It’s always Black Friday
Remember when Black Friday used to be the day after Thanksgiving when companies offer all sorts of crazy deals? Now, it’s the entire month of November.
Chances are that your email inbox has already started getting bombed with messages engineered to make you feel that if you don’t spend money right now, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life. It’s a noisy time of year, to say the least. But it can also be a great time to save money on valuable tools and services.
I want to help cut through the clutter, find the actual deals that are going to help you grow your business, and share a few tips on how to protect yourself from getting swept away in the FOMO typhoon.
But before we dig in, hop on over to sidekick.show/deals to for a running list of deals from my favorite companies who help small business heroes like yourself.
Batten down the hatches
I’m not going to spend that much time talking about what to shop for. Instead, I’m going to focus more on how to shop for things that are actually going to benefit your business, and how to make sure that you’re actually getting value in exchange for your hard-earned dollar.
My first piece of advice is to take a deep breath and consider… maybe not shopping at all. Or at least taking your credit card and putting it somewhere hard to reach, and being very slow to making a purchase. Now, I know I’m talking to a lot of business-minded folks who are already familiar with marketing tactics, but you’re still susceptible to Flash Sales, Early-bird Specials, and other limited time offers that are designed to get us to make impulsive decisions. And those are not the best type of decisions to make, so it might be in your best interest to not make any decisions at all, except to decide that you’re not going to go shopping right now.
“But Dave, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime! When else will I be able to save this much money on this thing that I…. probably need. No. I do need this. I need this.”
No, you probably don’t. And it will go on sale again. Exhibit A: Prime Day. And then Prime Day again in October, or whatever it was called. People run sales regularly. Businesses want your money all year long and they’re going to find ways to get you to give them some. They’ll probably offer a few other discounts here and there. But to that point, don’t buy something simply because it’s discounted. Make sure you actually need what you’re buying.
Deals aren’t always deals
Discounts aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. My mom loves shopping at Kohls because she thinks she gets a lot of great deals there. But I’m sorry, there’s no way those Sonoma khakis actually retail for $72.99. Even if you save 30%, you’re still paying a 70% markup.
Now, I know that’s how people price things; that’s how people make money. But I don’t even need pants. I have a drawer full of pants already, and I don’t even wear most of those… because they don’t fit me… because I’m larger now than I was a while ago. But that’s neither here nor there.
The point I’m trying to make is deals aren’t always deals. Even if they are deals, if you’re spending money on something that you’re not actually going to use – it’s just going to sit there and not give you any value in return – then that’s a bad deal.
By the same merit, you could pay full price for something, but as long as you get value in exchange for it – you get a good return on your investment though time saved, energy saved, quality of life improved, it helps you make more money than what you spent on the product or service – then that’s a great deal.
Personally, I don’t go shopping at Kohl’s. I prefer going to thrift stores, but you can still fall into the same deal trap there. Thankfully, my wife keeps me in check. She’ll often ask me, “Would you pay full price for it? Would you want this thing even if it wasn’t on sale? Does it fit well? Does it go with the rest of your wardrobe? Will you actually wear it?” Because if I won’t, and it’s just going to sit in my closet, then that’s a bad deal.
Yes, yes, yes
Like Joe Pera at the grocery store, ask yourself three questions: Do I need this? Will I actually use this? And can I afford this thing? If you said “Yes, yes, yes”, go ahead and put it in your shopping cart. And if the stuff in your cart ends up going on sale for Black Friday, congratulations! You just got a great deal and you’re going to get a return on your investment that much sooner.
Always be thinking in terms of getting a return on your investment. We’re talking about business tools here. Whatever you buy should be making your life easier and helping you make more money. Or even just making your job and your life a little bit more enjoyable; there’s a value to that. Don’t let it go unused and don’t just jump into something because it’s on sale now. That’s a bad reason to buy something.
The horse is dead now, but it’s one worth beating because I personally got burnt by it in the past and I don’t want you to waste your money. Just looking out for you and making sure you don’t get wrapped up in the Black Friday hype, especially now that Black Friday is an entire month.
All that said, go ahead, make your list, fill up your shopping carts, and then go over to sidekick.shop/deals and see if there’s anything there that could help you out. But remember, only make a purchase if it’s going to help you out! Full disclosure, I’ll have some affiliate links on that page, and if you shop through those, that will go a long way to support me making more content like this for you. And if you don’t want me to make more content like this, then you can go pay full price, ya bums!
I’m just kidding. I still love you. Happy shopping. Stay safe and make good decisions! I’ll see you in the next one.