Take Advantage of Special Events

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Wandering around among witches, dragons, princesses, and Harry Potters this Halloween, I watched my own little ninja’s jack-o-lantern fill up with various forms of sugar, and I despaired — not at the thought of all the junk food he’d be consuming, because I knew that after a few days the novelty would wear off and he’d forget about it, but at the thought of all the tempting treats that would be sitting in my cabinet over the next couple months. While I’m pretty good at defeating sugar cravings day to day, Halloween candy undoes me. There’s so much of it, it’s all so accessible (when my son’s not looking), and it ignites so many nostalgic childhood pleasures.

That’s why I was grateful for the fitness center employee dressed in a Superman costume (replete with giant, fake muscles — not that he needed them), who was standing on the street corner handing trick-or-treating chaperones coupons for a free cycling class. His mere presence reminded me, first of all, that I needed to keep my eyes on the prize, no matter how many tiny Butterfinger bars my son was collecting; more than that, he lifted from my shoulders the burden of excuses I’d been carrying around. I had wanted to try a cycling class for a long time, but I kept coming up with reasons not to. Now, at a key moment, I was being offered one for free.

What a great idea, I realized. Halloween is a terrific opportunity for a business to rustle up new clients — especially if that business is in the fitness industry. People are out in the streets, there’s a festive atmosphere, and there are a lot of guilt-inducing treats for folks to indulge in. What better time is there to remind people of the benefits of working out, and to give them an opportunity to try your offerings at no charge? Better yet, if you send an employee already scheduled to work for the day out to handle distribution, the cost to you is nothing more than what it takes to print the flyers.

This goes not just for Halloween, but really for any kind of special day: the upcoming cookie-, pie-, and sweets-filled holidays, for sure; a community fair or carnival; even Veteran’s Day. Whenever people are out and about, take advantage of special events and spread the word about what your business offers. And, with fitness, the work you do is always relevant.

That Superman must have pulled in at least a dozen new clients on Halloween — I saw parents and babysitters eagerly reaching out for his handouts. And when I took the free class, I was pretty sure the woman next to me had the same help-I-just-ate-another-mini-Kit-Kat look on her face that I did. I think she and I will both be going back for another class.