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It's the bookend of the biggest sales weekend of the year. Cyber Monday is here, and we hope your small business was ready. Because, as entrepreneurs have learned, Cyber Monday can actually hurt small and local businesses.
Here are a few tales of Cyber Monday shenanigans and how to avoid them:
Cybersecurity on Cyber Monday
The whole point of Cyber Monday is to generate sales via your small businesses website. But how secure is that website? Hopefully you've already implemented some of our cybersecurity tips like remote tracking and wiping, investing in your IT department, and requiring your vendors to meet the same security standards that you do. If not, you may want to invest in some cybersecurity insurance.
Don't Pad Your Ads
Obviously you want to drive traffic to your site, but there are limits on how you can advertise, set by everyone from the Supreme Court to state laws. If you're wondering what to leave out of your ads, you should avoid lies about your competitors, lies about your own products, and using other people's words or images without their permission. Make sure your posted prices are accurate, and don't get stuck paying for unviewable Google ads.
Many small businesses will need to ramp up their staff to handle the holiday rush, but be careful not to rush your holiday hiring too much. Federal and state wage and hour laws also apply to part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Make sure you don't follow up Cyber Monday with a slew of employment lawsuits.
Your Cyber Monday concerns don't end Tuesday morning. Once the sales are made, now you have to worry about retail return fraud. Having (and requiring) bright tags for returns, limiting your return period, restricting returns from online sales, and only offering exchanges rather than cash for returns can help battle fraudulent returns.
If you need more Cyber Monday guidance, or need legal help with Cyber Monday issues, you can contact an experienced business and commercial attorney near you.