Major holidays typically favor large businesses. That’s usually because, as the Motley Fool points out, big players have the funds to spend on ads, as well as having the best locations, and the digital technology that small business owners typically struggle to compete with.
But, that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t compete. They just have to be more creative in order to find clever ways to earn business from their regular and seasonal customers.
One way to do that is to capitalize on lesser-known, quirky holidays that larger retailers either don’t know—or don’t care—about. Take, for example, Dance Like A Chicken Day (May 14th). From retailers to restaurants, and everything in between, practically any business can make the most of this weird national holiday by inviting customers to perform the “chicken dance” in return for discounts, freebies and more, suggests Small Business Trends.
Here are 10 more zany holidays small businesses can use to drum up more foot traffic and more sales:
1. Loyalty Day
Loyalty Day is celebrated on May 1st. While it’s purpose is about reaffirming loyalty to the United States and recognizing the heritage of American freedom, that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked to serve the needs of any business.
In fact, small businesses can use this day to promote Loyalty Day campaigns, in which they offer exclusive deals to their loyal customers and clients. It’s also a good time to provide refreshments and/or freebies just to say “Thanks” to loyal fans.
2. Life Insurance Day
May 2nd is National Life Insurance Day, marking the anniversary of the first-day life insurance became available in the United States. While insurance brokers and firms are the obvious businesses to celebrate this day, clever companies can always come up with ideas to use such a holiday to their advantage.
Retailers that sell or rent medical supplies can recognize and/or promote a day that celebrates their services, and the insurance companies they deal with. They can also invite life and healthcare specialists to their store to hold workshops or have a meet and greet with their customers. Either way, these stores can offer coupons, discounts and other incentives to get people in the door on May 2nd.
3. World Password Day
Another holiday celebrated on May 2nd is World Password Day, which was originally launched to raise awareness of the importance of creating good passwords in an age of increasing cyber threats.
IT companies, anti-virus developers, and just about any business that deals with computers, can take advantage of this holiday. Brands such as Best Buy can promote the importance of cybersecurity with special signage, balloons, etc., as well as having their IT specialists readily available to speak with customers. Coupons, discounts, freebies, activities, and other incentives can be provided to entice potential and current customers to attend.
4. Star Wars Day
Star Wars fans may already know about Star Wars Day, celebrated on May 4th. Based on the pun ‘May the Fourth be with you,’ this holiday obviously celebrates the iconic Star Wars franchise.
Not surprisingly, then, any business—from toy merchants and big box stores to car dealerships and restaurants—can make a big hoo-ha out of Star Wars Day. There’s no need to even sell Star Wars merchandise (although it’s a can’t miss opportunity for those that do).
From outer-space inspired appetizers to Stormtrooper greeters, all this holiday requires is a Star Wars theme of some sort. Businesses can simply add a few incentives to the mix, like free refreshments and discounts, and the event is a go!
5. International No Diet Day
Celebrated on May 6th, this is the day to put away the bathroom scales and get out the light blue ribbons (official symbol for this day). It’s a day to celebrate body acceptance and body shape diversity.
This day also promotes a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on “health at any size”, as well as raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting.
Restauranteurs, retailers that sell kitchen goods, gyms, or any business associated with food can promote a day of healthy eating, with product demonstrations, meal preparation workshops, local chef meet and greets, etc. Free food samples, complimentary recipes, and store coupons are just some of the ways small businesses can get people in their doors on May 6.
6. Clean Up Your Room Day
Maid services, janitor supply stores, and any other business that sells cleaning products should celebrate May 10th—National Clean Up Your Room Day.
Far from being a day just for kids to clean their rooms, this holiday is about cleaning out the clutter to make living areas or business offices more orderly and pleasant. It’s also a chance to throw away or donate things that aren’t being used.
From holding a special sale on plastic bins and other containers/organizers to hosting workshops on how to clear the house of clutter, this holiday offers so many opportunities for small business owners to draw people into their stores.
7. Be A Millionaire Day
Observed each year on May 20, Be a Millionaire Day is a day for people to start taking steps to turn dreams into reality by making plans for their future.
Small businesses of virtually all industries can use this day to incentivize either customers or employees. An in-store Who Wants to be a Millionaire-style game offering prizes, discounts, etc. will help get customers in the doors, while business owners can also use the holiday to motivate their teams to sell more and increase productivity, leading to a boost in profits—and bonuses.
8. Wine Day
It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Wine Day, observed on May 25th, is a particularly popular national holiday! Bar’s, restaurants, clubs can use this day to bring in potential and loyal customers alike, to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine—or two—with the purchase of one glass.
Wine merchants and winemakers can offer free wine samples and appetizers, along with workshops and demos, and allow patrons to purchase their favorite beverages at a discounted price.
Of course, other businesses—retailers included—can also take advantage of this holiday by inviting folks to drop by their establishment to enjoy a glass of wine or sparkling cider while they shop.
9. Hamburger Day
Americans love a good hamburger, so satisfy their appetites for this culinary icon on May 28th, also known as National Hamburger Day. While it’s a given that diners and restaurants will be taking advantage of this day to draw in customers, that doesn’t mean other businesses can’t capitalize on it as well.
Whether businesses do a customer appreciation day and serve up free burgers or offer the sandwiches for a measly .25 cents, hamburgers are sure to entice hungry shoppers.
10. Water A Flower Day
Who knew there was a special day to celebrate the joy that flowers bring? Celebrated on May 30th, Water a Flower Day isn’t just about making sure plants get a drink.
Water a Flower Day is also a great opportunity to help care for the gardens of those who may be homebound or in the hospital and to cheer up friends with a bright bloom.
From hosting free gardening workshops to encouraging customers to beautify their homes with plants and flowers by handing out free pansies, this holiday offers many possible scenarios for drawing foot traffic and boosting sales.
Quirky holidays, like the ones above, help small businesses market their stores as unique alternatives to the major holidays that typically belong to the big players.
The Motley Fool points out that marketing should include the fact that smaller businesses aren’t as crowded as malls and big boxes, or that they’re offering free beverages before or after mall hours.
Small businesses should start today and make a calendar of these and other upcoming holidays, so they can plan out great events to entice customers to drop by their establishments, increasing the potential to make more sales.
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