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The best way to succeed is to make plans that help you navigate the pitfalls and trends of the year. While it’s not possible to anticipate every important event ahead of time, there are some dates that can help you with small business management in terms of marketing, purchasing and maintaining inventory flow.

February 14 — Valentine’s Day

The run up to Valentine’s Day is a popular time for online shopping. Local businesses that offer delivery can also make the most out of last minute purchases even on the day itself. When planning your marketing for Valentine’s Day don’t forget to include people who are single. Sound counterintuitive? More and more people are using Valentine’s Day as a time to treat themselves to the indulgencies they don’t give in over for the rest of the year. So run special offers that cover all your bases.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

These holidays are easy to remember and easy to make the most of if you plan ahead. Again, think beyond the traditional parental roles of these holidays and include gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles and people who have acted as mentors and guides. Parenting has moved beyond biology and family and now people use these holidays to honor many different role models.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Of course these are the biggest days so make special plans. Launch some specials for Black Friday and then develop special online only deals to follow up on Cyber Monday. You can roll out specials and offers across the entire weekend to maximize what you offer to customers.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday celebrates local and national small businesses. Traditionally, people are encouraged to truly shop local by skipping the computer and getting down to their local Main Street. Online companies can participate as well, however, by connecting with customers who live in more rural areas and those who want to support small companies in far flung places. You can create a Main Street appeal with your online shop by participating in Internet-based Small Business Saturday groups.