Oct 18, 2021 | 9 min read

How your small business can prep for Black Friday and Cyber Monday now

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, which means it’s just about time to start drawing up a few blueprints for your small business’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. A report from The National Retail Federation found that 20 to 40 percent of annual sales for small and mid-sized retailers occur in the last two months of the year.

But it’s not just retailers who need to prepare their Cyber Monday and Black Friday ideas to ensure a successful sales campaign. Small businesses of all sizes and shapes can capitalize on this prime-time marketing opportunity. Whether you’re in real estate or roofing, or a small business owner in any industry, here are six clever ways to get ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday right now. 

#1 Get creative with an enticing offer 

First thing's first: decide on what  type of Black Friday promotional deals you plan to showcase for Black Friday shopping and how you plan to execute them. Consumers will likely be expecting a free gift, slashed prices, and perhaps a few freebies during Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday sale days. Start putting in the work ahead of time to find creative ways of engaging your customers with these sales.

For example, take a page out of Trader Joe’s book and hide holiday-themed stuffed animals around your shop (or even in your website’s design). Give customers a checklist of each hidden item and a pencil so they can write down the location of each object as they find them. This is also a great way to get a new customer or two walking around your store this shopping season.

For each item found, give a percentage off their purchase—but don’t forget to switch around hiding spots to keep existing customers guessing!

Beyond in-store and online scavenger hunts, there are plenty of ways to make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals stand out from the rest. Get inspiration from these small business owners who found their own ways of spreading some holiday cheer. Keep in mind, retailers aren’t the only ones who can join in on seasonal fun. 

  • Real estate inspiration – Tracey Hicks, a real estate broker in Portland, OR, enticed potential home buyers with a sweet special deal of her own. While shoppers were out buying holiday gifts for friends and family, Hicks included hard-to-pass-up bonuses like high-end home security systems and plasma TVs with the Black Friday property listings at her agency. Offering extra incentives during a holiday sale is a great way to reach a larger customer base.
  • Photographer inspiration – Photographers looking for inspiration can follow the lead of Julia Luckett, a wedding photographer servicing New Haven, Connecticut, and South Hero, Vermont. In 2020, Luckett posted a limited holiday sale that offered a 20% discount on prints, canvas, cards, mounted, and metal prints. Build off of her idea by giving away a free mini-session of your services with the purchase of any print bundles or regular sessions. 

#2 Get people talking

No matter if you’re a bistro launching a Black Friday sale on your new avocado toast menu or if you’re a boutique clothing shop offering digital discounts for Cyber Monday, it’s best to generate a buzz before the big day.

Get people talking online and in-person a few weeks in advance of your Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales. Hint at a few of the special offers you plan to run in order to build excitement with new and existing customers to get the word out around your neighborhood. 

How do you get the buzz going? Take to social media or email marketing:

  • Stage a few holiday-themed photos highlighting some of the products that will be on sale in your store. Share them on your Nextdoor Business Page to engage your online audience. 
  • Head directly to your audience’s inbox with a hard-to-ignore email. Creating promotional emails is a great way to let Black Friday shoppers know about your great deals. Think up a creative subject line to grab their attention and include an email-exclusive coupon valid for the day of your flash sale. 
  • Use the countdown feature on Instagram to remind those who interact with your Stories of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts. Re-share the countdown as you approach the start of the sale for an extra touchpoint.

Small businesses with heavy foot traffic in their brick-and-mortar stores can share the news of their Black Friday sales in a number of creative ways. 

Here are some examples of how you can opt for a point of sale campaign instead:

  • Starting a few weeks before, shops like stationery or bookstores can give their patrons a specially designed paper bookmark—something that’s not only useful to the reader but also informs them of the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales. 
  • Coffee shops planning to offer special sales on whole bean coffee and apparel at the start of the holiday season can spread the word via coffee cup sleeves. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, swap out your traditional sleeves with seasonal ones instead. No need for fancy printing. Dedicate a couple of hours to write up a batch of quick, informative, handwritten notes that highlight the essential details (think: dates, times, and discount amounts) of your flash sale and slip them on everything from lattes to lemon ginger tea.

#3 Make sure your website is in working order

If you anticipate doing a lot of online sales for both Cyber Monday and Black Friday, you’ll want to be sure your website is in tip-top shape. Here’s a checklist to help you stay on top of things before the orders start piling up:

  • Make sure it’s running quickly – Don’t let a slow-running website be the reason your business misses out on sales. Be sure to update all the essential plug-ins, optimize your images, and minify your Javascript and CSS code if you use a custom site. 
  • Add a banner – Grab the attention of your online visitors by adding an eye-catching banner at the top of each page of your website. Include a countdown, specific information about the sales you’re offering, and a background color that stands out from the rest of your website. 

Take a look at Hiptico, a small retail company that sells bags handcrafted by indigenous artisans in Guatemala. To contrast the vibrant colors of their website, they’ve included a solid black banner that stays put at the top of the page to make a special announcement about shipping deals. 

  • Optimize for mobile devices – More than half of shoppers make their purchases from a mobile device. As such, now’s the time to optimize your website for mobile viewing if you haven’t done so already. Taking the time to improve the user experience will likely pay off later in higher conversion rates. 
  • Create out-of-stock pages – Be prepared for your products to be in high demand. Don’t wait until items fly off the online shelves to plan for low (or no) inventory. Set up out-of-stock or low stock pages ahead of time to keep your existing and potential customers informed.

#4 Hire more help

If your business has been understaffed or just getting by with a small team, now’s the time to consider hiring extra help. It takes a lot of work to put on a successful Black Friday sale and the team will likely be putting in extra hours already to make sure all goes well. Find a few candidates who may be interested in part-time work to help pick up a few shifts when you know you’ll be at your busiest.

#5 Tie in some holiday decor

Before customers start filing into your business, make sure it’s dressed up for the occasion. Plan ahead to decide how you’d like to decorate your brick-and-mortar location or set aside some time to spice up your website with some holiday-themed images and color palettes. It’s a fun way to spark the holiday spirit as well as an effective tactic to show that you care about improving the customer experience both in stores and online. 

Spruce-lined storefronts are an enticing way of bringing customers into your shop during Black Friday sales, but who’s to say the same couldn’t work for the real estate industry too? 

Pinkham Real Estate, an agency based in northern New Hampshire, gives a few tips about how to dress up a property listing just in time for the holiday season:

  • Keep consistent with your home’s aesthetic. If you’re selling a modern home, keep the decorations classy and sharp. Rustic homes, on the other hand, can lean into their cozy ambiance with a crackling fireplace and mantle display. 
  • Consider sticking to a simple color scheme. Accent the home’s unique features without overwhelming them with too many seasonal tones. 

Make buyers feel welcome and give them a vision of what the holiday season could look like in their new home. 

Take a look, as well, at the seasonal display at Type Books, an independent bookstore. They’ve added a catchy “Season’s Readings” title and a few handcrafted mistletoe sprigs to the display. However, the shop took serious advantage of decorating with something they already had—books. Not only is this a clever display of resourcefulness, but it also catches the eye of passerby pedestrians and invites them to explore more of what’s inside their shop. 

#6 Set goals 

Last but certainly not least, define your goals. Before you even start planning out your Cyber Monday deals and Black Friday marketing campaigns, you’ll need to be clear about what your objectives are. Is there a specific profit margin you’re trying to reach? Are you planning to promote a new product?

Whatever your aims are, write them down and build your campaign around them. Don’t forget to include a few major key performance indicators (KPIs) as well. Here are a few KPIs to consider:

  • Average order value
  • Email open rates and click-through rates
  • Social media shares and mentions
  • Shopping cart abandonment rates 
  • Advertising impressions 

These are what you’ll use to measure how well you met your goals or where, perhaps, you may have fallen short. 

Share the news on Nextdoor 

Whether you’re ready to kick off your Black Friday marketing campaign or are interested in posting a job listing to hire a few extra hands, look to Nextdoor to get connected with people in your local area. By claiming a free Business Page, you can keep your neighbors in the loop about upcoming sales, new product launches, or just to show off your cozy holiday decor. 

Whatever your motivation, let Nextdoor be the place that brings you closer to the people who surround you. Start building your Business Page today



Keap. Great Small business Black Friday Ideas. https://keap.com/business-success-blog/marketing/email-marketing/small-business-black-friday-ideas-2

OuterBox. Mobile eCommerce Stats in 2021 and the Future Online Shopping Trends of eCommerce. https://www.outerboxdesign.com/web-design-articles/mobile-ecommerce-statistics

Forbes. Do Black Friday Deals Exist in Real Estate? https://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2014/11/28/do-black-friday-deals-exist-in-real-estate/?sh=11b799007a31


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