If you want to know what the connection is between my gas boiler and Black Friday then read on.
A few weeks ago my boiler stopped working, it’s just one of those things.
It meant we had no hot water and no heating, but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t a major problem. It was October, the weather was mild so the house wasn’t cold, we have an electric shower so had hot water to wash in. On the whole, it wasn’t too much of an issue. Perhaps a bit chilly in the evening but nothing a jumper and hot water bottle couldn’t fix.
So what does my broken boiler have to do with Black Friday?
Yesterday I got the bill for the repair. Turns out, three new parts and five hours of labour were needed to give my boiler a new lease of life. The bill came to £550.
You may or may not be aware but I am a single mother to two children. It is also November and Christmas is fast approaching. £550 is a lot of money at any time of year, but so close to Christmas.. this feels like an enormous amount of money that I need to pay.
What does this have to do with Black Friday?
As a small business owner there is a lot of pressure to join in with the Black Friday shenanigans and cut prices and have a crazy sale. What used to be a one day event is now a four day affair. What used to be an expectation of 20% off is now an expectation of at least 50% off.
As a small business, margins are very tight. We don’t have economies of scale on our side so can’t always negotiate prices with suppliers. Some of us are juggling parenting and/or second jobs, which means we work all sorts of strange hours. Its the old cliché we do what we love and we love what we do.
As a craft business we take pride in our work. We don’t buy cheap materials, we buy quality materials that we know our customers expect. We spend hours making sure something is perfect before it gets despatched. Our quality checking procedures would make ISO 9001 look inadequate.
What would happen If I slashed my prices for Black Friday and had a 60% off sale?
That product that was bought in the sale would mean I’d (probably) have to work 10,653 days just to pay off my boiler bill. My children would (probably) end up with a piece of coal for Christmas instead of what they actually want. And I’d (highly likely) vow never to do a Black Friday sale again!
So, no there won’t be a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale this year.
What will there be instead?
Instead there will be…
- A huge amount of love poured into each and every product (cheesy YES, true YES).
- A promise that only the best materials are used from the most ethical suppliers and …
- The best customer service you could wish for (because it’s me at the end of the email, its me taking all the pictures that you see on social media, it’s me who makes all the products, and it’s me writing this blog)
It’s more about giving thanks rather than giving 60% OFF sale prices
This is what sits comfortably with me. This is a time before the mayhem of Christmas for us to look at what we have. For us to be happy that we have heating and food and family.
So what I will be doing up until Thanksgiving?.
I may have a very empty bank account (yet warm radiators) but I am fortunate in that I can put food on the table for my family. There was a period a few years ago when I first became a single mum when I didn’t know if I could provide these things for my children. Thankfully I have a supportive family who always had my back.
A way to give thanks
This year I would like you to join me in an online gratitude share. It’s easy, it’s charitable, it’s an act of kindness and it doesn’t have to cost much money.
All I would like you to do is donate one item to your local food bank. That is all. It is so easy.
When you’re at the supermarket just buy one extra tinned good or one extra pot of coffee or one extra bottle of shampoo and donate it to your local food bank. Both my local church and Sainsburys supermarket have collection points, and I’m sure a google search will bring up plenty of other local donation points. Whether you choose to do this just once or on every shop until Thanksgiving is entirely up to you.
Send me a picture
I would love for you to take a picture of you donating your item. When you do, send it to me (or tag me on social media) and in return I’ll send you a little thank you gift, plus a virtual cheer (sorry it won’t be a 60% OFF coupon).
Tag me in your pictures on Instagram @hipsley_green and use the hashtag #caresharethanks
Find me on Facebook @hipsleygreen
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can say thank you