Creative Sales Make Black Friday Work for Small Businesses

Just because you are a small business does not mean you need to think small. When Black Friday is just around the corner, you should be planning the specials you want to offer for these big shopping days. As a small retail gift basket business owner years ago, I realized that these two shopping days can really make a difference if you have the right sales in place.

Creative Store Specials

Of course, you can offer the typical sales and discounts that the big stores offer, but consider mixing things up. Discounts and price-slashing are not your only options. With my gift basket business, the holidays were always my busiest time of year. One year, I decided to use my Black Friday sale as a way to spread out my holiday orders and reduce the rush in the days before the Christmas.

I promoted early delivery. I advertised that at Christmas, everyone was getting their gifts on December 25 or right before, but why not deliver your gift early to start the celebration and let your gift stand out and not get lost in the shuffle? I offered 40 percent off all gifts that were ordered for delivery before the 15th of December. This gave them a great deal and allowed me to spread my busiest few days out over an entire month.

Holiday Referral Program and Contest

Another program that I used that can help bring in business on Black Friday is a customer referral program of sorts. Begin this in September or earlier with your regular customers. Create referral cards that your customers can give out to friends. Make these cards good for a 10-percent discount on Black Friday. Have a space where your customer can fill in their name and phone number on the card. Your customers can use these cards to give to friends.

State that the referral program ends on Black Friday. You can either set it up to give a discount to each customer in an amount based on the number of new customers he or she referred or have a contest for the top three referring customers. Either way, current customers are referring new customers to your business, and this can be your best advertisement.

Black Friday was a very successful day for my business, but in order to get that success, you must plan out your specials carefully. Determine what it is you want to accomplish and get creative. Advertising and sales don't have to be boring. Have a little fun with things. Creative advertising ideas are what stand out, and on a day when everyone is having a sale, offering something different can really make a difference.
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