Tips on Getting Ready for Cyber Monday at your Small Business
In a great article from business2community.com, some stats were shared regarding sales figures for Cyber Monday, revealing that annual sales on the day have grown from $1.3 billion to $2.29 billion in only three years. But what is Cyber Monday exactly, and where does it fall in relation to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday? It is the Monday after the latter day, and while according to its Wikipedia page it has only been around since 2005, the fast growth of online commerce makes it a force that is hard for small business owners to ignore, but then, why would they? Provided that they have adequately planned and promoted for it, Cyber Monday can be yet another prime sales day for creating a cushion of profits and revitalized cash flows going into the start of 2015.
Anticipate higher than normal traffic and orders on your website. This is pretty much the point of Cyber Monday after all, but if you have a strong website set up, you might be tempted to assume that it can handle increased traffic and stay responsive under duress. That assumption should not be the reason for a crashed server if your promotions bring more visitors to your site than you anticipated.
- Consider a performance audit to make sure that your business page is loading at the fastest possible speeds. Even if traffic doesn’t crash your page, if it slows load times to a crawl you will run the risk of losing business from exasperated shoppers.
- A security audit is also something to consider, since you may have vulnerabilities in your site that could potentially be exploited by digital criminals. Small business owners may assume that they run no risk of being targeted by cybercrime, but in fact it is exactly that assumption that criminals exploit, along with known weaknesses in un-updated plugins or site scripts that can commonly remain un-updated on business webpages long after they should have been patched to prevent common exploitative techniques.
Ensure that inventory and shipping capabilities are enough to meet your anticipated demand. If this is the first year that your business is offering a Cyber Monday offer, then you must ensure that your business will be able to adequately shoulder the demand for your products without the benefit of last year’s sales numbers. You must be careful in this case to order enough to cover your demand without winding up with a mass of left over inventory and a depleted cash flow. If you need to, make plans to secure financing to obtain more inventory at a point of making sales. Alternatives to bank loans are typically available in spite of bad credit, and can appear in a bank account in a fraction of the time, making them a potentially advantageous tool for business owners in the event that they are suddenly in the need for more product or liquid capital to convert into marketing, emergency IT support, or increased server space.
Photo Credit to Scott Lynch on Flickr