6 Hot Summer Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

Creative ways to heat up sales as the mercury rises.
Summer is about getting out and promoting your business within your community - take advantage of the warm months with these tips! (Photo: Mila Supinskaya/Shutterstock)

If you sell ice cream or popsicles or run a lawn mowing business, you love summer. Other small businesses may see a dip in sales as the thermometer rises and people leave town on vacation.

Whether your business rises or falls with the season, you can make the most of it with these warm-weather marketing strategies.


Summer artwork can spark visitors to take photos of your work and post on social media. (Photo: Jane and Jim Eden/Flickr)

Create branded freebies and summer-only offerings

“Place your logo on water bottles or sunglasses,” suggested Mark Fortune, owner of Fortune Marketing Inc. “These are nice things to hand out at booths at local festivals or farmer’s markets or to give to clients to thank them for their business.”

Small business marketing consultant Lara McCulloch proposed marketing something new for summer. “Think thematics. Create a limited-edition summer version of your products and services.”

She added, “My biggest tip for small business owners is to get in the mind of your customer. What does summer mean to them, as it relates to your products and services? What’s exciting about this season? What are they looking for?”

Offer sales that correspond with the temperature

Everyone loves a good sale, so why not have some fun with the discount? For example, Fortune suggested the higher the temperature gets, the higher the discount. But he warns: “Be sure to use Celsius, unless you want to give your product away for free, especially if you’re in the South.”

McCulloch recommended a weather-related giveaway. “Have the community hold bets on when the hottest day of the summer will be and offer a prize to the winner.” The contest is sure to draw interest from new and returning customers.

Tie in your community

Sometimes it takes a village to get the word out about your small business.

“Summer is all about getting out and getting social again,” said McCulloch. “This applies to your business too. Reach out to other local entrepreneurs and find ways to cross-promote your products and services.”

Caron Beesley, writing for the Small Business Administration website, advised taking part in local markets, events, fairs and festivals. Contact the organizers to see what opportunities might exist.

Take part in, or host, a charity event

Volunteer for a favorite cause or charity or provide services or products for it. “Not only will it generate some great positive publicity for your business, but it can also be very rewarding for employees to give back as a group,” said Fortune.

Research shows consumers are more interested in doing business with companies that practice corporate social responsibility, including by giving back.

Volunteered services, sponsorship of local charity events and donation of inventory or services may be tax deductible.

Hold a summer event

Special events are a great way to market your business during the summer, especially since everyone is raring to get outside.

“Consider partnering with a local pool,” said Fortune. “Invite your best clients and their friends for refreshments and an afternoon at the pool. The kids can swim while the adults chat and relax, all while you promote your business.”

McCulloch advocated holding a block party with other local retailers to foster a sense of community while creating excitement around your store location.

A cookout in your parking lot is another summer-friendly approach.

close up chalk

Consider hiring local chalk artists to create sidewalk advertisements. (Photo: camerazn/Flickr)

Get artsy

If you have a storefront, consider using vibrant chalk or paint to advertise sales or just depict colorful summer scenes. “Hire local artists, like spray painters or chalk artists, to create a sense of theatre outside of your shop location,” said McCulloch.

Chalk art can do more than catch the eyes of passersby. Visitors might even take photos of your artwork and post them to their social media platforms.

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