So, did you plan a Black Friday sale this year?
If not, don’t sweat it, there’s still plenty of time to have your own Black Friday sale, and make some extra cash to help you through the holidays.
How To Have Your Own Black Friday Sale:
Step 1: First you need to decide whether you’re going to have a sale on memberships, equipment, or both. I would suggest that you have a deal on a month of classes for any friends or family members of your current clients, and I’ll explain how to promote that in a minute.
And, I also suggest that you mark down all your stale inventory in your Pro Shop 50% off or more. If it hasn’t sold in the last three months, get rid of it. It’s just sitting there collecting dust, and that’s money you have tied up in inventory that could be invested in new and faster-moving items.
(By the way, if you miss out on timing this right for Black Friday, just follow these instructions to have a Christmas Sale instead. Same diff’, and people will still respond to your offers if you’ve gone Godfather about it.)
Step 2: Get your email newsletter together ASAP, like today. (You have been collecting emails and building a house list of contacts using aWeber, right? If not, don’t sweat it – just print a flier up and have the sale in a few weeks – but go sign up for aWeber and get your lead capture form on your site, pronto, alright?)
In the emails you send out (and you should be sending out one or two a day for the next few days) you should do two things:
1. Announce your holiday gift certificate Black Friday special, good for one month of classes and a free set of gloves or a uniform, and price it at 75% off if they buy before the end of November, and 50% off until December 24th.
Make it clear that there will be NO SALES OF GIFT CERTIFICATES after Christmas! This will ensure that people who are thinking of taking advantage of your offer get off their duffs and take action.
Also, it would make sense to have a PayPal payment button or some other way to buy online in your newsletter. But by all means – tell them exactly how to purchase in the newsletter. Be specific: “To take advantage of this deal, call 512-555-5555 and ask for Marge. Be sure to have your credit or debit card ready, and let us know who to make the gift certificate out to, and whether you’ll be picking it up or if we should mail it in a card addressed from you to the recipient.”
Yes, you are going to offer to handle that too for the buyer – the easier you make it on them to shop for people for Christmas, the greater the likelihood that you’ll sell a ton of these this year.
2. Second, announce your Black Friday Pro Shop sale (or Christmas Shopping Spree) and let everyone know that you’re marking lots of stuff down 50-75% that day only. Post sales hours for that Friday, or for the Saturday that you select for your sale.
Yes, you’re going to be working a few hours that day, but trust me, if you promote this right it’ll be worth it. And, include a coupon for an additional discount of say, 10% off, good for the day of the sale only. The idea is to give them every reason to come in. Make sure you include an expiration date on the discount coupon.
Step 3: Sale day. Show up early and set up. Put all your discount items on a separate table (or tables) and decorate the dojo with Christmas lights and so on. Put on some Christmas music. Have another table set up for complimentary gift wrapping, and someone to work it who knows how to wrap neatly. Make sure you have plenty of gift wrapping materials on hand. And, have those gift certificates on hand as well.
Plan B: If your Black Friday sale doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, have a Christmas Sale again in a few weeks, and promote the heck out of it. Talk about how much people saved at the Black Friday sale, and let them know this will be their last chance before Christmas to save money on gifts and items from the Pro Shop.
By the way, running a sale like this one saved my hide when the economy went sour post 9/11. I’ve run one every year since in some shape or fashion, and it always helps make up for any slumps in sales during the holidays.
So, now you know what to do… all that’s left is to get after it.