This article was written by Michelle Weger.
I love putting up a fresh Christmas tree every year.
Last year when Christmas was over, Nabil and I put our tree outside and somehow it kept looking fresh and green for months after the holidays.
It was a huge source of entertainment for us, watching the birds and wildlife treat our tree like it was any other and wondering when, exactly, it would stop looking so nice.
Needless to say, I like a beautiful Christmas tree just as much as the next person.
They are one of the most popular symbols of the season, after all.
They’re so popular that if you tell someone that you’re not putting up a Christmas tree, they tend to give you a weird look.
This year, I’m not putting up a Christmas tree.
When Nabil and I first moved into our house last year, we didn’t have a lot of furniture. Since we were still renovating parts of the house, less was best – less furniture meant less moving things around every time we had a new project to do.
Less furniture meant more room for a Christmas tree.
This year, things have changed.
We finished (most of) our renovations.
We bought new furniture.
We created a cozy living room that’s set up just the way we like it.
And in that cozy living room is an end table sitting right where we had put our Christmas tree last year.
Realistically, setting up a Christmas tree doesn’t make sense for us. Aside from storing my end table outside where it will get ruined in the winter weather, I have nowhere else to put it.
And it wouldn’t make sense for me to throw out my end table just to fit a Christmas tree in my living room for a short part of the year.
“But Michelle!” people say. “Everyone who celebrates Christmas puts up a tree for the holidays!”
Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for me.
Like seemingly every parent ever has said to their teenager – don’t jump off a cliff just because everyone else is doing it.
This lesson applies to business, too.
Think of all the big sales days that happen throughout the year. Depending on your industry, you might have some holidays that are busier than others, but everyone has a few busy sales periods throughout the year.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking every business has to have a huge promotion on those holidays in order to be competitive.
But unless you’re a multi-million dollar corporation, chances are that running a 75% off promotion would severely impact your bottom line.
After all, most businesses operate with a profit margin around 10-30%.
It doesn’t make sense to run a promotion that completely eradicates your profits.
There’s no point in running a sale that results in you paying your customers because it’s costing you more than you’re making.
And you probably don’t have the ability to manufacture special models of your product just so you can sell them for a much lower price on Black Friday, like big-name electronic companies do.
Depending on what you sell, it might not even be realistic for you to offer any sort of discount.
Navigating Black Friday strategies and sales is stressful. But you have to remember that Black Friday is only one day a year. That means if it doesn’t make sense for your business to run a promotion, don’t run a promotion just because everyone else is.
Don’t jump off the cliff just because everyone else is doing it.
There will be other strategies.
Other ways for you to make more money.
We may not have a Christmas tree this year, but there are other ways to make our home look festive and inviting. We did what worked for our home, and created a setup that is perfect for us.
Just like I’m not going to rearrange my living room or throw out my end table to set up a Christmas tree, don’t throw away a year of hard work for one big sale if it doesn’t make sense for your business.