One of the biggest shopping weekends is upon us. In addition to competing with Black Friday sales, you're likely hoping to reap the rewards of Small Business Saturday.
Shoppers across the country are trying to get their holiday shopping done, and many of them want to support local businesses while doing it. But before you fling open your doors, you need to make sure your store is ready for an onslaught of shoppers, in person and online.
Right before you open for business, try to take a few deep breaths. But even before that, you can take some steps to prepare yourself for a smooth day of sales.
Here's our Small Business Saturday checklist:
Spread the word. Make sure you advertise your sale and identify yourself as a participant in Small Business Saturday. People will come for the bargains, and also because it feels good to support locally owned companies.
Make sure your background music is legal. If you play music in your store, even if it's from a radio, you may need a license for it. Take care of that, or you could end up fighting a costly lawsuit.
Stagger your deals. Timing all your deals to take place at once or in a short period of time is a recipe for a stampede. Instead, stagger your deals so that people will want to patronize your store all day long.
Stock up. There's no quicker way to annoy your customers than by only having 10 copies of a popular item. If you're offering a great sale on something exciting, make sure you have enough on hand.
Hire security. It's not fair to ask your employees to handle the crowds and keep an eye on the merchandise as they're going about their other duties. If you're worried about theft, hire trained security officers for the day.
Keep the aisles clear. Make sure any holiday decorations and displays aren't precariously placed or blocking walkways. Assume people are clumsy and will bump into things when you set up your store.
Prepare your employees. It's a big day and they'll have a lot to do, so take some time to talk about what you expect and thank your employees for their help. A pep talk wouldn't hurt either.
Clean it up. It may seem like there's not enough time to clean up spills, but if a customer slips and falls and you get sued, there go the profits you made on those extra sales.
Update your e-commerce website. If you're selling things online, make sure your website is safe, secure, and up-to-date when it comes to legal disclosures. Also check your site's security so that your customers' personal information isn't at risk.
Review seasonal worker agreements. If you've hired seasonal workers to help out over the holidays, take a minute to go over their work contracts or have an employment attorney take a look. Knowing your legal responsibilities will go a long way toward making Small Business Saturday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season, a big success.