The Monday after Thanksgiving, set aside to promote online shopping, has become big business, even for America’s small retailers. Last year’s Cyber Monday sales were higher than those on Black Friday. As customers come to expect the convenience of online shopping for the holidays, here are five ways to ensure your small business can capitalize on Cyber Monday. \t Ensure Your Website Is Ready Part of ensuring your website is set up to handle the increase in transactions is working out any bugs that could cause problems with the extra traffic you’re expecting. You may also consider opening an Etsy shop or creating an account on Amazon. While these sites take a small percentage of your sales, it’s better than losing money due to a buggy website. Do your best to get your products in front of your buyers this year and work on perfecting your website in 2018. \t Make Sure You Can Afford It Cyber Monday deals can help you turn a quick profit with a sudden surge in sales. However, this comes at a cost. Depending on the size of your business, you might need to order extra inventory or hire seasonal employees in preparation. If you cannot afford these upfront expenses, consider financing options including business credit cards or a business line of credit. With these options, money is quickly available to cushion your cash flow and set you up for Cyber Monday success. \t Be Smart About Your Discounts No doubt your sales would skyrocket if you sold your most popular items deeply discounted, but can you afford to do that? Research what your competitors did for Cyber Monday last year to determine what kinds of promotions you should be considering. Remember, many products mix and match with one another and encourage repeat shopping. If this is the case with your items, it might be worth it to take a loss in the beginning in order to attract repeat customers. Planning and running the numbers is key. Don’t impulsively create a promotion that is unsustainable. \t Get Your Social Media Ducks in a Row Once you have a dependable way to sell your products, the infrastructure and inventory to support your sales, and a realistic sales goal, it’s time to promote your Cyber Monday offerings online. Create consistent and catchy graphics to post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, consider paying for ads on these sites; promotions on social media channels can be both economical and effective. \t Notify Your Existing Customers Don’t forget to keep your current customers in the loop. Send them an email using Constant Contact or MailChimp that alerts them of your Cyber Monday sale. Even better, give them access to a preview sale where they can purchase your items before everyone else; they’ll love the exclusivity. It’s easy to think that Cyber Monday is only for the big internet retailers, but by following these five tips, your small business can take advantage of Cyber Monday to increase your holiday sales. You don’t need a big marketing budget to reach your target audience; harness your advantages as a small business, your quality products and services, to earn your share of the Cyber Monday pie.