Get ‘Em While They’re HOT! The Best Black Friday Sale Ideas for Your Small Business

Turkey Day is well and good, but Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are what puts the turkey on the table in the first place, folks. Whether your focus is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Small Business Saturday Deals, our Black Friday sale ideas for small businesses are designed to help you end 2021 with a revenue bang. Below, we unpack the genesis of Black Friday and adjacent retail events, and how to leverage them to move your small business out of the red and well into the black this holiday season.  

I’m New to the Planet. What Is Black Friday, Anyway?

Celebrated around the globe, Black Friday refers to sales that occur the Friday after Thanksgiving in the USA and is traditionally the busiest shopping and traffic (cars and online!) day of the year. Although Thanksgiving is celebrated in other countries and on different dates, including Canada, Australia, Brazil and more, retailers around the world have adopted the term Black Friday, as well as the date, to promote their own holiday sales. This allows retailers in other countries, both online and in brick and mortar shops, to remain competitive given the marketing, hyping, deals, and discounts offered on that day in the US, incentivizing shoppers to save their money and spend a disproportionate amount of it on Black Friday. Related sales events in addition to Black Friday include Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. They all do a good job of encouraging concentrated gift buying around a specific timeframe. 

Why Is Black Friday Celebrated?

Black Friday has been around for decades, and is designed to help retailers hit end-of-year budget numbers. In particular, being “in the red” financially means you’re under water, unprofitable, or showing a loss, while being “in the black” means all good news–that you’re seeing positive earnings and aren’t saddled with debt.  

Enter Black Friday, designed to achieve the latter before end of year. Black Friday is a well promoted shopping day that promises seasonal favorites, great prices, and jolly crowds galore (all holding doors for each other, “No, you first!”, not fighting over kids’ toys and technology, no sir). 

Black Friday increases sales. Phew! Black Friday comes just in time for small business owners to enjoy the holidays without the stress of a financial landscape that doesn’t lend itself to fa la la’s and ho ho ho’s. 

What Are Some Black Friday Tips and Tricks to Promote My Small Business?

If you’re getting ready for a Black Friday extravaganza, either online or in a physical storefront, there are a few easy ways you can make sure you tip the revenue scales in your favor:  

  • Decorate: Whatever your holiday style is, put it on display in your physical store or website, and help customers get into the spirit of giving.
  • Cookies, Cider, and a Place to Sit: When customers come in, have pre-packaged snacks or individual juice boxes handy, along with a well-placed (socially distanced) chair or two. This allows cranky kids and hangry parents to take a little break, all on you. They’ll surely want to spend a little something at your hospitable establishment as a result.
  • Great Service Over Rock Bottom Prices: As a small business on Black Friday, your focus does not have to be the deep discounts that major retailers offer. Customers are looking to you for good old fashioned service, including a carefully curated assortment of goods and services, a slow and friendly store atmosphere, and a familiar face (yours!) helping with their transaction. If you offer a small gift with purchase or a discount of any kind, expect your customers to be appreciative.
  • No-Risk Shopping: If your inventory lends itself to a liberal return policy, advertise that to make shoppers feel comfortable buying a one-of-a-kind or hard-to-find gift from your store.
  • It’s Cold Outside; Bundle Up: Your customers are more than likely shopping for multiple recipients on Black Friday, so now’s the perfect time to encourage a bigger purchase by attaching a discount to the purchase of multiple items. You can designate certain products (e.g., seasonal or perishable) for the bundle discount, or extend it to all merchandise to make it easy for customers to say “yes” to your small business for all their holiday shopping.
  • Easy Peasy Gift Cards: In today’s world of fast fashion and online shopping, a gift card is sometimes the most perfect gift to give and to get. Your customers can avoid giving pecan sandies to the niece with the nut allergy, or a cartoon-themed pajama set to the grandkid who’s all grown up. In general, folks are de-cluttering and looking more for experiences and less for things. A gift card (think massage, manicure, oil change, coffee shop, you name it!) allows a recipient to treat themselves with exactly what they’d like.
  • A Little Screen Time Goes a Long Way: Promote your Black Friday sales and deals on any and all email or social media platforms you use. You don’t need to be a graphic designer or an online influencer. Your customers just want to know you’re open, welcoming them, and offering them a little something special when they pay you a visit after Turkey Day.
  • Shorten Their Shopping List with a Gift with Purchase: Everyone has one or two folks on their list that are tricky: A distant family member, casual acquaintance, or new colleague. When you offer a small gift with purchase you’re helping your customer to cross off yet another name on their list (or treat themselves!).

What Else Should I Include in My Black Friday Marketing Strategy?

Hand out giveaways promoting Black Friday well before the holiday so your shop’s on the mind and on the agenda when the big day comes. In addition, keep your small business visible well beyond Black Friday when you offer logo items or a gift with purchase to customers. For example, with every transaction include a customized tin of mints or a holiday-themed pen. Your promotional Black Friday marketing ideas should include giveaways before and during Black Friday that boost sales and deliver marketing impressions all year long. We like these: 

Full Color Spiral Flip Notepad: Decorate this festive notepad with your company name and branding and maximize Black Friday revenue, even on a budget. 

Design Wrap Colorama Pen: The holiday design or other design you choose wraps around the barrel of this click-action pen to create a full-coverage promotion with maximum brand visibility. 

Design Wrap Superball Pen:  Pick your pattern and spread some joy! This Superball stick pen offers so many customization options at an amazing price—the perfect combination if you’re looking to spread the word about Black Friday without breaking the bank. 

Bright Deluxe Bottle Opener: The question is, who doesn’t need a bottle opener during the holidays (and beyond)? This heavy duty, low priced bar tool features a stainless steel corkscrew, knife, bottle opener, and bottle wrench. 

Wooden Nickels: Hand these out before Black Friday, to redeem on the day for a discount or gift with purchase. Or include them with every Black Friday transaction to encourage repeat customers before the end of the year. 

Snap Top Tin with Candy – Full Color: This round Clik Clak™ type tin has a snap top lid that’s festive, fun, and features your full color logo to boot!   

The Best Black Friday Sale Idea for Your Small Business? JOY

Whichever Black Friday marketing strategy you adopt, keep in mind that the very best and most important ingredient in converting eager (sometimes anxious–holidays can be crazy-making!) shoppers into loyal customers is a warm welcome and earnest intentions. The holidays can be stressful and giving should be a joy, not a burden. You can help customers feel a little less “Bah Humbug” and a little more “Deck the Halls” with a cheerful welcome on your website, your sidewalk, and at your cash register.  

This year, let’s deliver Black Friday, good cheer, and perhaps a slightly slower pace. Here’s to a meaningful—and successful–holiday season!  

For more, check out our blog on black friday marketing ideas for small business.  

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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