Vancouverites finally got a taste of summer weather this weekend and I am personally dealing with a bit of a sunburn! People were out at the beach this weekend and the weather brought some fresh sales activity to the restaurants and retailers in high pedestrian traffic areas of the city.
It’s amazing just how weather dependent some businesses are. A hot sunny day can bring more business to a restaurant on Denman than the Vancouver Olympics can. Interestingly enough, many businesses that were located in downtown Vancouver never saw a sales bump during the 2010 Olympics, because Olympic venues were only located in certain areas of the city (for example, the West End was left out of the party). Even in high traffic areas during that time, many businesses, particularly retailers, were quite disappointed with the much anticipated events. This was for one reason: tourists wanted to eat cheap food, go to Olympic venues, and buy Olympic memorabilia. If your business didn’t supply any of the aforementioned then the Olympics may not have helped at all! Businesses that raised capital prior to the Olympics in anticipation of a large jump in sales may be regretting it today, which goes to show that not all growth capital investments are successful. The key is to invest intelligently in your business.
One way to do that is to look at historical seasonality. It is more probable that history will repeat itself than for some anticipated event to result in some expected (but uncertain) outcome. A sound strategy to investing in a business is understanding seasonal patterns and making sure that adequate working capital (ie inventory or capacity to fund account receivables) is built up prior to the busy season. That’s just good management practice.
With the summer season finally here on the west coast, our best wishes go out to all of the businesses that benefit from the nice weather. Let’s hope it sticks around. And if you need working capital in order to support your sales growth, you know who to call!