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Better Business Idea #79

Local Dentist builds his community and his business with his Halloween Party

© 2014 by Michael C. Gray

November 3, 2014

Dr. George Little's Halloween decorations.

Dr. George Little has a dental practice in the town of Ross in Marin County, California. Ross is a small town, only 1.6 square miles with about 2,446 residents, but larger towns, like San Anselmo and San Rafael are nearby. It's also a very affluent community with median family income of about $171,000 and the median home selling price is about $2.2 million.

At least since 2003 (I saw a newspaper article about it in his office), Dr. Little has put on a community Halloween party that he calls "Fang Night." Since my daughter and her family are patients of Dr. Little (Marché Aux Fleurs restaurant is located just around the corner), my wife Janet and I took our grandsons, Kyan and Clive Baker, to Dr. Little's party this year.

Dr. Little's office is a converted residence on a large lot, so he has plenty of room to build the "set" for his party.

In the front yard, he had a pirate ship decorated with skeleton heads. On the side of the building was a "haunted tunnel" with spooky display items, some of them animated including a giant jumping spider.

In the back yard was a western "town," complete with a hosted "Saloon" bar for the adults and games for the kids. Clive was addicted to the "corn husk toss" in a barrel because they gave him lots of small prizes. You could also throw a cowboy hat on bull horns and pan for "gold."

There were plenty of goodies and soft drinks for everyone.

There was also a tent where you could have your fortune read by a local "psychic" volunteer.

There were two projection screens. One featured "Fievel Goes West" with hay bales for seating and popcorn for the kids. The second featured the World Series for the grownups. (Kyan was more interested in the World Series than in Fievel.)

Dr. Little built most of the set himself. Friends and team members attended attractions for the guests.

The party was fairly crowded. I saw people greeting their friends and neighbors, with hugs and heard many people say how terrific the event was. In short, this was a very warm community event with no sales effort. I'm sure many of Dr. Little's patients invited the friends to come.

If you love a holiday, like Dr. Little loves Halloween, I think having an event like this is a terrific way to build your community while building your business and having a lot of fun in the process.

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Michael Gray, CPA
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