5 Ways to Prepare Your Brick-and-Mortar Business for Black Friday

The holy grail of business sales is Black Friday, and it’s only a month away. Small brick-and-mortar businesses will be battling it out with larger, more experienced retailers, which means the former will have to go above and beyond to make sure they’re staying competitive. Luckily, there are easy and often overlooked hacks to make sure your brick-and-mortar business is as prepared as possible.

The holy grail of business sales is Black Friday, and it’s only a month away. Small brick-and-mortar businesses will be battling it out with larger, more experienced retailers, which means the former will have to go above and beyond to make sure they’re staying competitive. Luckily, there are easy and often overlooked hacks to make sure your brick-and-mortar business is as prepared as possible:

Double and triple check your inventory.
You should already be expecting inventory to leave the shelves faster than usual and you won’t want to run out of any items (especially if it’s a popular product for your business). That’s an easy way to disappoint existing customers and lose future customers, even more so during the busiest sales time of the year. Make sure you’re regularly checking the status of your inventory throughout November using either an inventory management software or an old-fashioned excel sheet. And if you feel like you need more of a product or you have a hunch that you might run out of something, order more ahead of time!

Have shipping supplies stocked and ready.
In the event that you do keep an eye on inventory and still run out of specific product, make sure you have a sizable stock of shipping supplies. Most buyers will be on Christmas deadlines and are expecting orders to be on their doorstep in just a few days. Don’t delay the process even more by forgetting to make sure you have logistical materials ready. Stocked envelopes, tape and other shipping supplies will come in handy during the holiday rush of shipment orders.

Schedule your social media marketing efforts ahead of time.
Instead of waiting to write your social media advertisements the week of Black Friday, schedule them ahead of time with a free web tool like HootSuite. If you strategize a social media marketing schedule, you’ll be able to focus on more pressing and time-sensitive issues in the days leading up to Black Friday, like stocking inventory. Think about what kind of sales and events you want to host, and then communicate sales-driven messages such extended store hours, images of new products and exclusive deals. Since these take several hours craft carefully, set some time beforehand to ensure a high-quality social media promotional effort.

Set optimistic (but reachable) sales goals.
Prepare a sales forecast to create an event-oriented sales goal. Black Friday provides small businesses a very valuable and unique opportunity to source new customers. Optimize the shopping traffic of Black Friday to generate sales leads and engage shoppers with your business. Setting sales goals can also help guide your inventory stock. As mentioned earlier, the last thing you want to do is lose sales and customers because you ran out of a product. Use figures from prior years to help determine an ambitious yet realistic sales goal.

If you’ve considered hiring extra staff, it’s probably because you should.
With increased sales comes the possibility of hiring a temporary staff to keep up with the influx of new customers and larger inventory. But just because you need to hire temporary employees doesn’t mean the hiring will take less time. Hiring employees can be a laborious task, even for a position that will only last 6-8 weeks. It’s better to start sooner than later if you think you’ll need some backup.

Black Friday is a fantastic opportunity to grow your brick-and-mortar business, but only if you prepare ahead of time. Take advantage of the weeks leading up to Black Friday to plan and prioritize your business goals because once the holidays kick in, there will be little time to focus on anything other than your customers.

Image courtesy of ICSC.org.

 

New Shoeboxed Reports (Beta Version) Is Here!

The Beta Reports section will allow users to create customized expense reports based off a selected date range and a set of categories. Users will then be directed to specify an email address to send the report to, as well as select whether they want the report to be a .PDF or an Excel Spreadsheet (similar to current expense report uploads).

Over the past few months the Shoeboxed team has been hard at work speaking with users and coming up with new ideas to make our product more useful than ever. The feedback we received has been phenomenal and we want you all to keep it coming our way!

With that being said, we’re pleased to announce that starting this week we will be testing out a new Beta Reports section in the Shoeboxed dashboard.

Shoeboxed

The Beta Reports section will allow users to create customized expense reports based off a selected date range and a set of categories. Users will then be directed to specify an email address to send the report to, as well as select whether they want the report to be a .PDF or an Excel Spreadsheet (similar to current expense report uploads).

Our goal with Beta Reports is to make the process of creating an expense report fast and effortless. As with any Beta, we will continually be adding features to make it more useful. If you have any specific feedback of features you would like to see added with reports, please be sure to let us know.

Additionally, we warmly welcome anyone who is interested in becoming a Beta tester for future product releases. We’re eager to know what you think and are ready to show off what we are working on. If you are interested in becoming a Beta tester, please email Claudia at claudia@team.Shoeboxed.com.