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Preparing Your Business for Black Friday Shoppers

The holiday shopping season is the biggest time of year for large retailers and small business owners alike. If this is your first year in the industry as an entrepreneur, chances are you're already nervous about the holiday rush. However, keep in mind that they call it Black Friday for a reason - this is the only guaranteed shopping day out of the year where retailers don't find themselves in the red.

That being said, you still need to put an effort in on your part to make sure that you're making the most of the opportunity on Black Friday. CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison website, recently released some interesting statistics about the biggest shopping day of the year.

Gift cards were the number one present on top of the list last season, and they'll likely be there again in 2011. To make sure you're catering to consumers in search of this "one size fits all" gift, make sure you have it as an option for your small beading business.

The National Retail Federation also discovered that the average amount of money spent by each shopper on Black Friday in 2010 was approximately $365. When you take into consideration that nearly 212 million Americans went shopping on this day, it turns out to be a large total. It's important to do planning and preparation for Black Friday weeks before the big date if you want to capitalize on this high-spending day.

"With so many eager customers, small business owners are poised for success," said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. "Savvy small business owners prepare and position their business to leverage the consumer's hot deals mindset."

MainStreet.com notes that discount and department stores typically take a big share of the sales completed on Black Friday. However, that doesn't mean that you have to miss out on the chance to potentially increase your overall bottom line. Here are a few ways that you can do so.

1. Consider focusing on late sales rather than early ones on Black Friday. We've all heard the horror stories about people getting trampled at 3 a.m. on the way into stores on Black Friday. However, many consumers have smartened up and learned to wait until the crowds have diminished to cash in on Black Friday deals.

For this reason, consider holding back the urge to open your doors early and welcome in a mad rush during the wee hours of the morning. Instead, put in a valiant effort to make sure everyone is satisfied during normal business hours and even consider keeping your store open a little later than usual for those extra sales. In the end, you'll find that your target market will appreciate the gesture and it will surely pay off.

2. Think Christmas when advertising. Although you may be completely satisfied with your current advertising campaign, the same tactics you use throughout the year may not exactly be suitable for the holiday season. Consumers like to be put in the Christmas spirit when they look at an advertisement, whether it's for beading supplies, beads, or a big screen television.

That being said, you'll want to revamp your marketing and advertising campaign specifically for the holiday season. Even if you find it to be time consuming, putting in the effort to fall in line with the biggest shopping day of the year can pay off--literally. When developing advertisements specifically for Black Friday, feel free to mention any special discounts you may be having, along with new items that you want to present to your target market. Advertising during this time of year is the perfect opportunity to get the word out about changes to your beading business.

3. Offer special sales and discounts. This is another tactic that seems like it could cause dire financial straits, but discounts and sales are exactly what consumers look for during the holiday shopping season and on Black Friday specifically. Instead of thinking about how much money you may be losing through sales, concentrate on the number of people who will be walking through your doors.

With that in mind, try to remember that small business owners are always second place behind large department stores. Inc.com notes that while putting in a valiant effort toward Black Friday is a good idea, don't create unobtainable goals and compare your business to larger companies. Be satisfied with what you make at the end of the holiday shopping season and think of ways that you can use this money to better your business. Although Black Friday can be intimidating for new entrepreneurs, it is a rewarding learning experience for all in the retail industry. 


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