The prime time to grow your business: The holiday effect – Claire McTernan

The prime time to grow your business: The holiday effect

calendar time lost to holiday seasonsNow Easter is nearly upon us it signifies the first chunk of business growth time for the year has ended and it serves as a great reminder that time stops for no one. If you take a look at the image for this blog you’ll see it’s the 2014 calendar, and I’ve shaded out certain sections of it. Those sections are the months in which business growth slows down for the majority of businesses that sell to other businesses and it wipes out more of the year than you would expect. Now there will always be some exceptions but as a general rule it works.

Back when I was in corporate life everything slowed right down in the summer because the majority of the main decision makers would take time off, so weeks would pass until all the decision makers were back and things could move on. When I set up my own business I was shocked to see a similar pattern. I was shocked because I had logically concluded that as I was interacting with much smaller businesses things would only slow down for the 2 weeks that individual business owner may take off for their summer holidays rather than the whole 6-8 week period. What I have found actually happens is that business slows up across the whole summer period even in very small businesses. The list of reasons why this happens is too long to go into now, and it doesn’t just happen in the summer. It happens from mid-November until the 2nd full week of January and 3 weeks over the Easter hols. So in total this slowing down of decision making effects 8 months of the year. Yes 8!!!

This slowing down has a great positive effect on the other months as it naturally makes them an excellent time to grow your business. By harnessing these quiet times you can explode out on to the business growth scene in the prime times and generate some fantastic results.

Personally in my business I use the holidays as a time to complete any product/service development and polish up marketing materials so I can focus on increasing my sales when everyone is fully focused on their businesses; and it works really well. Last September to October I grew my business significantly because I was 100% focused on doing just that and I knew my ideal clients would be too. I achieved similar growth again this year in January & February for the exact same reason. This Easter I’m spending time working on some new products ready for another marketing push in May/June time.

I love this natural ebb and flow of business. I would find it hard to work so intensively if I had to do it continuously, as I work with my clients throughout the year and not just in the main growth months. Plus by being a mum of school age children I use the school holidays to provide natural break points in how I work. For instance I know I can work incredibly hard September to October because I’ll have some time off over my children’s October mid-term holiday, plus I would have recharged my batteries nicely by working part-time over the Summer holidays.

Did you set some great goals for your business back in January? Have you managed to consistently keep the focus & momentum up to achieve them since then? Or have you fallen into the trap that most business owners do, and have let that early impetus dwindle a bit as time has passed? If you have you certainly aren’t alone, and I’m hoping that reading this will help re-invigorate you to take action. There are still two excellent chunks of business growth time left this year to help you meet your goals. What action are you going to take to ensure you capitalise on them?


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