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This Halloween, Small Business Gets in the Ghoulish Spirit

Halloween approaches in just a few days. The ghouls, ghosts and zombified pop culture figures of the world will once again be readying themselves to stalk the streets in search of entertainment and as much free candy as they can stuff in their pillowcases. Faced with an oncoming horde of such magnitude, small business owners ought to be prepared. Not in a scary, bar the doors, run-for-your-lives way of course – rather, SMBs should prepare to embrace the holiday as an opportunity to show off the fun, creative and community-friendly side of their personality.
Aside from the once-or-twice-a-year seasonal products (fireworks, pumpkins) that may experience a boom in sales in the days leading up to October 31, a wide variety of businesses can benefit from the buzz that builds toward Halloween. The holiday is no child’s play as far as consumer activity is concerned: $331 million was spent on candy alone in 2009 according to Statistics Canada. Many business come up with creatively thematic ways of promoting their products or services to capitalize on this trend. This could be as simple as finding an eye-catching decoration or modifying a key product with a suitably creepified colour or visual theme. Even the staff at Merchant Advance Capital have embraced some spooky alterations to the workplace:

Think of it this way: when you were a kid, roaming around the neighbourhood in your scariest getup, no one cared to knock at the door of that one house on the block with the lights switched off and the door tightly closed. Small businesses would do well to be open and inviting to Halloween revelry: plan or sponsor an event that puts you in the spooky spotlight, have employees dress in costume on Friday, and be ready to hand out treats to the ravenous mobs. According to the Retail Council of Canada, 68% of Canadians participated in at least one Halloween-related activity in data obtained from 2007. Is your small business offering people the chance to be part of something fun or unique, even just for a day? The effort could go a long way toward creating an impression on your community and drawing increased business as the year progresses.

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