Jan Knight Boost sales without people being trampled!
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Monday, 28th November 2011 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Jan Knight

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In discussing “Black Friday” in the US and its roughly similar concept of the “January sales” in the UK you might well envision consumers – those frenzied shoppers waiting up all night, queuing in the cold, or spraying Mace on their fellow shoppers. I don’t see it’s worth the risk just to make sure I get that “great deal” on shoes, or electronic games or that new TV. 

However, for the retailers themselves in the US, Black Friday is important as many have had to wait 11 months “in the red” to then hopefully dramatically jump the colour barrier to black. Hey presto! That’s stressful.

However, as I spend a lot of time in the small businesses and start-up arena, I see that these businesses often spend years wondering if they’ll be profitable at all, not just in the last 11 months of each year. How stressful is that?

Two things hit me this year - other than I wasn’t setting foot in a store on Black Friday.

1. Small businesses, start-ups and service providers can still “feel” the end of year pain just like those big retailers, especially as they try to make or beat their own revenue goals, and...

2. There have to be ways for these kinds of businesses to cash in on year end profitability and last minute opportunities. I went Googling to see what people were saying about those thoughts.

In “A lesson to eEntrepreneurs this Black Friday: even the big guys wait for success” a former corporate executive in retail wants small businesses and entrepreneurs to know that they’re not alone in their own potential suffering when they ask themselves the question “when will we be profitable?” I’m not sure it’ll make them feel better, but it made me realise I wasn’t the only one with this idea. So, if you have to suffer like the “big boys” why not compete like them?

Entrepreneur magazine offers Five quick tips for maximizing the year’s profit when you’re a small business.

  1. Offer payment incentives: for slow pay clients and customers offer a small discount to encourage them to pay bills before year end.
  2. Hire temporary help: if you do have a service that peaks at the holidays, hire a veteran or a teenager to help - two groups where unemployment is high.
  3. Get smart on pricing: spend time researching areas where you can increase your prices and possibly create product combinations.
  4. Flash marketing: a quick sale on social media might be just what you need and special promotions are always a hit.
  5. Network for ideas: learn from other businesses and colleagues are doing to drive year-end sales.

And another idea involves just saying "thank you" to your clients. Studies show that when you say “thank you” to customers, they spend more money and tell their friends about the great service you deliver. Tapping the power of “thank you” provides a few ideas on just how to do that.

I’m not sure as an independent business researcher I can implement all five tips, but I know that I can say “thank you” and that probably is the most important idea of all.

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