to yourself right now, should my business participate in Black Friday? Are you thinking Black Friday, black hole?
Is Black Friday worth it for small businesses? Why is Black Friday good for businesses?
Black Friday can be a divisive topic for growing small businesses- some love it, and some hate it!
So, think of it like this:
Now here’s the cool thing there isn’t just sugar you can put in your coffee to get that perfect cuppa- you have options. (Personally, I love frothy milk with a sprinkling of cocoa powder)
So how do some businesses make promotions work for them?
The answer-They choose the right one.
They choose the right promotional strategy for themselves. It could be Black Friday it could be something else.
How can a promotion help your business?
If your question is, should I be running promotions in your business the answer is yes. There is a way to use discounts in retail without cutting into your profits, but you don’t need to do Black Friday.
There are 5 ways a promotion can help your business:
1. Sell more volume by offering an item at a reduced price.
2. Shine a light on a new product launch new to your business.
3. Attract new customers to your brand with a discount.
4. Encourage existing customers to buy more from you.
5. Release cash in your business by discounting slow-selling stock.
Understanding and connecting with the objective of your promotion is key.
Whilst you may lose the initial margin by reducing the retail price, can this cost be offset by:
· The future sales your new customers will make now they know your brand.
· Increased volume of sales means less margin per unit sale but increased cash value in your business overall.
· Regaining some of the cash you were going to have to right off from dead stock.
When is Black Friday and Why is Black Friday important for businesses?
Black Friday is Friday 25th November this year. In terms of where Black Friday came from there are several anecdotes but the most legitimate one, in my opinion, is it’s when retailers begin to come out of the red in terms of their profits vs expenditure and go into the black.
The timing of Black Friday is associated with Thanksgiving in the US. Thanksgiving in the US is their biggest holiday of the year- in fact, bigger than Christmas for them. US retailers recognised it as their most lucrative opportunity to be attracting shoppers pre-Christmas and growing their market share.
It really has only been between 2010 to 2014 that UK retailers have been doing Black Friday promotions, led by amazon and big players but not all taking part.
The reason it has become such a thing in our retail calendar is, like it or not, it marks the beginning of the Christmas peak in trade that is so crucial to the balance sheet of retail. Every retailer wants their Christmas sales to start with a bang and get themselves off to a great start for the season.
What are the predictions for Black Friday 2022?
According to finder.com sales for Black Friday and cyber-Monday are expected to be £3.95 billion across the UK this year compared to £6 billion in 2020. It’s predicted individual spending will be decreasing but the number of shoppers will increase. This increase in shoppers is being attributed to people budgeting and responding to the cost-of-living crisis. You can expect the biggest selling channel to be online with an anticipated 46% of Black Friday shoppers to be shopping online.
What are the alternatives to Black Friday?
Let’s be realistic. Don’t feel pressured to participate in Black Friday. Find your own timings or opportunities that feel aligned with your business values.
If you don’t do Black Friday, I would recommend that you talk to your customer about why you aren’t offering a discount and use it as an opportunity to really zone in on your unique selling points and your value and your commitment.
Use it as a chance to talk about why your products are special.
You may want to take part in events specifically for small businesses. Such as just a Holly Tucker’s Colour Friday. Sign up for information here
or Small business Saturday on 3rd December. Find out more here
It’s about creating a promotional strategy that works for you.
If you are looking to offer an alternative to discounting here are some ideas:
· You can offer free shipping
· Or perhaps gift wrapping- if your product is already in lovely packaging could you add a premium wrapping offer?
· Perhaps offer a free gift just for your mailing list if they shop with you over the weekend- show your most loyal customers you are giving them the treat to say thank you for shopping with them.
· Make a charitable donation from a % of your total sales for black Friday.
My biggest tip for Black Friday for growing product businesses is to be tactical.
Do Black Friday as you do your coffee- make your own version!
Black Friday is all about timing- it is when people start their Christmas shopping and there is a noticeable shift in consumer behaviour.
Use Black Friday to be tactical- if you have seasonal stock that you are concerned you may not clear in the Christmas period then use Black Friday and offer a promotion on those key lines.
If you do an offer keep it simple. Make sure your website is fully functional and fully updated with all your latest info and photography. Lastly, have a plan if you run out of stock!
To help your promotions go to plan why not download my checklist to be Black Friday ready? Download this free checklist now.
Get the sales boost you need from your promotions this season. If you want to talk about promotional strategy, why not book a power hour? Alternatively, if you are thinking strategy for 2023 let’s book a strategy session and get your promotions working for your business.
To discover if either could be right for you, have a free 20-minute-minute call with me. Book it now.