Wondering if small, local and minority owned businesses got their fair share of Black Friday Dollars…
By Crystal Mathis, Press Release Marketing
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and as it approached, retailers everywhere were putting out advertising messages (not enough in Black owned media companies) to let consumers know that deals and sales were coming. Accordingly, shoppers were completely tuned in well before Thanksgiving, researching apps, blogs, ads, newspapers, and social media in an attempt to find the best holiday shopping bargains. However, after personally spending most of my Black Friday money with major department stores, I asked myself, if there was truly a place for small, local and minority owned businesses during Black Friday weekend…
Essentially, I wanted to know if Black Friday could really impact the bottom line of our local businesses and ultimately contribute to economically developing our communities. The answer was complicated as I was forced to re-examine my decisions to advise my clients to create Black Friday specials of their own. In an attempt to get their fair share of the pie, it seemed logical that if consumers were going to spend on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday anyway, that business owners, especially small business owners, should advertise their Black Friday specials as well. With shoppers collectively spending over $600 Billion Dollars during Black Friday Weekend nationwide, why would a business not advertise that they were slashing prices too?
However, in understanding today’s consumer, it is wise for smaller businesses and retailers to know that consumers begin determining where and how to spend their Black Friday shopping money weeks and possibly even months in advance of Black Friday. It is also important to note that it is the job of the business owner to create a demand for his or her product or service. Accordingly, as an avid Black Friday weekend shopper, I am offering 5 tips to help small, local businesses maximize the results of their Black Friday sale.
1) PREPARE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE FOR YOUR UPCOMING SALE.
Promote your business heavy year round and especially heavier in the last quarter, right before announcing your Thanksgiving sales. Pass out flyers, create and post digital content, map out a grassroots campaign and shine a light on satisfied customers and clients. Use a variety of videos, pictures and customer testimonies/feedback to create a buzz around your brand.
2) ADVERTISE WITH THE APPROPRIATE MEDIA OUTLETS.
Minority owned businesses typically and ignorantly spend or endeavor to spend their marketing dollars with mainstream radio and newspapers without understanding that their tightly budgeted campaigns will probably not yield the results they desire. On the contrary, local business owners should consider advertising with media outlets that specifically targets their demographics. For example, a Black owned barber shop would ideally have a better return on investment when advertising with the Westside Gazette, or other Black Owned Media Companies. Black owned media inclusive of radio, newspapers, TV, marketing, advertising and PR agencies do exist ad they WORK! They typically, have long standing history and relationships with-in our communities that are vital to the success of the small minority business owners as well as those corporations that reap the benefit of the $1.3 trillion spending power of the Black consumer.
3) START YOUR SALE EARLY.
You don’t have to wait for Black Friday to start your sale. Tips 1 and 2 should begin months not weeks prior to Black Friday. Businesses should create an annual marketing budget at the beginning of their fiscal year and allocate funds accordingly and appropriately.
4) MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
Your Black Friday sale may not produce the results you desire but it does however, remind your potential customers that you have items or services for sale. Small businesses can often times take for granted that every consumer knows exactly what their business offers. This could not be further from the truth.
5) RUN THE SALE AGAIN WHEN THERE IS LESS
COMPETITION IN THE MARKET.
Your products and services might be superb, and it’s possible you did your research and even ran your sale early, but your still did not yield the results you wanted. Consider running your sale again during a quarter where there are less commercials and advertisements from larger retailers. Rerunning your great deals gives your future customers or clients another opportunity to shop and save.
In drawing from my own experiences, over the Black Friday weekend, I attended PSE’s Global Pop Up Bazaar hosted by Metris Batts. The bazaar made it easy for me to spend what money I had left with small, local, and minority owned businesses. The Global Pop Up Bazaar was well organized and had an amazing consortium of Nubian culture all in one place. It was where I should have been shopping all along, and for that, I am regretful. But I am equally regretful that more people didn’t know about or patriciate in the pop up bazaar. Local businesses must become more intentional about utilizing the tips mentioned above. With the proper preparation, minority owned businesses can avoid being ignored during the Black Friday Billion Dollar shopping bonanza.
With more deliberate togetherness both from minority consumers, local businesses and Black owned media companies, Black Friday sales could have a major impact on our communities, making it possible for small businesses to become major corporations. Clearly, we see beyond a shadow of a doubt how Black Friday sales have impacted major department stores and essentially solidified those brands for generations to come.