When it comes to the busiest periods of the year, the small businesses that achieve the most success are usually those that take the most time to prepare. Each year, they begin preparation at an earlier time. There’s always something more you can do to maximize the likelihood of a strong performance. Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday are no exception. The number of Americans who plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend appears to increase every year.
But preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t just about minimizing stress or giving yourself more free time to deal with customers. For many retail-oriented businesses like cosmetics, this is their opportunity to finish off the year with a bang and offset the drops in revenue that may have occurred during previous slow periods.
Why start so early?
Small businesses are often advised to begin preparations at the beginning of October, especially those that offer online shopping. Business leaders are typically less stressed in early fall, which allows them to take their time developing workflows and exploring resources for generating additional revenue. Think of this as the preliminary stage, when you are focused primarily on figuring out everything required for attracting customers and satisfying their demands. Odds are, the first two items on that list will be your online presence and extra funds. So, while modifying your website and social media channels to promote Black Friday specials, consider which type of business funding program would make the most sense for your needs.
Since you’ll be making medium-sized, short-term investments, one of the most logical choices is a business line of credit. Unlike other options like a business term loan or merchant cash advance, a business line of credit is meant to be paid back as quickly as possible. Besides, you don’t want to take on too much debt leading into the winter, when business will likely slow down and you might have trouble making regular payments.
Making the most out of a necessary investment
One of the most common moves cosmetics businesses make during busy periods is increasing staff. With a business line of credit, you can afford to bring new hires on board even though revenue is yet to increase and you’ve accrued other Black Friday-related expenses. This gives you plenty of time to interview potential candidates and train them for the chaos that will undoubtedly ensue. As any cosmetics entrepreneur will tell you, myriad cosmetics businesses have made the mistake of neglecting to train new hires in exhibiting the kind of attitude customers are most receptive to.
These employees can even help you with other, more basic tasks on your to-do list. They shouldn’t be surprised when, as new recruits, they are asked to stay later and lend you a hand getting your physical space ready for the upcoming surge in customers. Employees who make sales directly are the perfect kind to finance with a business line of credit. There’s a good chance that, when you factor in the extra hours they are putting in, it won’t be long before the revenue they generate offsets the added cost of acquiring them.
Give yourself a reason not to worry
Another thing your new recruits can help you with is obtaining information from customers. Your next big investment will likely be inventory, but you can’t place an order if you aren’t sure which items your customers will be looking for. Some businesses send their customers emails or surveys asking what they are expecting to purchase on Black Friday. Not only will you learn which items to order with your business line of credit but also which customers should be awarded discounts. The more information you get, the more you can do to ensure that the items you finance with a business line of credit will be sold and solicit sales of additional items as well.
All small business owners know that no matter what you do to prepare, something always goes wrong when pressure hits its peak. You might sell out of a surprisingly popular item, or your best sales associate might call in sick. This is why a business line of credit is often viewed as a concrete reason to not fret over these always-probable situations. You can act immediately to fix a problem, which is crucial because unlike any other day of the year, being unable to fix a major problem on Black Friday could cause you to miss out on a massive amount of sales.
For a business leader, worrying too much is usually not a good idea. Black Friday is the exception to this rule, especially if you have a business line of credit at your disposal. You can think of all the possible outcomes imaginable and have a solution in place for every single one. The more prepared you are for the unexpected, the smoother your entire Thanksgiving weekend experience will be.