Despite what the thermometer says, Fall is here!  In my neighborhood, not only are the Halloween decorations in full force, some of my spirited neighbors are already having their outdoor Christmas lights hung.  Yes, really.

It’s crunch time for small business, like it or not, complete with the usual demands from home that come with this time of year: back-to-school activities, nightly homework, weekend extracurriculars, carpools, shows and recitals, holiday parties, and family gatherings.  I don’t know about you, but my family’s autumn to-do list is bananas

Much like a rollercoaster, this time of year is equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.  And, being a small business owner simply adds a second wave of nausea to the hold-on-tight ride.  Instead of the thoughtfully developed plans we typically execute over time, come October, it’s an intensely grueling race to make it to New Year’s Eve.

As such, the following business advice may seem counterintuitive, but here goes.  Think “inside the box” this fall and take full advantage of the myriad of upcoming events and activities happening right here, in Long Beach that align with your family outings.

Google listings of local Long Beach events specific to your business interests, or contact your local council district office, in order to leverage the built-in audiences that different community events pull in. For example, you could:

  • Provide a complementary product or service for a local nonprofit organization’s holiday silent auction. (May I suggest “Tricks for Treats” at the Federal Bar on November 1st?)tricks-for-treats-federal-bar
  • Become a vendor at the Long Beach Zombie Walk
  • Advertise in the program of a community show or school play
  • Partner with a seller at your neighborhood Long Beach farmer’s market to advertise or cross-sell your related offerings
  • Mingle at a LB library’s professional networking event
  • Go to a business association’s holiday event
  • Get friends to wear your business’ t-shirts while handing out water to Turkey Trot 5K and 10K runners
  • Plan your advertising for January’s 27th’s Annual Martin Luther King Parade. 20,000 people attend and the parade is televised, which adds up to a great way to get advertising for a small fee ($85)

These are just a few thoughts to get you rockin’ and rollin’, but I’m curious what you’ll come up with on your own.  So, go ahead and post your hyper-local, holiday marketing idea in the comments section, below.

Oh, and since I’ll probably be too busy to say it later, have a prosperous 2015!

Have a question for me?  Bring it on!  Every question posted in the comments, below, will be answered thoughtfully and, if it’s useful to others, may even be featured in an upcoming ask olga column or post.

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