18 Questions for a Creative Business to Ponder after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday

Reviewing what worked for you and what didn't - questions for creative business owners - Society for Creative Founders

Hey, happy Monday!  How are you feeling today? If you are a maker, an artist, or a designer, and you had an offer or sales for this weekend, how did it go?

The answer to that question may go one of two ways.  It may go positively, like “oh my goodness, this was our best year yet! It was so busy, it had such a great response, and it was worth all of that hard work to put everything into place! Our phones were cha-chinging like crazy!"Or, it may be experiencing the opposite emotions.  You may catch yourself thinking or saying, “well, it wasn’t so great.  I didn’t get nearly as many orders as I was hoping for.  I found myself working last minute, wishing I had done things differently, or flying by the seat of my pants, frazzled and thinking “why isn’t this working?!” with nothing but frustration flooding in.I do want to take a second to include that if you are in that second camp, it is not a good feeling.  That ugly comparison monster can rear it’s ugly head and make you feel like you are not good enough, not smart enough, your designs aren’t that great, and sometimes, you can even let the negativity get to you to think you should just quit.

And that, my friends, is NOT the case.

Just because things don’t go well, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try again.  You need to kick that comparison monster to the curb, because every single one of us was put here on this Earth to do amazing, incredible things that sets our souls on fire with passion and happiness every single day, and there is absolutely no reason that you should feel that from one weekend of sales you need to call it quits. You just need to look at it differently, from a “what can I change or do differently for next year?”

So here’s what I want you to do.  Take some time this week, even only 30 minutes if you can, to reflect on what it is that you offered, what you would caught yourself thinking you should do differently or what you absolutely loved doing, and take a good look at what you want to do for next year.  Then, put these notes somewhere you’ll remember them.   I am not saying to copy what someone else did - however, if you look to what they did for inspiration as a learning lesson that you can learn something from them in the process, while thinking about what is true to your core in planning for the year ahead, that is the goal here.We’ve compiled a list of eighteen questions for you to ask yourself below, broken down into our Six Pillars, to review and ask yourself while planning for the next year.  No matter how this weekend went, take a few minutes to review things and see what you can improve upon for next year.

Your Core

  1. Did you offer something that in your heart of hearts, you knew was a good thing for your business and your brand? Or, did you do it because you saw someone else offering it and so you thought you should too?
  2. Were you excited to sell your items? Or, did you find yourself wishing you had created something different just for this weekend?

Your Client

  1. Did you find yourself speaking in words and in terminology that your ideal clients love? Or, were you so focused on selling that you completely forgot you were speaking to people who want to buy from you?  How can you improve your conversations for next year so that your ideal client feels like you are speaking directly to them?
  2. Did you add value in a way that your customers who purchased from you felt like they were being loved on just a little bit more? Did you add something to your packages that you knew they would love, whether it was advertised or a surprise?

Your Brand

  1. Did your items stay on track with your brand, using your brand voice and with images that were on point with your normal branding? Or, did you stray from it because you couldn’t find what you needed that reflected your brand, so that your brand wasn’t recognizable, and thus you couldn’t stand out from the crowd?
  2. What did you do to enhance your branding for your packages or services? If you mailed a product, did you include special prints, stickers, packaging tape, or boxes that tied your branding into your products?

Your Money

  1. When you priced your items for this weekend, if they were offered at a discounted rate, did you base that pricing on what you saw others offering, or did you price them in a way that you knew exactly how much profit you would still make from each one?
  2. Alternatively, did you price yours so low that you LOST money, or saw a very minimal profit? If this was the case, what can you do differently for next year so that your business profits from sales over this weekend?
  3. Did you think of a way that you could add value instead of discounting your prices on items? Perhaps you added something complimentary to each package, or combined items in a way that something you make less profit on if discounted was combined with something you have a higher profit on. How can you add value without deeply discounting?

Your Marketing

  1. Did you market yourself anywhere? If so, was it marketed well? Or, was it something you wish you could have done better?
  2. Did you “apply” for any Gift Guides, and if you were accepted, did you plan ahead how to use that for your marketing? Or, did you think about your offers too late, so you missed out on the guides for this year?
  3. Continuing from #2, which gift guides would you like to potentially contribute to next year? Write them down here, so that you know to begin looking into them sooner in 2018 when planning your Fall Marketing/Planning strategy.
  4. Did you participate in any in-person pop-up shops or events locally, to help your business become more known locally?  If not, were there some that you learned about that you’d like to participate in next year?

Your Plan

  1. Did you give yourself enough time to plan everything out? Or, did you find yourself rushing at the last minute?
  2. Did you create a variety of images that were reflective of your brand, that you were able to use in many different instances?  For example, Instagram stories, square images for social media, images for Facebook posts, Pinterest posts, etc?
  3. If you received a lot of orders, were you happy with your turnaround time? Or, how could you set it up differently for next year so that things are more organized?  


  1. Are you happy with how things went? Or, do you want them to improve for next year?
  2. What did you offer this year? Do you want to offer it again? Or, will you try something different?

We’d love to hear from you, so comment below with any thoughts you may have on this!  And of course, if you’d like to hear even more ideas to help you set your business up for success in the coming year, we would love for you to join us at our 2018 Conference.  

Take care, and we’ll see you again tomorrow … we have an exciting announcement that we can’t wait to share with you right here on the Blog!