Retailers, Black Friday is Coming: How to Prepare

In 2017, U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday alone, according to Adobe Analytics. This represents an impressive 18% jump compared to 2016 and paints a picture of the growing opportunity retailers have to make money, promote their services and step into the new year with confidence.

Forbes expects this year to continue that upward trends, especially with the help of Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. The latter is a day made with local shops in mind, encouraging people to get out and shop small. That’s why these small businesses need to have a plan in mind to maximize their sales potential and limit risks from Black Friday through Cyber Monday evening.

Here are some ways successful small businesses and large retailers can be prepared for a busy holiday retail season.

Staff Up

No matter the size of the store, it goes without saying that retailers can expect to see crowds of people shuffling in and out throughout Black Friday. Even if customers come in without an agenda and just get pulled in to browse, you need to be prepared to offer your products. But most importantly, you need to have the right staffing amount set up.

Black Friday is all hands on deck and employees should expect to be on their feet and helping out from open to close. Shop owners and managers should plan accordingly by bringing in as many employees as possible and properly train them to offer great service to customers. What’s more, it’s important to look into seasonal help to get your business well-staffed through the extra workload of the holiday season.

Have a Backup Plan

You can plan all you want and strategize the best people to put on the front lines, but you can also count on something going awry during Black Friday. Business owners should expected the unexpected and have a prevention plan in place for the wide array of scenarios you can think of. From sick employees to customer concerns, running out of stock on something to medical emergencies–it’s important to outline a full-scale plan to handle anything that comes your way.

Insurance as Protection

Speaking of having a backup plan, investing in the right kind of Retail Insurance will provide an added layer of protection during a hectic time of year. There are many things to consider when keeping your customers, your employees and your business safe: maximum occupancy, slips and falls, sharp edges, and more. There are countless things that can go wrong and end up putting your retail operation in the hot seat legally. Be sure to safeguard as much of your store or warehouse as you can to minimize risk. Plus, if your store specializes in hot items such as the latest electronics, it would be wise to hire temporary security to keep an eye on theft.

Be Up to Date with IT

No matter the industry, technology has made its way into how we shop and how we live. Customers are turning to e-commerce sites more than ever to shop and have their items delivered. This is what gave way to Cyber Monday and inspired retailers like Wal-Mart and Target to begin their deals the week of Black Friday instead of waiting until the actual day itself. But even if you’re just a small local business, your website needs to be secure when it comes to cyber attacks.

Having the latest software can keep your website and your inventory safe, and also provide protection for your customers who are opting to shop online this year. From October to December, there’s an increase in online scams that occur for both businesses and consumers. Be proactive by running assessments of cyber security early to identify and deal with suspicious activities and risks.

About Walker & Associates

If you’re in the market for a new insurance partner, do your homework to ensure a lucrative venture and positive relationship. Contact us online at Walker & Associates Insurance or by phone at (800) 213-7126 for your insurance needs. We can explain your coverage options and how much coverage will cost.