Jun 10, 2022

When you run a small business, it’s easy to keep on doing what you’ve been doing. With so many responsibilities, it can be challenging to find time to infuse your day-to-day with a fresh vibe. Here’s your chance to do just that over the next three months with winning (and fun!) ways to market your business and match your efforts to the temperature of the season.

Take Everything Outside: Strolling along in the sunshine puts everyone in a good mood, and especially a shopping mood when sidewalk sales come into view. Showcase new and/or winter and spring merchandise outdoors to capture the attention of people walking and driving by.

  • Hang up a sign or banner to stop traffic
  • Stack products in enticing piles or colorful baskets on a table
  • Hang up items on an easy-to-peruse rack
  • Set up a tent for extra shade or in case of rain


Be a Team Player: You don’t have to have a sports-related product or service to take advantage of all the games being played in the summer, by the pros or in the community.

  • Craft an online or in-person promotional contest or giveaway around some of the most popular: volleyball, baseball, tennis, golf, and swimming
  • Sponsor a local kid or intramural sports team (Little League fan, anyone?) and put your logo on shirts you provide
    • Great for exposure and boosting name recognition
  • If a local sports team wins a big championship, offer a one-time, half-off sale to celebrate


Play in Your Own Backyard
: Get your name out there by becoming actively involved in your community. Show your support for everything local by sponsoring events (concerts, festivals, farmer’s markets), joining town boards (share your expertise), and being the first to help out when needed (beach clean-up crews, shredding days, parade set-ups, and more).

  • Set up a booth, table or truck at events to introduce your business, sell your product (food freebies are always a hit!), and meet your neighbors
  • Spread out marketing materials and make sure your business info is included in any event advertising
  • Host an on-site contest or giveaway (an easy way to collect visitor emails and home addresses and build that mailing list)
    • Match the spirit of the season with prizes attendees will love: water bottle, beach towel and beach bag, sunglasses, tank tops, baseball caps

 

Share Your Summer Vibe: Customers love it when your place of business is fun to visit. Make it enticing with a summertime look and feel that'll motivate them to spend more time, and come back often. (And more hang time usually means more sales.) Brighten up your space with festive colors, a fresh coat of paint, welcoming signage, and summer-themed shopping bags.

  • Package summer merchandise by the entry to give people "ideas" as they come in
    • Sunshine Kit (sunscreen, visor, water bottle), Barbecue Bag (tools, mitts, rubs, and serving boats), Patriotic Party (red, white & blue napkins, plates, cups, and decor)
  • Pile up beach towels and bags, summer-oriented books, and seasonal must-haves
  • Run a restaurant or cafe? Switch up your tablecloths and napkins, add vibrant-colored candles, place summer flowers and plants around, and add warm weather favorite foodie items to the menu

 

Make a Day of It: Over the next three months, there are plenty of special days, holidays and themes you can align your business with to capitalize on built-in excitement. There’s a whole slew to review here https://www.calendarr.com/united-states/observances-2022/ in addition to these favorites:

June 19 - Father’s Day
June 21 - Summer Solstice
July 4 - Independence Day
July 30 - International Friendship Day
August 16 - National Roller Coaster Day
August 30 - National Beach Day
September 3 - Labor Day

You can also piggyback promotions or refresh retail/restaurant decor around these popular activities:

  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Day/Sleepaway Camp
  • Camping/Hiking
  • Summer School
  • Barbecues
  • Beach Parties
  • Gardening
  • Sports Events
  • Entertainment : Concerts, festivals, street fairs
  • Back to School

Sizzle-Up Social Media: It’s all about the buzz! During the lazy days of June, July and August, give your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts some summer loving. Boost your presence with paid posts, refresh content, and ramp up engagement with customers looking for things to do and news about you. Doesn’t take much time and the pay-off is worth it.

  • Dress up your posts and targeted ads with summertime colors, visuals, lingo and hashtags
    • “Whale of a Sale” / “Endless Summer Specials” / #LazyDayDiscounts
  • Take the time to start a blog, add new photos, create explainer videos, and partner with influencers to talk about your business in a positive light
  • Run a “What I did on my summer vacation” contest where followers post photos and stories and the one with the most “Likes” at summer’s end gets a FREE product or service
    • Never underestimate the sway of user-generated content (and it’s free)

Hold a Summer Slash Sale: Get customers checking out your store (online or in-person) on an hourly, daily or weekly basis all summer long by holding quick-turnaround sales. Great hook: they’ll need to follow you actively on social media to not miss out.

  • Schedule a sip and shop event to kick things off
  • Partner with another business to double the fun and the goodies and split the costs
  • Promote big-time on social media so everyone’s in-the-know
    • Bonus discount or code for anyone who shares your post (great way to expand your audience)
  • Beat the heat with cool deals tied to the temperature outside. Hit 90 degrees? Give a 10% discount or take $10 off.
  • Make customers smile on rainy days with last-minute offers
    • Text, email, post on social media with the weather forecast and your insider scoop

Meg Schutte is a Bank of Hope Blog contributor.    

The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Bank of Hope. 

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