Black Friday, despite what its name may imply, is not just a single day affair. Over the years, its presence has crept into the latter half of Thanksgiving. Some businesses even start launching Black Friday prices a whole week ahead of time. Don’t even get me started on Cyber Monday.

Black Friday isn’t just a day of deals. It’s a cultural phenomenon. It’s a dominant force during the month of November. And it’s a pivotal piece for any business’s holiday marketing plan.

With weeks to spare, how is your small business going to stand out? Here are six ideas to help jumpstart your Black Friday marketing plan.

Make a big push for Small Business Saturday. If you’re running a small business, you can’t forget about this one. Held the day after Black Friday, this holiday aims to shine a light on smaller, local businesses that tend to get lost in the shopping craze. Founded by American Express in 2010, it’s still a fairly recent holiday. But it’s already become pretty significant. Last year, 104 million shoppers spent a record $17.8 billion, according to a survey conducted by American Express and NFIB. Don’t miss out.

Advance your deals. Like I said, Black Friday has taken over November. There’s no reason to wait. Start rolling out deals in advance. Obviously you’ll want to save some of your heavier hitting deals, but lining up a set of early Black Friday deals will build much needed marketing momentum.

Early access discounts for loyalty members. Setting up your loyalty members with early access discounts isn’t just a great idea for a reward. It’s a great way to promote your business’s Black Friday presence in advance. Even if they don’t make a purchase, they’ll still be thinking about you when Black Friday rolls around. On top of that, it’s also a good incentive to get customers to join your loyalty program in the first place.

Take Thanksgiving off. With big retailers continuing to push Black Friday further into Thanksgiving, you may feel compelled to open earlier in order to compete. But that’s not entirely necessary. Let your customers know that you respect their time (and your employees’ time too), and that you’ll be open for business when Black Friday actually kicks off.

But maybe extend your hours. For some shoppers, Black Friday is a marathon. Opening just a little bit earlier and staying open just a bit later can help give your customers the flexibility they need to stop by.

Gift Guides. Black Friday is when many customers aim to knock out as much holiday shopping as possible for the season. When it comes to buying gifts, people don’t always know what they’re looking for until it’s staring at them in the face. As Black Friday approaches, consider preparing a gift guide packed with sale items. Try sorting gifts by category (e.g. For Him, For Her, For Mom, For Dad, etc.) to help make the shopping experience as painless as possible.

Stand Out With CoGoBuzz

This Black Friday, and all throughout the holidays, make marketing your small business easy. CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service is all you’ll need to get the ball rolling. Enjoy more customers, more social media followers, and bigger sales – affordably and automatically.

Our industry-leading WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions promote your business both in-store and out. When your in-store customers connect to your HotSpot, they’ll login via social media, phone number, or email, which we’ll then use to develop a full customer profile. On top of that, our service comes packed a fully digital SMS-based loyalty program, simplifying engagement to a simple text message, allowing you to engage and communicate with your customers wherever they go. Want to promote your latest deals? All it takes is a single text.

Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

What does your small business do to stand out on Black Friday? Let us know in the comments!