by Gareth Cotten on 17/09/12 at 1:54 pm
As much as everyone loves to talk about the sunshine and warm breezes, the really great thing about spring and summer is that, after the cold, dark winter, they’re full of the promise of growth and new opportunities. Flowers blossoming, birds singing, cash registers ringing…
Hang on, cash registers ringing? Yip, you read right. Spring and summer can be one of the best times of the year to start a new business. Always wanted to run your own show and be your own boss? Read on to find out why now is generally the best time to get those wheels moving, and get that great idea of yours into gear.
1 – You’re inspired
Take that pent-up energy and desire that you’ve been percolating during winter, and pour it into what you really want to do. Dreams of opening up your own coffee shop or deli? Ambitions to be the next big internet hit? Your creativity and passion is at its peak, so make sure to ride the wave.
2 – More time for planning and preparation
This is the time of year that you’re likely to have some leave due to you, and you’ve got more of a chance to ‘get away from it all’ and get some perspective. Get the rest you know you need, but also use the downtime from your usual routine to get your ducks in a row – thrash out a basic business plan, visit a few suppliers, start feeling out some potential customers.
3 – A good start means a better follow-through
Worried that you won’t stick with your idea, and that’s why you haven’t given it a go until now? Starting a business can be a challenge, there’s no doubt about that, so don’t make it any more difficult by starting in off-season. By getting moving during ‘season’, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of a decent start (as we’ll see below) – and the better the start, the better the chances of you sticking with it.
4 – Lighten the cash-flow load
For the majority of businesses (unless you’re in the panelshop or hot chocolate industry), summer is when your target customers are more likely to buy. The sooner after start-up that you can get cash coming in from customers and clients, the sooner you can lighten the cash-flow pressure on your new enterprise. Starting out in the warmer months means that you won’t need to flush money down the drain financing overheads and expenses during the potentially quieter winter season.
5 – People want a change
After being cooped up and self-reflective for so long, people are open to new products and experiences. You have a shot to nudge your new offering into their realm of awareness – even if you’re moving into an area with established players, customers are more likely to be receptive to you.
6 – People go out more
We all know that winter is about staying snuggled up on the couch, with a warm blanket and hot-water bottle/red wine/chocolate. Think of your customers as emerging from their cocoons – they’ll be out and about more, socialising, visiting new places, seeing new things. The perfect opportunity to get some great exposure for your new product or service.
7 – People are in spending mode
After a long year, people want to reward themselves, so their wallets and purses are likely to get opened just that much faster. Add to that the thinking ahead for Christmas and holiday shopping, and the fact that many people get their tax refunds after submitting during tax season now, and you’re onto a winning formula to get those cash registers ringing.
Gareth Cotten is one of the growing breed of SA entrepreneurs with that ‘world-domination’ look in his eyes. Gareth runs the coaching and consulting practice 'Good Advice'. Gareth is also the 'course convener' for the University of Cape Town (Law@Work) Start and Manage a Small Business course and the University of Cape Town Basics of Financial Management course. View more articles by Gareth Cotten.
Tags: new venture