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Why Small Business can't compete with Black Friday

Posted by zoe lacey on

Did you know that small businesses can’t compete with Black Friday sales?

In recent years there has been huge pressure for tiny independent companies to keep up with expectations of slashing prices or to offer some mega deal so that they make some sales pre-Christmas, but realistically this can be catastrophic for a micro businesses.

It's a relatively well known fact that big businesses price their products with sale prices built in. Offering 20%, 30% or even 40% off their products won’t do much to their bottom line- they’ll absolutely still be making a profit. Even more damaging to small businesses - behemoths such as Tesco and Amazon can easily operate with 'loss leaders' - which is literally making no profit at all!

This week, Which also released an article showing that the big guns such as John Lewis don't even reduce their prices - instead they inflate them before the sales. Clever cookies.

For a lot of small business - if we offered those discounts, it’s likely at best we’ll just break even- and in some cases, make a loss. And that doesn’t even cover the other overheads we have to pay. Offering a discount, means we would be selling our (often lovingly and painstakingly made) products without making any money.

Even just offering free shipping can take a huge chunk out of any profit. we'll come back to how 'free shipping is never free' another day. 

And look, we all love what we do. Or else we wouldn’t be doing it. But we can’t do it for free. We do need to still be able to put food on the table.

All this to say- go nuts on Black Friday. Take advantage of all the (real) offers the big companies are offering. But please don’t expect the same from those small and local businesses you enjoy. If you love what they make, know that they’ve priced it at the price it’s supposed to be.

And yes, this will be more than Amazon or Tesco or wherever else you’re buying things produced in their millions but it will also be created with huge amounts of love and care.