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When Is the Right Time to Sell? A Guide to Understanding How Seasonal Trends Affect Your Target Market - Acumen Connections

Seasonal Fluctuations in Business: Ways to Advertise Your Small Business Throughout the Year

Seasonal fluctuations in business can affect sales. Take the reigns by using these seasonal business trends to improve your marketing. No matter your industry, we’ve collected a large list of seasonal marketing ideas for your business.

At this point, you likely understand the importance of defining your target market for your growing business. You know that you need to understand who your customers are and why they choose to buy from your store, instead of the competition’s.

There are many layers to understanding your target market, such as: age, gender, location, career, lifestyle, and more. Another layer to consider is the calendar. There are countless seasonal trends that could be affecting buyers’ habits.

Seasonal shopping trends can have a huge effect on customers, by determining when, how, and why they buy products. Some seasonal trends are easy enough to spot, such as an increase in holiday decoration purchases in the winter or bathing suits in the summer. Other seasonal trends are more difficult to spot, such as the influx in gift card sales from May through June, or how wine sales increase while beer sales decrease in the fall.

Seasonal trends can affect when customers are visiting your store. These trends can also affect why customers are at your store. Most retailers know that November and December customers usually want to purchase gifts, whereas January customers may likely want to return or exchange items.

We decided to focus on several industries and some of their seasonal fluctuations. This article might not be complete in listing every seasonal trend that affects your store, but it is still a great tool for you to get started on boosting your advertising efforts. This article can provide insight on how seasonal fluctuations in business may affect your industry, sales, and shoppers.

While reading this list, reflect on how this information compares to your own experience. This is a great way to identify marketable ideas. Or, you may even have ideas to make your seasonal business successful all year round!

Jump to:

Automotive Industry

Boutiques & Salons

Health & Wellness

Taxes, Bookkeeping & Banking

Lawncare

Other Industries

Seasonal Fluctuations in the Automotive Industry

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When to Promote Auto Sales:

When is the best time to sell a car?

Many new- and used-car dealerships experience an influx in sales from February through May, and again from September through December. Some stores notice that many customers are using their tax refund in March and April as part of their initial down-payment.

The winter influx may be because of bad weather, or simply because shoppers expect better rates at the end of the year when they think salesmen are trying to reach an annual goal. December is a popular time to buy cars, but these shoppers are often expecting extreme end-of-the-year deals.

When to Promote Auto Repairs:

The most common car repairs in the winter are for heaters, windshield wipers, and windshield wiper fluid. These repairs tend to be more common from October through March. Some people hold off on car repairs until after they get their tax refund in March and April.

The most common car repairs in the summer are for air conditioners and engine cooling fans. With an increase in temperature as well as vacations and road trips in the summer, there is often a third influx from June through August. Consider promoting solutions to common winter issues in the winter months and common summer issues in the summer months.

Seasonal Business Trends for Boutiques & Salons

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When to Promote a Boutique:

It is true that cute clothes can be bought year-round, but there are sometimes of the year that boutiques may find that they are busier than ever. Many people know that wedding season is May through October, but most brides are looking for makeup styles 2-4 months in advance, so stores targeting these brides should be promoting 2-4 months in advance of wedding season.

Boutiques may notice more sales are made starting around Valentine’s day in February and continuing through August. Another influx can be found in November and December as holiday shopping rolls in. During both of these times of the year, many people will be looking for the perfect gift for a loved one.

When to Promote a Spa or Salon:

Salons can expect an increase in sales from February through May. There are a number of social events during these months. Many consumers may stop by around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Prom season, and graduation. They may be looking for a gift for a family member or may be looking for services for themself.

Since many brides are looking for hair stylists about 4 months out, you might want to target them from February through September. Brides and their bridal party will need hair stylists, makeup, spa treatments, and more.

From October through December many shoppers may be looking for skin treatments to keep their skin from drying out in the cold weather. They may also be looking for cute styles for their upcoming holiday parties. Expect to see an influx in gift cards during this season.

Seasonal Business Fluctuations for Health & Wellness

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When to Promote in the Health & Wellness Industry:

Injuries happen all-year-long; but some injuries are more common during certain seasons. Seasons do not always pertain to the general calendar year. Trends can be based on other specific calendars, such as a sports calendar. Do you have a lot of patients with sports injuries? You may see an increase in hamstring strains and shoulder dislocations during football season from August through February; an influx of foot and ankle problems as well as hip and thigh injuries during basketball season from October through April; and more rotator cuff injuries, lower back pain, and tennis elbow during baseball season from February through November. Consider targeting people with these specific problems during these sports seasons.

If you provide prenatal care, you may consider marketing these services between the months of March and October. July, August, September, and October are the most popular birth months. Many expecting mothers will need prenatal care during this time and the months leading up to it.

Taxes, Bookkeeping & Banking Seasonal Trends

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When to Promote in the Banking Industry:

People need checking accounts and savings accounts all year-round, but some banks notice that more loans are taken out from March through June, and again from October through December. Although not much information can be found as to what may cause this, it is important to note that these increases are also around the same times that car sales peak. Perhaps there is a connection between car sales and bank loans?

Speaking of loans, expect to see an influx in loans. Many students are starting their first year in college. They may need money for school, but they may also need funds for housing, a new car, or even school supplies.

When to Promote Bookkeeping & Accounting Services:

The most common fiscal year for companies is one that starts on January 1st. During the last few months of the year, many companies are concerned about ensuring that their financial records are in order and that they are producing end of the year reports. These companies are hiring people to work on these reports from October through December. This is often a busy time for 3rd party bookkeeping and accounting companies.

Another time of the year that is likely to be busy is tax season. Many businesses need help preparing their tax documents between January and April.

When to Promote Tax Filing Services:

You probably know that tax season is primarily from January through April, but you may have better luck advertising different messages throughout the season. Try focusing your advertisement on the excitement of a tax refund earlier in the year during January and February. Early filers are often expecting a large tax refund.  Advertising how much you can help someone save on taxes during March and April is also a good strategy. Later filers are often dreading owing taxes. Changing up the words you use may help you target the right customers at the right time.

Lawncare Seasonal Business Ideas

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When to Promote Lawncare:

Homeowners and businesses will need different type of lawncare as the seasons change. Of all the industries on this list, lawncare is probably the most impacted by seasonal change. Between spring and fall many yards will need help with landscaping, mowing, and general care. In spring, expect families to want help setting up a garden or improving their lawn for the year. They’ll be in need of fertilizer, mulch, soil testing, and more.

The summer brings more pests outdoors. Consumers may need outdoor pest control for grubworms and beetles. Speaking of pests, expect families to need indoor pest control in the fall. No one wants bugs to use their home as a place to stay warm. If you offer pest control services, consider marketing them during this time.

Many lawncare providers see a decrease in sales during the colder months, but there are still business opportunities. When the leaves change colors and fall, customers will need someone to rake up the leaves. From October through January, families may want help putting up or taking down holiday displays.  

Other Seasonal Business Fluctuations

When to Promote Craft Shops:

The winter and summer seem to have more people shopping for craft supplies. DIY garden projects become popular from April through May, and DIY home projects become popular from June through July. Halloween and the holiday season are another time that craft stores can see an influx in people purchasing material for DIY costumes, decorations, and gifts.

There’s more at play than just holiday trends. Another time of the year that craft shops might see slightly higher sales is in September and again in January. This is the time of the year when schools are asking students to purchase craft and art supplies for the upcoming academic year or semester.

When to Promote Party Supplies/Décor:

Wedding season is May through October. Many brides are looking for decorations 2-3 months in advance. You can target these customers by sending them marketing material from January through September.

March through May can be a very popular time for schools to plan for prom and graduation. Showcase your most festive and colorful party supplies during this time. Consider promoting your birthday supplies between the months of July and October. Those are some of the most popular birth months.

Of course, don’t forget about holidays. You may expect another influx in sales in November and December. Many people and businesses will be shopping for their upcoming holiday parties.

When to Promote a Restaurant:

More people are willing to go out when the weather is warmer, and even more people will be eating out at restaurants if they are traveling. Both of these activities are popular from April through September, so expect an influx of restaurant and bar customers throughout those months.

If you are thinking about renovations or testing out a new menu, we recommend doing that during the fall and winter when less guests will be affected.

When to Promote a School:

Rather than advertising at the start of the school year, consider advertising towards the end of each semester when students are feeling stressed from projects and final exams. This is likely the time that students are reflecting on their choice of school.

At the same time though, many parents are considering enrollment during the summer. They’re likely looking at schools the summer before their child transitions to a new steppingstone. Every school district is a little different. The summer is a good time to promote the first grade level your school offers.

When to Promote in the Travel Industry:

Many families take extended vacations in the summer from May through September. Some popular times are the days surrounding Memorial Day weekend, the 4th of July, and Labor Day weekend. Many families also travel during the holiday season to visit extended family. Consider marketing “getaways” during the summer and “family vacation” in the winter. That simple change in words might catch the attention of someone planning a specific type of vacation during those times.

It’s not just hotels and airlines that benefit from families taking vacationers. Pet resorts, restaurants, and even family entertainment activities may all see a boost in sales during these times.

Looking to understand more about your shoppers? Social media and many of the other platforms your company is currently using for marketing purposes – such as your email campaign or website – have a ton of analytical information on your customers.

In addition, there are plenty of free tools to help you determine who your shoppers are. Business Insider has a map with the 11 different cultures in the USEsri has many tools and maps that can help you understand your neighborhood and customers a little bit more, but one of their best tools is their zip code map, which provides a snapshot of your consumers’ lives depending on which zip code they live in. Google even has Google Trends which allows you to compare key words and phrases that have been searched over the last year, by city, state, country, or even the whole world.

Hopefully with this advice you will be able to better target potential customers in the future.

For more small business tips, check out AcumenConnections.com