How to Plan for Black Friday

plan for black friday Oct 17, 2023

How to Plan for Black Friday

It’s pretty easy to plan a Black Friday sale if you have a retail business. Choose the products you want to discount, and put them on sale! But Black Friday sales are more complicated for fitness and health & wellness businesses. 

You don’t want to charge less than you’re worth or eat into your profitability right before the end of the year. But your customers are probably expecting a Black Friday sale. So what’s the solution?

There is a way to plan for Black Friday in a way that maximizes the potential benefits and mitigates those drawbacks. It’s all about knowing your audience, understanding your operations, and developing the right messaging. Sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Just keep these things in mind. 

(And hey, you might already have your Black Friday plans in place for this year, so don’t worry about changing them last minute. Bookmark this post to return to when you’re planning next year’s sale.)

Plan for Black Friday tip #1: Be cautious about discounting your services

Discounting services isn’t the same as discounting products. All of those big box stores can put tons of items on sale for Black Friday because they have mountains of inventory they want to sell. They’ve already bought all those products, so selling them is beneficial — even if they have to sell them at a loss.

But that’s not how it works with a service-based business. You don’t have an infinite amount of time to meet with clients or schedule classes, so you need to be cautious about overselling. Discounting your services isn’t something you’ve probably built into your budget — so you need to plan a sale that doesn’t tank your profitability.

And honestly, you might want to think twice before offering a heavy discount on your services, because it can send the wrong message to your customers. Most people aren’t looking for the cheapest provider when it comes to health, wellness, and fitness. They want someone they can trust — and charging fairly for your services shows potential customers that your time and expertise are valuable. 

Plan for Black Friday tip #2: Focus on value, not just cost

So…can you discount your services at all? Yes! It just takes a little more planning and insight. Start by looking at your budget and your business finances. How much can you afford to discount your services? Will you still be able to pay your team when customers are paying sale prices for sessions? And if you sell a lot right now (at the end of the year), what are your taxes going to look like?

Once you’ve answered those questions, you can come up with a reasonable discount. Find a balance — give your clients a good deal that doesn’t wreck your Q4 numbers. For example, instead of offering 50% off sessions, offer a bundle that spreads out the discount. A buy 10, get 1 free deal for fitness classes gives buyers a free class, but it spreads out the cost of that discount (on your end) over 10 other sessions, so it’s reasonable. Win-win.

Plan for Black Friday tip #3: Prioritize current clients, not just new ones

For some types of businesses, Black Friday sales are all about bringing in new customers. But again, that’s not always the goal for a service-based business. You only have so much availability, and you don’t want to overbook.

You could consider running a Black Friday offer just for your recurring clients (or people on your email list). You’re not advertising it on your windows or handing out flyers to the general public. But you’re giving your current audience the chance to save a little bit of money on services they’re already planning to buy. 

These are the people who already want to work with you and who know the value of your services. You’re not risking your reputation, and you can be pretty sure that these clients will continue to pay full price for your services after Black Friday.

Plan for Black Friday tip #4: Offer a bonus

Another type of discount that works well for service providers is offering bonus material. This is really easy to set up if you already have existing products, like an online course or physical workbook. Offer these products as free bonuses with Black Friday purchases.

For example, say your signature offer is a monthly membership for your fitness studio or coaching services, but you also sell a few online courses for DIYers who want to learn the basics of strength training or nutrition on their own time. Give away one of those courses to anyone who buys a membership on Black Friday!

You’ve already created the course, so you’re not really losing any money by giving it away for free. At the same time, you’re incentivizing people to make the decision you really want — to pay for your membership. It’s a great example of balancing value and profitability.

Plan for Black Friday tip #5: Sell your merch!

Finally, don’t forget about your physical merchandise. It might not be your bread and butter, but you probably have some branded items, like shirts or hats. Discount those on Black Friday. Yes, you might technically take a loss on those items. But you’ll also get free advertising when customers wear/use them, so in the end, you’ll probably make money off those sales, even if you discount them heavily for your sale.

Do Black Friday your way!

Black Friday can be a profitable opportunity — if you create a sale that truly works for your business. And it’s essential to remember that you don’t have to do a Black Friday sale. If there’s just not an easy way to discount your services without impacting your profits (and reputation), then just skip it! 

But if you do want to offer a Black Friday sale, you can absolutely do so. Just take the time to analyze your books and run the numbers on any discounts you’re considering. Find a balance between value for your customers and your business. Then, plan your discounts, get your emails/marketing content in place, and have fun!
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