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Understanding How The Weather Can Affect Your Small Business

When you’re running a small business, working out which products, services, offers and promotions you need to be providing (and when) can be both particularly easy and extremely difficult.

For instance, on the most basic of levels, you’re going to know what your audience wants and how best to offer it to them.  As soon as you begin to look at affecting factors, however, it can all become a little more confusing – and one such factor that can cause more headaches than most first realise is the weather.

Not something many business owners first consider when starting out, the weather can play an integral role in how successful your organisation is.   Understand how it can affect your customers, adjusting your approaches accordingly and you could be on to a winner.  Fail to do just this, however and you could find yourself struggling more than you need to at certain times of the year.

Take beautifully warm sunshine as an example, particularly that which comes unexpectedly.  In these instances, people want to make the most of it and therefore spend their money more freely on items to enhance their enjoyment.  Whether it’s barbecues and outdoor lights or meat and salad items, whilst you shouldn’t necessarily increase the price of these items if you sell them, it would be a great idea to make sure people know you do sell them – get people into your store to buy these and it’s highly likely they’ll purchase a number of other products, too.

Similarly here, you may experience lower footfall numbers when the weather is hot, as people are taking advantage of it.  You therefore need to be prepared for this, both in terms of having funds available to see you through any dry patches, but also ensuring you’re offering an experience to your customers that doesn’t require them to come into your store or be at a computer (a mobile website is a perfect example).

Conversely, if we’re to look at what happens when the weather turns bad, visitors to both your store and website may increase, but there’s every possibility this is out of convenience (so they don’t get wet) or boredom (as they don’t want to venture outside).  As such, the increased visitors may need a little encouraging to make a purchase from you and so a sale or promotion of certain items could be all it takes to ensure you’re benefiting fully in this scenario.

I’ve only just touched on two ways the weather can impact on a small business, but more than anything I wanted to highlight not the specifics of the weather’s impact (as these can vary tremendously depending on your business’s focus and industry), but that it can in fact actually have an impact – there really is so much to think about as a small business owner that how the weather can play a role in your success is very rarely one that many consider at the very beginning.

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