Adapting to Seasonal Cycles

by Robert McCourty

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This article from The Mender (Issue 13),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.


Hooray! Summer is here. The kids are out of school and most people have booked time off for those long overdue vacation days. Some have already loaded up the family buggy and headed out to parts unknown. Office desks and cubicles sit empty nationwide. Phones ring unanswered. Productivity drops. Sales slow down. The great summer exodus has begun. How well are you and your business prepared for seasonal cycles? Every business (no matter what you're selling) has it's share of cyclical downturns and seasonal adjustments. Some, such as the change of season can be considered natural. Others, such as a sudden downward trend in the stock market are somewhat more unpredictable. Let's stick to the predictable.

Depending upon your particular offering of goods and/or services, Summer may be your banner season.

Should you be in the beach towel or sunscreen markets, It's natural to assume this would be your "peak" season. Should you happen to be selling Christmas decorations however, it may be a different story. Look at your business and analysis which season should be best for your product and why, then concentrate on gearing up for that season well in advance. Can you make it through a long stretch with less cash? Is your marketing money tied up in the wrong season? Perhaps you shouldn't be spending so much on advertising during the "low" seasons. Perhaps you should be spending more? It depends entirely on the product. I know this sounds like common sense but you would be amazed at how many business people never consider a change of season as a marketing or budget priority, then sit and scratch their heads as sales begin to drop.

In general, Summer is not regarded as a "high season " within the technology sector and this trend spreads across to other areas such as Internet usage. You may notice a sudden drop in traffic to your web site, which in most cases is a direct result of Summer vacation time. People want to get out and enjoy themselves, (who could blame them) which directly translates into much less time in front of their computer screens.

There are plenty of resources on the Net concerning consumer trends and seasonal buying patterns. Get some of this data and compare your particular business offering to these trends and cycles. The better prepared you are for seasonal adjustments, the easier it will be for you to make it through the slow times and profit far more from the busy ones.

Other articles from this issue:
- Administrator's Chalk Board
- Measuring Success Through Site Statistics - Part Two
- Preparing for Results
- Using Search Engines For Beginners - Part One
- Email Makes The Web Go Around

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