Holiday Sales Guide for Startup Businesses: How to Skyrocket Profit for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

The holiday season is here and the clock is ticking! Although you might find yourself scrambling around as a consumer trying to get last minute things, dotting every “I” and crossing every “T”, the truth is… you’re a business owner too! While you’re out here spending big dough, don’t forget, that now is the time to make bigger profits for your own business as well. Below, we’ve laid out each consumer holiday along with tips for how boost your revenue.


This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 22nd. It’s already here. If you haven’t planned for the actual day, don’t worry, you can always run a sale during the following days. If you have an ecommerce startup business, you can also launch a quick sale for “Free Shipping” or a small percentage off purchases on the actual day. But, you’d want to hold off offering your big discounts until the following days.

Black Friday:

It’s time to pull out the “BIG” sale! Black Friday is a US consumer holiday that started with big box retailers offering “mega” discounts the day after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday is on November 23rd. Now is the time to advertise coupons and discounts that you’d normally not offer. You can also feature a specific product or service with a highly discounted price. For example, if you sell t-shirts, you could have a storewide sale for 20% off and then feature one or two specific items that are dramatically discounted.

Make this sale work for you by slashing prices on overstocked items that you might have boxed up around your home or business. If a product is a slow seller, offer it at 50% off or more. This entices consumers to buy a steeply discounted product, while helping you clear out some space!

If you have a service-based business, you might not be able to serve all your customers on the actual day of Black Friday. So, offer a coupon that clients can use within the next 1 to 2 weeks. This gives the customer an allotted amount of time to claim their discounted service and gives you more time to fulfill the service so that everything isn’t crammed up into one day.

Small Business Saturday:

This is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which first debuted in 2010 by American Express. This shopping holiday has more of a community approach, as it encourages consumers to “shop local” with small businesses around them. It’s especially beneficial for brick and mortar businesses. For this day, you can run a special sale and even create free promotional material online here.

Cyber Monday:

Ecommerce businesses rejoice! Cyber Monday is your shining hour. Now is this time to drop your prices and reel in the big sales. Host a huge discount promotion. If you have an email list or social media following, use those platforms to alert customers that the sale is on! Create a custom discount code that customers can use during checkout. Don’t be afraid to pay for Facebook or Google Ads. This can help you get better visibility.

Giving Tuesday:

Unfortunately, many business owners overlook this newer holiday, and some do not even know that it exists. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in New York. It is usually on the last Tuesday of November and kicks off the December holiday season. This year it is falls on November 27th. Giving Tuesday a philanthropic effort to encourage people to not just consume, but to also “give back” to others during this time. Startup business owners and established companies alike can participate in this holiday in several ways.

You can make a donation to your favorite local charity and publish an announcement letting your customers know that you will be doing so.

Another way to give back is to partner with a local charity of your choice and donate a percentage of your sales to that organization on this day. This encourages people to “shop with a purpose”. For each item a customer buys, you can donate a portion of that sale to a good cause and know that you are doing some extra good in the world!

In addition, if you own a non-profit yourself, be sure to welcome people to give during this time. It is one of the most pivotal holidays for non-profit awareness.

Lastly, giving isn’t always about money. It can be about time, or donating surplus goods to those in need. If you have extra time this season, consider volunteering at an organization of your choice alone or even with a few of your staff members. You can also donate services or surplus goods. Happy Holidays!

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Laura Smidt

Laura Smidt is an up-and-coming writer who enjoys poetry and picnics. She majored in creative writing at NYU and is currently embarking on a journey to publish her first book. A lover of travel and adventure, you can find her at your favorite remote destination.

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