Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

top view of silver macbook beside a shopping cart and black friday sale signage

What Black Friday and Cyber Monday Means to a Small Business Owner

It’s a time to worry about giving away the farm. People keep jumping all over deals and trying to have the savings. And all the big corporations are out there cutting their high margin prices down to semi high margin prices.

And then Saturday after Black Friday, Small Businesses get a pat on the back. “Small Business Saturday”.

That doesn’t mean “Small Businesses are doing their Black Friday”, though it ends up being like that.

What happens is that we have to adapt to try and have people shop with us. However, if a giant company cuts their prices and sells 5 million units of something, they are still making billions (no seriously… almost 1.3 TRILLION in sales for 2022). When a Small Business starts doing discounts and sales like this, they are barely and sometimes not even breaking even.

It’s why I am fine when a small business doesn’t have crazy sales. And if they do have some sort of Sale, I am grateful for it and will be sure to shop with them in the future.

I’m not alone in this, I’ve spoken to a lot of individuals, crafters, small business owners and more, and it’s always the same.

So, even me, I have sales going on for these “BIG THINGS”. And I want to be open and honest about how much I make on something.

Take my pug’s 2023 Calendar. I use a third party printer who prints on demand, because spending the money and getting physical copies was “cheaper” to do, but then we had to carry inventory, package, and mail the calendar. What happened the first year was getting a poll done and seeing tons and tons of people wanted them, so we ordered 100 calendars and would re-order if need be.

So, I spent time designing, editing, and shooting the calendar. It wasn’t even a full size calendar but a half sized one. We spent a few hundred monetarily, and with all the design and photo work that went into that first one, I would have charged roughly $800 for that much work.

We ended up selling 70 at around $12 per, and said, “uh oh, we still have 2 months till Christmas, lets get another 50”. So, we did.

We sold 7 more.

That first year, physical and labor costs, we made close to -$500. Yes, NEGATIVE money.

So we decided to try it again, and it was a little better the next year and we broke even! Hooray!

Broke even, for hours of work and design, manually packing and mailing every one.

That is incredibly insane to know there was not a profit on this, just doing it because her fans love her and want to have her on the wall all year.

I could have charged more for the calendar, but I never did. I wanted it to be affordable and not break the bank of her followers. Then, that bug to “follow how much people sell calendars at retail for” got in my ear, hence the low price point.

So, I wanted to find a new way to do this and alleviate the pressures of getting inventory, designing, editing, and pulling my hair out.

That is when I found a print on demand calendar company. I cut out the process of editing it, printing it, holding inventory, packaging and mailing it. All I had to do was shoot, drag and drop the photos, and put the link out. At a cost of course, it wasn’t a “free” service.

So, before this 2023 calendar (get it here ) we did a calendar for 2021. We sold 21 calendars and we had 3 different sizes, and a few were the XL size, but most were your standard wall calendar size. At $17.50 per normal size, that would have been almost $400! To which, after everything, we had received $90.

Right now I’m running a sale on that calendar until the 2nd of December.

The amount we get per calendar on sale is around 2 dollars profit.

This is the frustration of “having to do this” for the holiday shopping season. I can’t print tens of thousands of calendars to make them pennies. So, I do what I can and still somehow stay in the black or just out of the red basically.

So, when you see these sales, don’t think that it’s because “the products are cheap” or “it can’t hurt”. It’s more to entice people to get into their small businesses and support their friends or family that may have them. I put the sales on things for you all without completely hurting me in the bank, but not making me lose money. Basically a low profit venture to have you be a part of my world and community.

Speaking of discounts, do you want a lifetime discount on all of my art, pug, and photography prints? How about a 33% discount (Yes, after all that, 33%… seriously, it’s a number I had to look at and see the price of printing, materials, and more from Miller’s and still make a profit, but be able to get people fine art photography prints at a great price)?

Well, if you aren’t signed up for my mailing list yet, here is your chance. You get a 33% discount for life for my photography prints.

You also get my free E-Book for signing up too.

Basically, you get a bunch of free stuff and discounts!

Stefan Glazer
Stefan Glazer

Author, Photographer, Artist, Pug Dad, Podcast Host, Teacher, Friend

Articles: 210

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter