When it’s the best time for you to launch your small business, you can’t always afford to wait until a different month of the year. Maybe the key location has a lease that starts right away, or your key investors need a return within a limited amount of time. Either way, when it’s time to launch your business right now, you can’t always choose the season – but that doesn’t mean you should ignore seasonality completely. In fact, the key to launching your new business in any season is understanding the unique benefits and challenges of seasonality in your industry. Take a look at this brief list of tips and tricks for understanding seasonality in your business launch.
Slow Season – Your Time to Market
If you sell lawn supplies, December is a hard month to launch. If you sell Christmas ornaments, July is going to be a challenge for your grand opening. However, the necessity of launching your business in a slow season for your industry can be optimized as a time to market and build brand awareness – even if large scales sales are months away. Even though you’re likely going to be forced to wait a certain period of time until your high volume sales period begins for your unique industry, this is going to be a similar amount of time that most new businesses wait until their marketing and advertising begins to kick in anyhow. This is the time for you to launch aggressive marketing campaigns in different mediums including social media, display advertising, direct mail and print advertising. You should be printing business cards and handing them out everywhere you go – use the time that you don’t have to spend inventorying and dealing with high volume sales to be your own best marketing agent!
Fast Season – No Time to Waste
If you’re stereotypically fortunate enough to launch your new business during the peak period for your industry, like selling school supplies in the fall – or lawn care products in the spring – this can definitely be an asset. However, without the lapse time to prepare and promote your business before people buy the products you sell in the brief time your season allows – you need to make your marketing and sales lapse time relatively non-existent. This means promoting coupons heavily, selling anywhere and everywhere you can in your community – and pushing out your inventory at record low markups. You simply can’t afford not to make sales during the peak season of your first year. Even with the intense mark-downs that you’ll offer to customers, you’ll still make nice profits when your sales volume stays high. Additionally, your greatest achievement during any business launch is getting your customers associated with buying from you – this is an investment that will pay off for years to come.
Seasonality Overall – Be Conscious of Customer Spending
After you’ve launched your business, you need to remain conscious of seasonality in customer spending – regardless of your industry. Fall is a natural build up in customer spending habits in America, as the winter holidays approach. Consider bulk bundles and gift package options. After the holidays are over, it’s time for sales and discounts – as winter spending is traditionally low January through March. As Spring approaches, everyone’s subconscious buys into the sense of “newness” that comes with growth and prosperity that follows winter. Use this to your advantage, offering products that “Spring into action” with themes of renewal and renovations. Summer is everyone’s favorite season – and the time other than the holidays that people usually feel most comfortable splurging on purchases. Market heavy on undiscounted products that seem fun and spunky – attach to your customers need to feel “upscale” and successful, by helping them spend their disposable income.
No matter what your industry or what season you choose to launch it – you’ll always need to be thinking about the next season that’s coming up. Sitting around praising yourself for the successes of the current season won’t matter much when you’re numbers are dead flat midway through the next one. Succeeding with seasonality in your marketing and sales approach is as simple as creating a neat little schedule for your customers spending habits, and gently leading them down the purchasing path. If you can see the vision, and you can promote it – the sales will follow.