23 Nov 2021
It’s not just consumers that can take advantage of Black Friday sales. Small to medium-sized businesses are in the perfect position to grab some bargains during the preceding week and on the day itself, and the offers might be more widely available than you think.
Whether it’s obtaining credit or business loans, investing in large capital items, getting discounted trade services, or buying in bulk as a small business owner, you’re in a great position to prosper during Black Friday week. You can also offer your customers a great Black Friday deal through marketing initiatives.
If you're buying or selling, you don’t need to feel left out of this seasonal festival. So, let’s consider five opportunities for small businesses over Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the benefits for you. But first, let’s quickly recap what Black Friday is.
There’s some confusion and debate relating to the origins of Black Friday. The earliest use of the phrase in 1869 had nothing to do with shopping. Plummeting gold prices caused a market crash, and the U.S. economy felt the effects for years.
Another credible explanation of the origins is that shopkeepers finally went into the black when a shopping surge occurred after the Thursday Thanksgiving celebration in America. They began to show a profit for the year.
Shopkeepers quickly realised that profit could increase if they discounted heavily during the short holiday period and increased sales volume. It was also an ideal pre-Xmas sale, offering the opportunity for retailers to sell off older stock allowing them to restock ready for Xmas.
Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, and many families flock to the malls and high streets in America on Friday after spending the day cooped up at home stuffing themselves.
Black Friday for retailers and consumers is no longer a USA based phenomenon; it’s a worldwide event, and the UK retail industry embraced the concept many years back. Many analysts predict a considerable surge this year online and offline, as consumer confidence is high and an economic recovery is in full swing, both in the UK and USA.
The jobless numbers are down, wages are up, and according to data, American and UK households still have surplus income saved from the 2020 lockdowns. Inflation is also up, encouraging consumers to be thriftier and more exact when searching for bargains.
Lenders also have sales on Black Friday, and for small businesses, these may be on favourable commercial rates. The interest rates on loans get reduced by several lenders in the week leading up to Black Friday, so if you’re an SME in search of a new line of credit, then it could be an opportune time to consider your funding options.
If you’ve never had a payment card terminal, now might be the time to consider one. PSPs (payment service providers) are always looking for viable businesses that offer cashless payment to customers. And nowadays, the terminals aren’t necessarily bulky items; you can often process the transactions through an app on a smartphone or a small terminal the size of a phone.
The PSP might also offer Black Friday rates and offers for your customers, so now could be an excellent time to explore the opportunity to ensure you’re ready. Start here to see if taking card payments will work for your business.
While you consider any funding options, you might begin a financial health check. For instance, you could look at many of your expenses and your fixed and floating overheads to see if you can economise. Is it a suitable time to look at your energy supplier? Can you reduce your insurance premiums, your waste management contract cost and your broadband and telecoms bill?
It’s not just consumer retail firms who will discount appliances such as washing machines, fridges and dishwashers; commercial suppliers also get engaged in heavy discounting on or before the day. For example, if you’re a restaurant or hospitality business, it might be the ideal time to upgrade your cooking range. If you run a beauty or other retail business, can you get discounts on expensive equipment that you’ve avoided because the outlay was too much? You might be able to fund such equipment through leasing.
If you’re considering leasing a vehicle, then begin to do your homework; commercial vehicle dealers might have offers for you. And if you’re a wholesaler operating from a warehouse, is that new forklift truck or refrigeration unit discounted on the day?
If you’re subscribed to the email lists of lots of retailers and brands, you’ll get bombarded with Black Friday offers, particularly for tech items, and the rush will start early. There’s no need to queue on the high street. So, check out the discounts on PCs, laptops and software.
Many of your suppliers will probably have an email campaign ready to go during Thanksgiving week, so perhaps you could think of following suit and creating an online marketing campaign of your own?
Electricians, plumbers, builders, you might be pleasantly surprised how flexible tradespeople and service providers can be in the run-up to the day. And if you don’t ask, you don’t get it. So, if you’re considering buying a service or need a job taken care of, why not ask for a discount in the spirit of Black Friday? Similarly, any other service providers essential to your business might offer a one-off sign-up discount.
If you’re a high turnover, low price retailer, and you can comfortably afford the investment, then buying in bulk could be a winning strategy during the lead up to Black Friday if you get offered discounts.
You know your business; you’d have to invest in non-perishable goods, and you don’t necessarily want to invest in goods that sit on your shelves for months or years.
Regarding our earlier mention of loans, can you approach lenders for a short-term loan to buy in bulk, knowing you’ll get a considerable discount? You need to ensure the sums add up because you might be offering a significant customer discount to sell the goods on.
Marketing on Black Friday doesn’t have to be a super high-tech operation involving landing pages and pushing emails to your clients through your CMS; it can be as simple as a sandwich board outside your retail premises. But what’s important is to know whether you can profit from the day.
You could also develop a brilliant sales process and platform during Black Friday to build on right up to Christmas and the January sales. If you have sales staff, the good practices you put in place might become habits during these crucial months.
With over 120 lenders on our panel, our team of Business Finance Specialists can assist you with the entire business loan process and answer any questions you might have.
If you think you might need help before Black Friday or after that, why not start your business loan application with us today and find a finance product to suit your needs?Get started