As Halloween approaches, retail bakeries will look to make a significant impact on sales. According to the National Retail Federation, 2016 Halloween spending is projected to hit an all-time high of $8.4 billion.

Now is a great time to jump on marketing opportunities that are tied to the holiday, as your bakery can bring in substantial business through promotions and other strategies.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently gave nine marketing ideas for small businesses to utilize in the next few weeks. From

  1. Advertise Halloween discounts—but get creative. For example, offer customers a discount for dining at your restaurant in costume or sharing their best party-planning ideas on your social media pages.
  2. Add Halloween-themed or seasonal items to your offerings. People love limited-time products like Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. A restaurant, bar, coffee house or bakery can attract fans of seasonal flavors with menu items like pumpkin-flavored drinks and desserts. A beauty salon can offer hair and makeup services for Halloween parties, or create spooky nail art.
  3. Print out promotions. Promotional products related to Halloween, such as glow sticks, pumpkin-carving designs, spooky decals or trick-or-treat bags with your business logo will keep your business in customers' minds all month long.
  4. Sponsor a local Halloween event. Look for Halloween parades, trick-or-treat events, parties, zombie walks or haunted houses held by local community organizations that you can sponsor. Ask if you can hand out promotional products, coupons or product samples.
  5. Create a Halloween contest for your customers. Make it relevant to your business or better still, crowd source ideas from your customers. For example, a pet store could hold a best pet costume contest; an interior decorator can have a contest for the most elaborate home or front door decor; a craft store could hold a poster-coloring contest for kids.
  6. Advertise on cable television. October is prime time for spooky, Halloween-themed programming that gets many people to tune in. If it’s in your budget, advertise on a horror series like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead, or during one of the many Halloween movie marathons found on cable this month. Other options that might fit your budget include advertising via social media or via live-streamed shows online. 
  7. Partner up. Join other local businesses in your community and host a trick-or-treat night or scavenger hunt for local children. As kids go from one business to another with parents or guardian in tow, you can hand the parents coupons or other discount offers.
  8. Mail greeting cards. No one expects to get a Halloween card—but you’ll get a head start on holiday mailings and be top-of-mind when customers open yours. Include a special offer, a thank-you or just seasonal greetings.
  9. Support a charitable organization. Offer customers treats in return for “treating” those in need by bringing in canned goods, gently used toys or clothing, or whatever the local charity of your choice is looking for. Publicize your charitable efforts on social media and with local reporters to get more people to pitch in (and visit your business).