Seasonality and your business strategy

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You don’t have to be in the skiwear industry to know that business can be seasonal.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of the best and worst seasonal trends within your business.

Make friends with forecasting

Be incredibly vigilant about recording all sales data, interaction activity and review this at the end of the year. Slower months lose their sting when you can rationalise them as seasonal trends.

Likewise, months with high profit turnovers won’t seem like random miracles once you understand your yearly business cycle. Once you have an idea of the general profit trends you can alter your business and marketing strategies accordingly to best capitalize on the highs and lows.

Plan ahead

You can use this annual forecast to plan for most aspects of your business strategy. In particular seasonal trends should inform your marketing and communications schedule as well as your profit targets.

However, don’t fall into a defeatist ‘feast or famine’ mentality, instead change focus and energy expenditure to suit your annual cycle. This may mean focusing on planning and strategising in the slower periods or focusing on staff development. It can also create space to reconnect with past customers.

Tailor your communications schedules around the periods of high/low engagement as well as the success of reception; don’t schedule important newsletters on Christmas Day!

Aim to boost profits but keep goals relative to predicted ebbs and flows of each month. Think about when your target market is going to be the most/least accessible at what point in the year. This means thinking about school holidays, religious festivals, Mothers/Fathers Day, elections and global financial shifts. Always factor in public holidays and be weary of those months that have the most (April, January and June).

Tailor marketing to the trends

Forecasting marketing strategy is the difference between tailored, targeted content and generalised and often misdirected campaigns. Accordingly, it can also be the difference between blind spending and getting real bang for your buck!

At ServiceSeeking.com.au we switch off our Google Ad Words campaign over the slower Christmas period to cut costs.

Depending on the service your business provides, summer can provide a buffet of promotional opportunities. Christmas present campaigns, voucher advertisements and Boxing Day specials are all easy talking points for marketing strategies.

However, if we have learned anything from gym membership advertising it is that the most universally successful promotional point is the New Year. The New Year heralds a time of change, growth and self-improvement so customers are open and willing to invest in new services and ideas.

A successful New Year business strategy should be coupled with a renewed effort to reengage with old customers. Send out follow up emails querying as to whether they might need your services in the New Year.

Offer discounts or promotions on renewed membership or a repeat utilisation of your services.  Likewise, at ServiceSeeking.com.au we find that July can also be a great time to target customers who have just received their tax return and are in a position to finance those pesky household jobs.