1. I never expected my business to be seasonal – why would it be? I deal mainly with online activities and they go on regardless of the weather. What I actually found was that in January & February my clients made their plans (like New Year’s Resolutions) so I did lots of sales calls and spoke with a lot of people about their plans. This lead to new projects coming in a couple of months later and by April I’d be cranking!
This year not so much!
And why? Because for the whole of January & February and most of March I made no sales calls – the weather caused me to stay home and potential clients were more worried about clearing ice & snow than they were making marketing plans. Consequently I’m only now starting to see people which means that any new work is probably a couple of months out.
2. Now that I’m actually getting in front of prospective clients it’s pretty clear to me that they are all feeling the pinch because of their own slow start to the year. They’re all reluctant to spend money on “new stuff” until they’ve recouped enough to cover their loses for the first 2-3 months of the year (for some stretching back in October of last year!). I’m seeing it particularly with contractors of all persuasions, but especially those who work outside.
They are all keeping their fingers crossed that they’ll make up their lost income and it does seem, even if only anecdotally, that they are getting busier with the better weather. But its hard to get upset with a small business owner who honestly says that they don’t have the money right now.
How has the winter affected your small business this year?