A Quick Guide For Managing Your Business and Employees During Black Friday

Have you heard of Black Friday?

This American shopping tradition takes place the day after Thanksgiving. This year, it’s on the 25th of November.

Arguably, it’s the best time of the year to shop, with smaller retailers and big box stores offering amazing deals on a range of products.

In fact, a retail consultancy firm Salmon, predicts that consumers will spend £5 billion in the UK from Thursday, 24 November to 28 November.

If you run a consumer-facing business, you need to prepare for the influx of shoppers on Black Friday. We broke down a game plan that can help you and your employees maximize your impact and increase sales during this important time:

1. Plan and Run a Meeting

Because Black Friday is relatively new to the UK, your employees may not have heard of this mega-sale. You need to set clear expectations with them in order to ramp up your business up for a successful Black Friday. Describe the purpose of your company’s participation, which could include a big spike in sales or the intention to let go of older merchandise before the holiday season.

Describe the purpose of your company’s participation, which could include a big spike in sales or the intention to let go of older merchandise before the holiday season.

Likewise, share that you expect the business to be busier than usual. If you had an uptick in shoppers on Black Friday the year before, let your employees know just how many more people showed up.

Set monetary goals for the weekend, such as overall projected revenue. Highlight some key ways that employees can help you to meet those goals:

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Fast-paced check-outs
  • A cooperative attitude that supports the team
  • Willingness to ask managers for help
  • By going over these details in a meeting, you prepare salespeople and create a solid foundation for a positive Black Friday experience.

2. Give Extra Shifts

On Black Friday — as well as the following weekend — it helps to have extra staff on hand. Rather than follow your usual calendar, offer extra shifts to employees.
With a software program like When I Work, it’s easy to add in additional hours or shifts for available employees.

By ensuring that you have an extra person or two available during each shift, you can meet the demand of more shoppers without sacrificing the customer experience. This balance is essential to maintaining your business’ reputation.

Plus, having more people on staff means that everyone can take much-needed breaks regardless of how busy it is. Giving your employees adequate time to rest, recover, and have lunch means they can do their best work when they’re back.

3. Assign Tasks and Stations in Advance

Rather than tell employees where they’re stationed on the day of, send out tasks and stations in advance. Let team members know exactly what they’ll be doing on Black Friday — it helps to prepare them for the mayhem.

Before the day itself, ask managers to meet one-on-one with their employees to talk about their stations for that day. This meeting is an opportunity for employees to ask any questions they may have or brush up on protocol or processes.

For example, if an employee struggles to make returns at the check-out, this one-on-one meeting is the ideal opportunity to go over those steps. By giving extra support, you ensure that team members are adequately prepared for one of the busiest days of the year.

4. Ask Everyone to Get There Early

Black Friday can sometimes cause shoppers to line up outside before the shop opens, especially if you’re advertising big sales. Because of the fast influx of visitors, it’s a good idea to ask your staff to come an hour early.

Use the extra time to have a quick beginning-of-the-day meeting over breakfast. Bringing in some pastries and coffee makes employees feel appreciated leading up to such a huge event.

Set the tone for the weekend by sharing your energy with the group — encourage everyone to do their best and ask for help when they need it.

Take the extra time after the meeting to complete any last-minute tasks before you open the doors.

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5. Work Alongside Staff

It boosts employee engagement and accountability to have a business owner or general manager working beside them on Black Friday. Make it your mission to support your staff, so they can support customers.

Check in with customers, and when needed, step in and open another cash register or help out a customer.

Working as a “floating manager” while someone else manages the operation means that you can adapt to any last minute emergencies or changes.

For example, if you notice a best-selling product is almost empty on the rack, you can go back and refill it. Small pivots like that make a big impact — they keep the business moving and bringing in important revenue.

6. Check-In Regularly with Employees

Many employees can feel overwhelmed during something like Black Friday. It’s a test of endurance and focus, especially if you’re inundated with people looking for really good deals.
Sometimes, rude or belligerent customers can take their toll on employees, especially during such a high-pressure day. Whenever you see an employee, make eye contact with them and take a silent note of how they’re doing.

Are they smiling?

Do they seem engaged with their work?

When employees feel frazzled, they’re more likely to make a big mistake, like accidentally ringing up an item twice. Check-in with them regularly, and when possible, offer overwhelmed workers additional five-minute breaks.

These six steps can make a big difference in the outcome of your Black Friday sales. By incorporating them into your business this year, you create the ideal environment for customers to bargain-hunt while boosting your company’s revenue.


A Quick Guide For Managing Your Business and Employees During Black Friday