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T-2 Months ‘til the Holidays: How’re You Preparing for Black Friday?

Can you believe it? Black Friday already? 

While it may look a bit different this year, it’s coming – and it’s coming fast. Lucky for retailers like you, consumers are more excited than ever to save big.

The Small Business Must-Haves for Black Friday

At this time of year, there are a few important tasks you should knock out to start preparing for Black Friday. Follow this initial checklist to see if your store is on the right track!

Promotions and Advertising

Hopefully, you have an idea of what your Black Friday deals will be by now — but if not, it’s time to buckle down.

What promotions will help you stick out from the crowd? How competitive are you willing to get with your deals? 

On Black Friday, it’s all about who has the best discounts.

Need promo ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Most importantly, how are you advertising your Black Friday promos? Even if you have the best deals mapped out, letting people know they exist is half the battle.

Consider advertising via:

  • Local print newsletters
  • Online/digital newsletters
  • Social media (paid and organic)
  • Emails
  • AdWords
  • Digital banners
  • TV commercials
  • Your website

If it’s not in your budget to pay for a commercial or a newsletter spot, go hard with the organic content on social media and your website.

Even if there aren’t advertising dollars behind what you’re pushing out, this time of year, you’re way more likely to be seen

Remember, consumers are preparing for Black Friday, too. 

They’re researching who has the best deals and putting together a game plan. So, the more organic content you’re putting out, the more likely you are to show up in consumers’ Black Friday searches.


Store Layout and Visuals

Your shop’s layout and appearance on Black Friday is huge. 

First and foremost, make sure there’s enough room to access the most popular deals.

You don’t want your biggest and most sought-after deal to be crammed into the smallest part of your storefront. This will just set you up for a Black Friday traffic jam, which you and your staff will be way too busy to keep under control.

On a similar note, be strategic about your signage.

Signs have to be big and clear so customers can navigate your store without confusion. You want people to be able to find the deals they’re looking for and get to the checkout line as easily as possible.

Not only does this keep customers happy, but it helps decrease the number of questions your staff will get while they’re busy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Black Friday visuals. Check out more store layout ideas in our free retailers’ holiday guide!

Employee Holiday Training

Last, (but certainly not least) in preparing for Black Friday, you want to make sure your entire team is on the same page.

At this point, you should be wrapping up any hiring of seasonal employees so new people have plenty of time to catch up. You don’t want to be training while there are lines out the door.

This can vary by store, but if you can, it’s best to train new hires on every job. 

If each employee knows how to work the sales floor, run a register, and man the fitting room, there’ll be no scheduling conflicts. When store traffic is at an all-time high, you can pull people from job to job without worrying about who can do what.

Next, you’ll want to host a mandatory meeting and set expectations for Black Friday.

An increase in traffic means an increase in questions. What are the most common concerns? What do employees have the authority to handle on their own, and when should they ask for help? Addressing all of this will keep your staff calm and confident. 

High traffic doesn’t only result in more questions, but it also results in more shoplifting, long lines, and even frustrated customers. 

Make sure everyone on your team is prepared to handle difficult situations, as they’ll likely arise on Black Friday. If they need help, they need to know exactly how to proceed.

Preparing Your Retail Store for Black Friday

While these are the primary — and arguably, most important — tasks to check off in preparation for Black Friday, the list doesn’t end here.

The retail space is extremely competitive, especially considering the current circumstances. 

Get ahead of the crowd with the help of our free resource, The Retailers’ Guide to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and the 2020 Holiday Season! This guide contains the ins and outs of navigating the holidays this year.

As always, reach out to our team if you have any questions. Happy planning!


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