It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over and fall is right around the corner! This is the time of year when children return to school and summer vacations end. For many companies, including small businesses, they start to prepare for the holiday season and the end of the year in earnest. Of course, depending on your industry or geographical location, some small businesses will begin preparing for a holiday season that may be their busiest time of the year while others will be expecting a slowdown through the end of the year or even until the start of spring. No matter what type of small business you own and operate, and no matter what your plans are for the holiday season, the fall presents a number of great opportunities for your business to change your marketing strategy and test the viability and popularity of a new product or service before the holiday season.

Shift Your Marketing To Fit The Season

Many small businesses mistakenly believe that if their primary product or service isn’t a strong or traditional fit for a particular holiday, then there’s no point in developing a specific marketing strategy to fit that holiday. For instance, grocery stores may advertise certain food products strongly around Thanksgiving, while a toy store may believe there is no reason to create any new marketing or advertising initiatives until the December holiday season begins. However, it’s important to look deeper into what your customers may need. For instance, many families with children travel during the holidays, and parents may be interested in toys, games, and activities to keep their children occupied, while grandparents or relatives may be interested in purchasing the same products to entertain the children during their visit. If a toy store were to shift their marketing and advertising to appeal to these potential buyers, they could see a brief boost in sales before the holiday season even begins. For small businesses in other industries, they may discover a similar niche related to the holiday.

Consider A Trial Run Of A New Product Or Service

If you are considering introducing an innovative new product or service for the holiday season, it may be wise to launch it a few months early in the fall. Depending on the nature of your industry, the holiday season can be a “make it or break it” time. Even a small miscalculation can prove to be financially significant and damaging. On the other hand, if you introduce a new product or service too early, you run the risk of a competitor adopting the same product or service and competing with you or even undercutting you in the marketplace. By introducing a new product or service a few months before the start of the holiday season, you can “test the waters” and determine if there is sufficient demand to shift more of your crucial holiday resources to acquiring stock, marketing, and advertising for this particular product or service.

Even A Seasonal Slowdown Can Present New Opportunities

If your small business experiences a slowdown at the end of the summer season, don’t just write off your advertising and marketing during the fall and winter months. Even a slowdown can present new advertising and marketing opportunities, allowing you to generate more business before the end of the year or determine that a particular new idea is ineffective. If you have significantly less to lose by offering a deep discount or experimenting with a radical new product idea or marketing strategy, then this may be the perfect time of the year to experiment!