With another Bank Holiday just gone and Spring in full swing, or should that be bloom, it’s a good time to remember that just about every business is impacted in some way by seasonal change and even the weather generally.
My father, who had the longest list of different jobs and careers you could ever expect to find, always told me to be aware of the seasons and what this means to each business. At first I was tempted to believe that this only really had an impact on businesses that were directly affected by the Great British weather. He was right though…
Certainly, if you have a business where the sunshine or rain has a direct effect, the changing weather will reflect in your takings. Running a coffee shop, for example, is great during the winter months when shoppers want to step inside to get warm again and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee but when the weather warms up things change. The British public have fully embraced the ‘café culture’ of our continental friends and when the warm rays of sun shine we all want to be outside enjoying it and making the most of it, so a café with outside seating is essential these days.
However, I believe that the seasons have an even greater overall impact. The annual calendar does, without a doubt, affect various consumer conditions, even if this is only because of the impact of things like the start of a new tax year. We also keep that mental calendar in our heads for things holidays (especially if you have children) as well as things like birthdays and other important anniversaries. And even if our business doesn’t appear to have a seasonal element, perhaps the businesses of the people we serve do.
With a really enjoyable Spring following what has been one of the hardest Winters we have seen for some time, I’m sure you, like me, have noticed how the longer days and warmer sun has had a positive effect on the general mood and demeanour of the people around us. It’s noticeable how we respond to this and it translates into a change in attitudes, even if only slightly.
So, my point is this; have you stopped to think how the changing seasons have an impact on your business and , most importantly, your customers and clients. I often see businesses who plough on through the year with really very little consideration for the fact that seasonal change is something that should be taken into account. The retail market reacts to this with obvious changes to product range and offers but how aware are you that seasonal change can effect your business?
One very important element of marketing is also to be aware of topical influence and how we can keep our business fresh and topical simply by demonstrating our awareness of those things that influence others. I bet there will be a few bars offering a no-election night this week!
Most of all, enjoy the Spring, perhaps Summer is just around the corner!
Look back over your trading figures and look for seasonal trends. Anticipate these ahead of time – it’s no good reacting too late. Consider how you can leverage seasonal change and trends and incorporate these into your marketing plan. Make sure your marketing messages are topical and connect at a personal level with your readers/viewers.