Black Friday is one of many American traditions that has been adopted by the UK. Every year, the fourth Friday of November sees millions of people head online and to the high street. In general, it’s the bigger businesses that make the most of Black Friday while many SME’s can let the opportunity pass them by. With shoppers spending an estimated £1.27 billion on this day last year, can your business afford to miss out? It doesn’t matter if your business is online, a bricks and mortar store or if you sell products or services, you can take advantage of Black Friday. You just need to be prepared.

There’s not much point in running a promotion if no one knows about it. Let your customers know that you’ll be taking part in Black Friday and the offers that you will be running. Use your website and social media platforms to build excitement and intrigue about what you’ll be doing. Email marketing is an effective and easy way of reaching out to all of your current customers.

It wouldn’t make good business sense to offer a discount on your most popular product, use Black Friday to improve sales on new or less popular products or services. If there are certain products/services that would benefit from a boost then offer discounts on them. Make sure to plan ahead, you have spent time generating excitement about your offers and promotions, you need to make sure that your business can handle the extra pressure. Make sure that your website can handle an increase in traffic, hire extra staff or ask current staff to work some overtime to make sure that your customers are not left waiting. Similarly, ensure your phone lines are manned and if necessary, make sure that you have extra payment options available.

All of this will be for nothing if you don’t have the resources to deliver what you have promised. If it will cost you money to deliver a service to over 5 people then set a limit, there’s nothing wrong with that. Make sure that you have the stock available to send out to clients. There’s nothing more damaging than having to do a U-turn on a discount or offer. Promotional events can be unpredictable and there is only so much planning that you can do, ensure that you have Terms and Conditions at the ready and if you’re entering into a long-term agreement, ensure that you don’t forget about standard policy. Make the offer subject to a credit report, this will ensure that you’re not entering into an agreement with unreliable payers.

The aim of events like Black Friday is to make a profit not a loss but this shouldn’t be at the expense of your customers. Make sure that you continue to deliver a high level of customer service, you need to maintain the integrity of your brand. This is an opportunity to make new connections and build your client base, don’t waste it.