Happy Thanksgiving! I would like to start off this article with an inspiring Thanksgiving quote by Melody Beattie:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
A powerful Thanksgiving quote, indeed. Now, let’s talk about creating a vision for tomorrow. It’s all about shopping spree.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about reckless shopping and spend thousands of dollars on things you don’t need. Instead, I would like to write an overview of what your small business can do in this year’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday 2011
In the US, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day. It’s considered as the day that kicks off Christmas shopping season. And yes, Black Friday is all about shopping.
Now, for a small business owner, he/she will have a reason to start the day early as stores are typically open early in the morning (typically 4 – 5 AM in the morning – some even open in night time on Thanksgiving Day): Finding deals for his/her business needs. You can expect the deals to be in the “Whoa!” category as the savings are typically significant.
The Black Friday 2011 is estimated to be jam-packed by shoppers – estimated at 152 million – up 10% from 2010 – according to an article on CNN Money.
And here’s an interesting find – if you are getting ready for Black Friday shopping, be sure to have these apps for your mobile devices: TGI Black Friday (shopping guide,) Red Laser App (double-check savings made before you checkout,) and Shopkick (will earn you redeemable points as you shop.) More on this on NewsChannel5.com’s article about Black Friday apps
Small Business Saturday 2011
Small Business Saturday is not your typical holiday season shopping day. Indeed, 2011 is just the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is basically a particular Saturday of the year in the US that is dedicated for local small business – people are encouraged to Shop Small at their favourite local stores – instead of the typical big-brand stores on Black Friday – to help fueling the local economy.
As a fellow small business owner, you should endorse this particular shopping day. To participate and take part, please visit Small Business Saturday Facebook page
Cyber Monday 2011
Now here’s the trend: There are more online sales in Cyber Monday than in any other days. In 2011, this is likely to be the case, too. As of online sales in general, according to The Wall Street Journal, US online sales will increase 17% to $1.2 billion.
What is Cyber Monday, anyway? Cyber Monday is similar to Black Friday, but dedicated to online shopping. The phrase “Cyber Monday” was introduced in 2005 by Shop.org to promote online shopping. Since then, Cyber Monday has grown in popularity (as well as in sales.)
Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in many countries.
In my opinion, one thing Cyber Monday is more appealing than Black Friday is: You don’t need to camp outside stores!
For Black Friday deals, people are typically want to visit their favourite stores as early as possible, oftentimes with any means possible, including setting up a camp on store’ premises. However, for Cyber Monday deals, what you need to do is to grab coupon codes and keep track of the effective time of the offers’ validity. Since Cyber Monday is an international shopping event, be sure you check on the timezones.
Not only with your personal shopping, shopping for your small business needs can also make you go over-budget. So, shop responsibly and be sure to keep track with your spending so you can stay within your small business shopping budget.
That being said, you need to set a budget – let’s say it’s a mandatory, because your focus here is to find deals for products that can help your small business to kick off 2012 well.
For more Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping tips, I’d like to recommend this USA Today article.