What holiday generates the 2nd highest spending by adults?

Halloween (yes, Valentine’s Day is first).

Obviously we’re not including Christmas, which is head and shoulders spending-wise ahead of both of those days. I don’t figure I have to advise anyone to market their business around Christmas, particularly since Wal-Mart has had lights and ornaments out since last May, or at least it seems like it’s been that long:)

No matter what kind of business you own, you can take advantage of Halloween in some fashion, have a little fun and generate some PR. Oh yeah – and make some sales!

The obvious thing is for you and your staff to dress up on Halloween, but that doesn’t help you much if you don’t have a retail or service business where the public is in and out of your store all day.

If you do ask your staff to dress up, be sure and provide them with Do’s and Don’ts well in advance so they can make good choices and still enjoy the fun. Some costumes might create safety issues in your workplace, and some people always need a little reminder of what is and isn’t tasteful. You more than likely don’t want your VP of Consumer Loans coming to the bank dressed up like Madonna or Britney. Too much information:)

Everyone has options if they plan ahead a little. You still have time if you hurry, and can include Halloween-related marketing in your print, direct mail and radio ads.

The themes should be obvious. An accountant can have their staff dress up like some scary creature (a politician comes to mind<g>) and put a headline on their ad that says “Scared of paying too much of your hard-earned money to the IRS?” and then proceed to describe and make an offer.

An attorney might send a mailer to their clients reminding them that a hard deadline (December 31, for example) is coming soon and include a picture or clip art of the Grim Reaper, or similar character.

An quick lube oil change store could show their staff dressed up as creatures down in the bay below the vehicles and talk about the dungeon and how they are ready to keep your car in tip top shape so that you don’t get stuck on the side of the road, only to be caught by the boogeyman.

An on-site event at your store or service location is another obvious, but rarely used, idea. People have live remotes with a radio station all the time. Rarely do they have any fun with them and make them interesting and worth driving across town to attend. You could make this a customer appreciation event as well. It won’t be long before the hectic season is here, may as well do it now and start a tradition.

Obviously, you can make these ads, events and offers as edgy or sedate as you like – just try to have some fun with them. Even the clients of accountants and lawyers like fun stuff.

Be absolutely sure to craft these offers so that you know how much business comes from your day of silliness. You might find that you want to do these kinds of things more often.  You want to know what works and what doesn’t, even the fun stuff.

Even if your business doesn’t appear to have much synergy with Halloween (or has a different idea of fun), it’s easy to turn it around and still make use of the day.

For example, if you own a store that offers religious goods/services, you may have some clients who wouldn’t appreciate it if your staff came to work in costumes and festooned the store with black and orange, goblins and ghosts. Only you know your clientèle well enough to decide what you should and shouldn’t do. Still, do something.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t provide a fun alternative. Perhaps the staff arrives for work dressed as their favorite person from the Bible. Or you have your own version of a Haunted House, with a religious theme. And obviously not scary, but instead a lesson, scene or room from your favorite story.

There’s room for almost every business to do something with Halloween, you just have to put a little thought into it. And don’t stop with Halloween. There’s a trick or treat bag full of holidays and other special days between now and March (see, even I can do it).