Retail stores across America are getting ready for Black Friday. This is a huge opportunity to acquire new customers and increase the popularity of your business. To make a great first impression, it’s important to get your store ready and thoroughly cleaned for the upcoming event. True, clients will help you clear the shelves but you may want to put a bit of preliminary work in organizing the perfect Black Friday this year.
Mats and Rugs Everywhere
Even if they’re in a huge rush to get to the discounts, most people will pay attention to welcome mats and rugs in front of the store and in the most high traffic areas. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to constantly mop the floor. If you have carpeting inside, the moisture that shoes bring will potentially create conditions for the growth of bacteria.
In addition, mats are an excellent way to reduce the risk of slips and falls. Some floors get slippery when wet and you’ll have to deal with many dissatisfied customers. Why take the risk when the solution is so simple?
Get Your Staff Prepared (Both Mentally and Physically)
Both small and big stores see a huge increase in visits during Black Friday. We don’t suggest that you’ll see TV report-worthy crowds piling in front of your door, hours before opening time, but you should still be prepared for the increased interest.
Get your staff ready for some hard work during the day. You may want to come up with customer service guidelines and a few basic rules that will simplify the process and keep everybody on the same page.
If necessary, hire a few temporary workers to assist you through the process. Some of the staff should be responsible for customer service, others will need to maintain the order and cleanliness in the store. They’ll also have to restock the items that seem to be running out the fastest and keep track of inventory.
Place Discounted Items Strategically
Keeping all of the discounted items in the same corner is one of the biggest Black Friday mistakes. All of the people entering your store during the day will be interested in discounts. This is why you’ll end up with quarrels and many unhappy customers by piling everything in the same spot.
Make sure that discounted items are placed strategically in all parts of the store. By keeping the discounted items spread everywhere, you’ll also make it possible for potential customers to acquaint themselves with the entire range of products available in the store. Even if they don’t buy full-priced merchandise, you’ll be increasing the visibility of those items.
Decorate the Store
You’ll end up with the biggest mess that you’ve ever seen by the end of the day. Still, making your store look good will invite people to come in and eventually spend a bit of money on your offers.
You don’t have to be extravagant and you most definitely don’t need customized items to attract customers this Black Friday. This shopping day is usually seen as the start of the festive season by many. Some Christmas decorations and carols playing in the background will help you set the mood.
If you want to bring decorative and practical together, use visual cues to guide people through the store. Arrows or discount signs suspended from the ceiling will direct the crowd to your hot offers and make it easier for people to acquaint themselves with the store.
Strategic Trash Can Placement
People will enter your store with drinks and food, even if you have explicit policies against such behavior. This is particularly true for family-friendly places. If you don’t give clients opportunities to dispose of their waste, they’ll simply get rid of it on the floor or the shelves.
Make sure that you have a sufficient number of trash cans positioned throughout the store. A few of your associates should be responsible for paying attention and emptying the cans upon necessity.
One very simple thing you can do is pre-line the cans with three or four trash bags. This way, the can will be ready for use when you take one of the full bags out. Some of the cleverest solutions for higher productivity happen to be the simplest ones.
This is the nightmare of all store owners – Black Friday and a flu epidemic coinciding. There’s a serious risk of ill people entering the store, thus endangering just about all of the other visitors and the employees.
Get ready for constant and thorough disinfection. To stop the spread of germs, you’ll need to instruct employees about the use of spray-on disinfectants and anti-bacterial wipes. Make sure that the railing, door knobs and the checkout counter are wiped frequently. You owe it to your clients and your employees.
Give Clients Something Extra
People visit stores on Black Friday because of the discounts. They don’t expect a spectacular quality of service. If you want to surprise your store visitors pleasantly and make them come back, consider doing something extraordinary.
Improving the quality of the service is a very simple task. Offering people free of charge water and beverages or providing additional gifts for purchases above a certain sum are both nice perks.
Black Friday can be a big mess but it’s also a wonderful opportunity for your business. Take some time to get yourself ready. By doing a bit of careful planning and working with all of your employees, you can have a highly productive Black Friday that doesn’t get into the “shopping stories from hell??? territory.
By Cliff Derksen, owner of First Impressions Janitorial, a Winnipeg cleaning company