Smart marketers usually have an organized marketing calendar for the fiscal quarter they are in, if not for the entire year. This is because sales at certain times of the year, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, need to be planned well in advance to ensure that the business has a profitable year.

However, most small business owners struggle so much to keep their head above water that the idea of planning even one month ahead can seem an almost impossible dream. Therefore, they might find themselves offering unscheduled sales, and need to try to make the most of this opportunity even if they are under time pressure to get it done.

News Tie-Ins

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News happens all the time, and sometimes the headlines are related to products and services that you offer. In this case, it would be the perfect opportunity to create a sale. For example, if you hear on the news that a hurricane is bearing down on Florida, then your online guide to disaster preparedness might be perfect.

Date Tie-Ins

There are many holidays throughout the year, as well as days and months related to particular observances that might be good excuses for sales. For example, September is prostate cancer awareness month and October breast cancer awareness. If you have information on these specific topics, or on healthy living, or you just want to celebrate your staff participating in the Avon 3-Day Walk, why not create a sale around it?

Twelve days of Christmas sales are very popular and help marketers tap into some of the millions of dollars that are being spent at this time of year, even if their products are not ones that are directly connected to the holidays or gift giving.

End of Month Sales Figures

Your website traffic can fluctuate significantly from month to month. If you get to the last ten days or so of the month and see that your sales have been flat and you are not going to meet your goals, it might be time for a special sale.

You might wish to offer a sale price on one of your most popular items. Or you could highlight a lesser-known product to raise its profile.

New Product Launches and Beta Testing

Whenever you have a new product, you will have to launch it; that is, announce that it is available. You will also benefit from reviews and testimonials to make more sales. A beta test sale offered to the people on your list will give them a surprise sale, a chance to save, and a chance to get feedback about your new product before you do a full rollout.

Try to schedule your sales on a calendar each year, but don’t be afraid to create last-minute sales to boost your profits.

Next time, we'll talk about offering discounts. There are many benefits to doing this, including making your customers feel valued.