Autumn squirrel stealing acorn

One of the big differences between the life of a full-time marketer and the life of small business owner is the time frame in which you live your daily life. The entrepreneur is often living in the moment, putting out the fires of the day, and making sure everything is running smoothly. The marketer, on the other hand, is already spending their days planning the next month, quarter, and even year.

The challenge that small business owners face as they decide to grow their businesses is that they must also become marketers. This requires that they split their focus and see not only today’s performance, but also next quarter’s goals.

If sales and special promotions are a part of your strategy for achieving those goals, the time has come to start planning for the season ahead. This could mean a promotion you announce in your newsletter, a coupon code you post in your web store, or a sale graphic you promote on social media. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Fear not – we have 10 easy ideas for fall promotions you can steal right now:

1. Back To School
This one is actually upon us, but it’s not too late to run some creative promos around getting the house to yourself, vacations being over, or even just generic back-to-school savings. 

2. First Day of Fall
Did you know that the first day of fall, 2014 is September 23rd? That means you officially have one month to plan this promotion! Think about themes around falling into savings, leaves changing, seasons turning, etc.

3. Halloween
Thinking of a promotion around Halloween is as easy as taking candy from a baby (see? The puns write themselves). You’ll see lots of taglines around scary-good savings, super sweet sales, and myriad manipulations of words with ‘boo’ sounds in them.

4. Thanksgiving
If you work in the hospitality and restaurant scene, Thanksgiving promotions will come naturally. If you need a little help with ideas, consider puns around gobbling up savings, and maybe some sort of ‘leftovers’ clearance if you work in the retail industry.

5. You’re Welcome Day
Yes, this is an official holiday, and it falls on November 28th. This one would be well suited for a business with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek or irreverent brand identity. I’m envisioning a graphic posted on social media that just says “Everything 50% through Sunday. You’re welcome.”

6. Small Business Saturday
This might seem like an obvious choice, but you’d be surprised how many business owners forget to plan their own Small Business Saturday promotions. If you don’t already have it circled on your calendar, American will be encouraged to “Shop Small” on Saturday, November 29th this year.

7. Customer Appreciation Sale
The holiday season is a natural fit for a Customer Appreciation Sale. Show your customers some love with a special promo code or an opportunity to join a loyalty program.

8. BOGO Sale
While there’s no way to be sure who started it, the term “BOGO” (buy one get one) will forever be associated with Payless Shoesource. While not especially fall-themed, BOGO sales are a great way to re-energize customers who might not have shopped with you for awhile, or to clear out old inventory.

9. 24-Hour Sale
Also not specific to fall, but nonetheless effective, is the good old 24-hour sale. This catchy title is easy to design around, and it creates a surprisingly motivating sense of urgency for your audience. Make sure to send reminders toward the end of the sale that announce it’s “ending soon!”

10. Game of Thrones
If you (and your customers, of course) are into Game of Thrones, there is no shame in putting out a ‘Winter is Coming’ promotion. After all…it is.

Already planning your fall promotions? Have a great fall pun to share? Don’t be shy – tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Content Marketing Manager at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social media tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog and Google+.

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