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Small Business Autumn Promotions: A Beginner’s Guide

Summer is over. The weather is getting colder.  The leaves are quickly changing.  The days grow shorter.  What does this mean for your small business?  Well, like most things, it means you have an opportunity.  Seasons, and holidays, offer extra special ways in which to keep your customers (both new and old) engaged with you.

The first thing you should do when optimizing your autumn promotions is to develop an annual marketing plan.  This entails not just autumn seasonal events and holidays – but events and holidays, which occur all throughout the year as well.  As with many other aspects of your small businesses’ marketing campaigns – you should focus on which seasonal events match up most logically with your goods and/or services.  In other words, you must analyze the seasonality of your business.

Business Seasonality

In order to do this, it would probably be a good idea to gather sales data from previous years.  Seasonality and autumnal events may not be controlled by your small business itself – instead – it may be determined by your customers’ behavior.  It always pays to understand their patterns – what sorts of things they’re looking for – and exactly which times during the year they’re looking for them.

It also helps to define clear goals before diving into the autumn seasonal promotion whirlwind.  Without a goal – you will struggle to discover if your promotional efforts were truly worth it come the end of the season.  Examples of productive goals include the increase of your small business’ overall sales (obviously), the sales of a particular good and/or service, or perhaps to reach a brand new customer group who may not be as familiar with the sorts of things you provide as your current customers are.  This sort of customer branching out could be accomplished by way of specific gift items, promotions, or shopping opportunities.

Autumn Promotion Ideas

Other examples of promotions you could develop during this autumn season include (but are certainly not limited to) hosting an event at your small business’ location, holding contests, offering special discounts and deals, special autumnal-themed giveaways, as well as email and social media promotions.  All of these ideas could utilize the autumn season and your small business’ connection to it in unique, engaging ways.  Develop strategies while creating promotions so that once and future customers will remember them – and subsequently your small business and the goods and/or services you offer.  Instill in your brand a ‘stands out from the competition’ quality.

Keep in mind, when we discuss seasonal marketing strategies – we aren’t talking about mere decorations or tired gift ideas – we’re talking about next level integration and spirited engagement.  For example, a great autumn-themed promotion could involve ‘back to school’.  Many customers are shopping for new goods and/or services for their families this time in the year – so it would be prudent to aid them in this endeavor.  Offer discounts, giveaways and contests on goods and/or services, which tie into the ‘back to school’ event.

Other promotions you could consider creating around this busy time of the year include school supply kits you could offer filed with items on local schools’ required supply lists.  Or, let’s say your small business is a bookstore: “target families by offering May or June sales on the books local schools require children to read over the summer” and even books and textbooks they require for the upcoming academic year.  Or, if your small business is a local physician’s office – one unique way to attract new families to your practice is to offer, “multi-child discounts for back-to-school physicals.”

Back-to-school promotions are not the only autumn-themed promotions your small business can target, of course.  A unique idea you could aim for is a First Day of Fall sale, promotion, giveaway, contest, or even an effect.  The first day of autumn usually falls around the end of September – so plan your marketing campaign for the year accordingly.

Of course, Halloween is always a big draw for small businesses.  Sales, discounts – whatever the promotion type – they fit right in with this fun holiday.  Do you offer candy?  Costumes?  Food?  If any of your goods and services logically makes sense for a Halloween-themed promotion – please don’t hesitate to use this as a way to attract people to your small business and its awesome goods and/or services!

Thanksgiving

Another autumn-themed promotion could center on Thanksgiving, of course.  This is especially true if your small business falls under the hospitality and restaurant industries.  Take advantage of this family and food-centric holiday with discounts, giveaways – and perhaps even “some sort of ‘leftovers’ clearance if your small business falls under the retail industry.

Signage Refresh

Autumn promotions are a great time to refresh your business storefront signage. Be sure and remove any banners or signs from your store windows or interior that have summer visuals or highlight summer promotions. Window displays with fall themes and banners highlighting your autumn specials will attract more attention during the fall season and give your brand a refreshed look.

Whichever autumn themed promotions you choose to use within your small business’ marketing campaign throughout the year (there are so many more Autumn holidays to choose from – such as Small Business Saturday (usually in late November), or Customer Appreciation Sales – or even just a general autumn sale – you will be well on your way to attracting new customers to your festive small business.

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