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Before we talk about recommendations, remember, you don’t ever have to run a sale. Putting your products or services on discount is not necessarily appropriate for everyone or every business.
Then read on for when do run a sale, how to prepare your business for a sale, and how to communicate about your sale.
When to run a sale
While you can run a sale (or not) at any time, people have been conditioned to expect sales around major business milestones like a grand opening or during specific times of the year. A back-to-school sale or a sale aligned with a major holiday is very common. The most common time to run a sale in the US (and getting popular in more places around the world) is for Black Friday.
Black Friday deals or sales typically comprise the holiday weekend around Thanksgiving and have expanded to include Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Non-profit organizations are included in Giving Back Tuesday making almost a full week of sales opportunities!
Psychology plays so much into people’s buying habits. Even though people are conditioning to expect Black Friday sales from basically any business, there is a chance that people might run out of money to shop with YOUR business. Find the time that is right for you!
Preparing for your sale
The first thing to consider once you’ve decided when to run your sale is your overall goals with the sale.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Do you have specific revenue goals that you’d like to hit?
- Do you need to fill up specific events or classes?
- Do you need to get rid of specific merchandise or sell specific merchandise?
Once you’ve considered your overall goals, you can make informed decisions about:
- What you’re going to discount
- What you’re NOT going to discount.
- The amount of the discount.
- The length of the discount or sale period.
Make sure to consider all other potential aspects of your sale. These will differ depending on your specific business but may include questions like:
- Do you need order more merchandise or order special merchandise?
- Have you put all your offerings into your online store, so they are ready for the sale?
- Have you informed and prepared your staff for your sale?
After determining all the details of your sale, you must actually tell people about it!
Communicating about your sale
Develop a marketing plan specific to your sale.
Ask yourself how you’re going to communicate your sale:
- Do you have a physical space where you can hang up posters or fliers?
- Do you have a street team that could share fliers to local areas?
- Are you going to set up a booth or advertise at an event?
- Can you send information to your digital mailing list?
- Can you share on your social media?
There’s no wrong way to share information about your sale. The important thing is to maximize the channels or platforms that you’re already using to reach your current and potential customers. Most pole businesses have a social media presence and potentially an email list. (Don’t have an email list – read about why you should!).
Once you know what options you have that already exist to communicate your sale, start thinking about the artwork and text you’ll use. If you have someone to help you with marketing, use them! If not, check out some of these free tools you can use.
You’ve got all the details about your sale, and you’ve got all the artwork—make sure you schedule all your marketing in advance. During your actual sale, you’ll likely have a lot of questions come in from people trying to understand your products and services so they can maximize your sale, so setting up the marketing portion will save you time and headache!
However and whenever you decide to run a sale, make sure you, your staff, and your pole business are prepared!