If you’ve reached October, and you haven’t planned out your holiday promotions for your small business yet, are you too late? No! But imagine if you had reached October and your holiday promotions were already photographed and scheduled to post to your website, social media, and email list. How would that feel?

I’m sure it would feel amazing, but as a small business owner balancing parenthood and a pandemic, I couldn’t tell you from experience. If you’re reading this, you’re probably also imagining it would feel pretty great, if only you had time to do #allthethings.

The good news is, even if it’s October and you’ve realized you have no idea what your holiday promotions are yet, you still have time. Every small business is going to be different based on it’s customer and products or services. But it will also vary depending on your business’ mission, vision, and values, as well. What do I mean by that?

Let’s use Halloween for example. If your small business sells candy and costumes, this might be a big time of year for you. Now if you’re a service provider working from home, Halloween might have little to no relevance to your business. It’s also important to think beyond your business. This year, Halloween is destined to look really different for most. In the past, local businesses may have considered passing out candy for kids or operating events like “Trunk or Treats”. This has always been a way for small businesses to show support in their community while getting a little name recognition or foot traffic. This year, we may have to think outside the box, or perhaps even choose to opt-out all together in the name of safety. (Don’t forget to check with your small business insurance agent.)

October also hosts many of the big awareness events. There’s Breast Cancer Awareness, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, and Lung, Liver, and the list goes on. Perhaps you want to donate a portion of proceeds on certain items or all items, to a specific charity in the name of one of these things. You could run a special collaboration in honor or someone special to your or your customers.

That would have been all well and good had you thought of those things in advance, but you may be a little bit too late now.

Plan It for Next Year

Even if you realize there’s just no chance of pulling it all together for this year, put it in your Marketing Calendar for next year. Earlier this year, I shared directions on planning your Content Calendar for the year, including monthly themes. Make sure you add any ideas you had for October this year, to next year’s content plan. The only way to get ahead is to have plan. October theme idea: How to create a KILLER content plan. ????

Plan for the Next Holiday

If you’ve reached October and you’re not ready for any of the upcoming holidays, consider jotting down your ideas as mentioned above, and then moving right along to the next holiday. Luckily for many, Halloween may not be something that’s even on your small business’ radar for holiday promotions.

Start thinking of November because that is when things start hitting fast and furiously! Not only will you be slammed with work, you’ll be stressed with holiday home-life, as well. October means you’re mere weeks away from Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Whew!

Now that’s not to say you should plan something for each holiday, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Start by choosing one that makes the most sense to you and your business, and plan out your month’s content accordingly. Did you have any successful promotions during the last holiday season that you can re-use or re-vamp? How about something else that went well earlier in the year? Put a festive twist on it.

Plan Something Small

If you realize the holidays are fast approaching and you don’t have time to plan a whole launch or campaign, keep it simple. Plan one very special offer and keep it exclusive. Offer just one product or discount, and only to those people that are subscribed to your email list. Hint: This is also a great incentive to get people to sign up for your email list. Use a pop-up to grab their attention and get them on your list.

That means you’re not creating multiple versions of the same content trying to post to your website, social media, and inside your emails. You don’t have to have an entire social media campaign with fancy images and videos complete with captivating captions. Just create a simple, yet well thought-out email, or sequence of emails, with a special offer for your most engaged customers.

Plan for Next Quarter

It’s also acceptable to just do the best you can in the current quarter and work with what you’ve already got going on. As mentioned above, record your ideas from this year and put them on your marketing calendar for next year. Instead, try to get ahead for the next quarter and start planning (and implementing) for January.

Is your small business ready for the upcoming holiday season? What’s your strategy? Share below!

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