Are All Industries, "Seasonal"?

9 replies
Ok, this is a weird question.

We know for a fact, that certain types of markets perform best during the summer, or winter, or around specific Holidays.

But I've always wondered if there are more subtle, seasonal factors that impact ALL INDUSTRIES.

Say for instance, an industry like home improvement. Its seasons might be spring to early summer, and fall to early winter. People wanna get their homes in shape for the Holidays, then people want to get their homes in shape for summertime.

But what about other industries? Like HUGE companies like Walmart or Target.
I know they can change inventory, to suit different seasons, but if you read online "what is the worst month for sales", and you REALLY do some thorough research, you see an awful lot of people saying that August and Sept are the worst month for sales.

I think it could be a variety of reasons -

Many people are taking "late vacations". Afterall, August is the month for family vacations. Most my friends and family, always go on vacation in late august.

September is also "the month of distraction". Kids are going back to school, schedules are changing, people are busy and perhaps even SAD that the summer is over. I know that some people like winter time. But there is no such thing as "fall fever". If you ask me, "spring fever" exists for a reason. The country thaws out, people become motivated, they smell the spring air, so they're ready to spend money.

The reason I'm asking is I noticed that business was BOOMING between april to july. But by the 2nd week of August traffic has been cut in half. To make things more ironic, my rankings are BETTER now, then they were the last few months. So I was expecting an increase in traffic and sales. And even now, in late September, business is still really slow.

So I started reading online, and I see A LOT of people saying that August is the worst month for business and sales, and that September isn't much better, with the exception of a few select industries (clothes stores and what not).

But I'd like to see what other warriors think about this. I know my industries are seasonal. And this happens every year, which is why I PLANNED for it this year. I got dozens more keywords ranking, spent some good money on PPC, did some direct mail ads.... and with all of this extra shit I'm doing, I'm still nowhere near where I was between april - july. I was barely doing any marketing at all (other than maintaining rankings), and business was on fire.

So I'm curious... how have your sales been in August in September?

I'm trying to get feedback from people in a variety of different industries. Like I said, I know there are specific seasonal influences that impact specific seasonal businesses. But I still think, for *most* businesses, that August and September can't be good months for sales.

Am I wrong? Or am I projecting my own seasonal businesses onto other industries? Because I read online and found dozens of people in other industries, saying the same thing. August and September usually suck for business.

What do you guys think?

#industries #seasonal
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    You also have to consider the country. Remember it is summer in some countries when it is winter in others so seasonal can be affected in different ways. I don't think my business is seasonal because I have clients from right around the world...and yet August was was my worst month ever. I have already beaten August's income.

    If you think your business is seasonal, that can actually affect it too.

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    August/September is when USA kids go back to school and parents are spending a lot of money for school stuff. And relaxing while the kids are back in school because the kids have kept them occupied all summer. It's a factor for sure anyway.

    As for my industry, I manage a hotel, and we have slow months in April and October.
    September after all the kids are back in school we drop considerably.. And we have completely different clientele on a seasonal basis. Summer is tourists/families and mountain climbers, fall is fall color people - mostly older Europeans, Spring brings the bird watcher - again older folks, and Winter is skiers which is a mix of younger families and college age kids.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    I wonder if you can use google trends/zeitgeist/ngrams (whatever its called now) to find the cycles of industries.

    A lot of people almost always search for something before they buy it.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    In the U.S., August is a big time vacation month and people are away.
    There's also the psychology of the end of the season approaching and consumers have the mind set they'll pick up activities again come September.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Google Trends:

    Here is the chart for searches around "remodel bathroom" in the US over the last 12 months.

    Google Trends

    Or car detailing:

    Google Trends

    There are some trends. Looks like Seattle, Boston, Washington are the most interested in car detailing.

    Maybe this could help with all sorts of industries.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
    Yep! August and September have always been slow months.

    In Phoenix, where the summer months are slow (in the bar business), we always had decent business until August. September was always our worst month! When I owned a restaurant in another state, same thing. In that state, summer was our booming months!

    Now here, even working from home, I have noticed a huge drop in my traffic! I get traffic from all around the world on my sites, so I really can't explain it, but you brought up a great point!

    I can't wait to see the other responses!

    ~ Theresa

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    • Profile picture of the author umc
      When we had mobile detailing running for several years, the summer months were usually best, but the beginning of spring and the Christmas season was good as well. Other times were completely dead.

      In our house cleaning business we stay busy all year steadily, but inquiries increase both near the beginning of spring and during the holiday season. We often lose clients near the beginning of summer as families wait until the summer break to move with their kids, and September usually features some change as well as kids go back to school.

      When we cleaned in the rental industry September was always our biggest month. Seemed that lots of people moved at the end of August and we had lots of vacant units to make ready in September. January and February were pretty dead though.

      I don't know if they all qualify as seasonal per se, as that makes me think of small blocks of time where business is booming, but maybe I've got a skewed view of what that means. I think all businesses have a degree of ebb and flow though.

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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    All businesses have a seasonal nature to them. Some find ways to be more even then others but they still have peaks and valleys.

    I can't think of any business that has no seasonal nature to it.
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  • I think looking at your business' "seasonal trends" can also help you figure out what products you can create or upsell to help fill the gaps in your lean months. Having lean moths also gives me an idea maybe there's a potential market demographic that I hasn't been targeted yet...
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