This year, Black Friday will be followed by Small Business Saturday. And two days later, retailers will honor the shopping deities with Cyber Monday. Between the three, you're likely to find yourself trampled by a savings stampede.
Which is why you should prepare yourself and your small business for Black Friday. But before you make a plan, you might want to take a look at the following Saturday Night Live video. It's a perfect example of what you shouldn't do during this weekend's mayhem.
If you couldn't tell, Mega-Mart is actually begging for a lawsuit.
Twelve-minute madness is a horrible idea. Be sure to give your customers a reasonable amount of time to grab limited deals. Most stores do an early bird special, or honor a deal while supplies last.
Speaking of which, that secret unpublished Harry Potter novel? There are only 7 left! Big box stores have a tendency to ship a small number of hot ad items to each location. That infuriates customers and urges them to go a little crazy.
Excite your customers--don't incite them. And please don't give them weapons. In fact, if you sell weapons, you might want to have extra security on hand. You're responsible for customer security and safety, so a strong security force may be necessary no matter what you sell.
Safety will probably be your main concern come this weekend. Check for clean, clear aisles before you let anyone inside. Continue to do so throughout the day, as crazed shoppers tend to be a little messy. Slip and fall lawsuits are the worst holiday present ever.
And for heaven's sake, when you plan your small business' Black Friday, remember to leave Kirk Douglas out of it. He's a wrongful death action waiting to happen.
- How Small Retailers Stand Out for Holiday Shopping (Inc.)
- OSHA Crowd Control Safety Tips For Retailers (FindLaw)
- Keeping Shoppers Safe On Black Friday (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)