Small business owners know the holidays are a busy time. You’ve got personal obligations to juggle with running your business. According to the National Retail Federation, 76 percent of holiday spending is attributed to Christmas, Chanukah, and other seasonal holidays. That’s over $500 billion a year. Small businesses work hard to compete for those dollars. November and December, however, can’t provide profitability year round. If you want to assure a healthy cash flow and solid business plan, you have to keep consumers, well, consuming all year round.
So, what other holidays can you take advantage of increasing your traffic and sales? Sure there are the traditional religious holidays: Easter, Passover and so on. Then there are the federal and bank holidays: you’ll see plenty of sales for Presidents Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. If other businesses are creating a lot of chatter around those events, your advertising and marketing efforts (and dollars) are going to be competing for attention. If you want to make the most of the funds you’re adding to your Pitney Bowes postage meters, why not send out mailings during quieter times of the year? Look into celebrations that relate to your company, your community or your interests and take the proverbial big fish in a small pond approach.
What kind of days, weeks, or months are already in place waiting for you to participate? Here’s a list of just a few interesting ones, a quick search of the internet can reveal even more opportunities more relevant to your niche.
- Flag Day and National Flag Month
- National Dairy Month
- Paul Bunyon Day
- National Blueberry Month
- National Hot Dog Month
- Hammock Day
- Family Fun Month
- National Picnic Month
- U.S. Coast Guard Day
We could catalog the rest of the year, but you’ve got the idea, right? Something or someone is honored, remembered, feted, or otherwise paid homage to just about everyday or week of every month. Finding the tie-ins with your local community can help you reach new customers, reconnect with past customers and establish your business as an authority in your space.
Take, for example, a sporting goods store. Rather than focusing on Memorial Day sales, why not target U.S. Coast Guard Day? What a great time to target customers with nautical outings planned for upcoming Labor Day long weekend. You could partner with your local chapter of the Coast Guard Auxiliary to increase awareness of vital boating safety issues. Encourage customers to bring in life jackets for inspection and collect unsafe or outdated equipment in exchange for a discount on replacement equipment. Not only are you providing your customers with valuable information, you’re selling them products they need for building a rapport with them.
Keep an eye out too, for any conventions being held locally that might relate to your business. Letting convention-goers know that there’s a local source for specialty items they might need could bring you some business and get some buzz going about your business.
Have you had success with using a minor holiday or celebration to your advantage? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.