Unless you run a small business on the equator, chances are good that you have to account for the seasons.
In New England, for example, we have four distinct seasons. The spring is typically cold, often damp and still eagerly embraced after winter. It’s like London with less British accents, and it’s the time of year summer businesses ramp up and winter businesses wind down.
The summer is when surf shops, ice cream parlors, beachfront restaurants and a thousands other businesses make the majority of their money. It’s warmer, it’s (generally) sunny and everyone wants to be out and about. It’s also prime season for state parks and beaches, and those businesses need to focus their efforts on that.
Fall is another in-between season, though the fall foliage ensures it’s popular for tourism. Winter businesses wind up, summer businesses wind down.
And then there’s winter. If you’re wintering in New England, you either have to or you love it, and small businesses are catering toward the latter. Those include ski shops, snowmobilers and, of course, heating and home repair. Those businesses are busy throughout the fall and winter, actually.
What’s the commonality here? Every business I’ve listed may take off during the particular season listed, but they don’t just open up the shop for the first time and put it all together from there. There’s preparation involved, and it generally must start at least a full season ahead, if not a full year.
Where we’re entering the heart of summer now, it’s time to start thinking ahead already. If you’re a business that thrives in the summer, you’ll spend most of your time and effort on….well, thriving. But you should also be thinking ahead to how you can keep pulling in customers once autumn comes, so you’re not caught flat-footed. If your business takes off in the fall and winter, use the summer to strategize.
By planning ahead, you’ll always be ready for the next challenge or the next big opportunity.
What’s your best business season?
Photo credit to iStock