Five considerations for SMEs in the run up to Black Friday

Posted on by Katie Hook

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Although Black Friday is an American tradition, the UK has fully embraced the concept – turning the fourth Friday of November into one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Big dates in the sales calendar such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (falling on 25 and 28 November 2016) are normally dominated by retail giants, however that doesn’t mean SMEs should miss out on the action. Their ability to react faster than large corporate organisations, be flexible and offer a more personal approach gives SMEs the edge when planning for events and with UK sales in 2015 topping the £1bn1 mark for the first time ever on Black Friday alone…you would be mad to miss out.

NatWest have come up with five key areas for SMEs to consider when thinking about Black Friday planning:

1. Promote Let your customers know you’re taking part.

Whether you discount the price of the products/services you offer or you give something away for free – shout about it. Make sure people know well in advance and use techniques such as direct mail, email campaigns or even run a teaser campaign on social media to inform existing customers as well as trying to capture new ones.

2. Be strategic Use Black Friday as a way to promote what’s best for your business.

You don’t need to rush out and offer huge discounts on something that already sells well, be tactical – think about which areas of your business would benefit most from a boost?

3. Plan plan and plan some more.

The key to a successful Black Friday is planning ahead, think about what potential issues could arise and how they could be resolved. Do you need extra staff? Can your website handle additional traffic? Do you need to issue discount codes on promotional material? Do you have a list of potential customers to canvass?

4. Deliver Make sure you can deliver on what’s been promised.

For example, say you offer a heavily discounted two-hour consultation as your Black Friday deal – do you have the resource to fulfil this to the same standard whether it’s to one or 100 customers?

If the answer’s yes – fantastic, if the answer’s no – maybe you should consider realigning your offer to something more achievable. At the end of the day Black Friday is intended to make you profit, not leave you out of pocket.

5. Expect the unexpected Planning is key, but Black Friday is unpredictable.

You’ll never be able to foresee and plan for everything Black Friday throws at you, so expect some bumps and bruises along the way…but the rewards will be worth it.

Remember, if you use Black Friday to both engage with existing customers and generate new custom – the revenue will follow.

Plan ahead and approach the type of customers you know work well for your business, use tools such as Experian’s B2B Prospector to target the customers you want, in the area you want them.

Source: Natwest; 1 City A.M.

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