Seasons

How do home businesses adapt to changing seasons?

Weather changes with the seasons, and so can many home industry businesses. Roofers are busiest in the late summer and early fall, preparing for the winter months ahead. At the same time, other industries seem to have peaks of productivity throughout the year depending on everything from weather to the economony.

The home industry is greatly affected by the time of year. If an area sees extreme temperatures, certain construction projects like pouring concrete can be put on hold. Even in areas where the weather remains mild throughout the year, different seasonal changes can change business, like holidays or tax season.

Why We’re Asking:

We know that successful businesses stick around through changing seasons, but how do they do it? We want to understand how businesses can stay afloat when changing seasons can slow or even halt the services they provide.

So we look to our home experts to learn more about their business models based on the time of year:

How do home businesses adapt to changing seasons throughout the year?

Do home businesses change their services based on the season?
Does it make sense for some businesses to shut down during their slow period of the year?

We look forward to learning more about weathering peaks and dips in business throughout the year. Check back next week to see what they have to say!

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!



  • John F. Peil 02/21/13

    We adapt by changing our sales and marketing strategies during the slow months. We market aggressively on the internet and we are able to offer value pricing by purcasing truckloads of discontinued supplies at a discount and passing a portion of the savings along to our customers. We have also cross trained our installers so that we can perform additional work when the weather is uncooperative. We also offer winter specials on smaller installations. Offering competitive financing to our customers to enable them to accelerate their purchases and take advantage of the off-seasons discounts has helped our business grow significantly during the off months.

  • 2 Thumbs Up Plumbing & Remodeling, Boise Idaho 02/21/13

    Home business or services are a wide spectrum of trade professionals. Each is as important as the other. In todays market it is not to often that a company is only providing one special service. In fact most do well to go above and beyond to satisfy to clients needs.
    If the business or service based Company finds that efficiency or cost is being hindered and it is a strategy move to keep costs in check as well as to stay in business in the near future for the sake of your working members (after letting them know) slow down the Company slowly or work harder to find clients that will keep your Company successful and never forget them of your Company may have to close for the winter.

  • Jon Montes 02/21/13

    It definitely gets more competitive so prices go down, if we have any big jobs in the pipeline we usually leave them for our slow season if they can wait. Shutting down is not an option!

  • Pablo Solomon 02/21/13

    We run our business from our 1856 historic ranch near Austin. Many people are surprised to hear that the weather here in the Texas Hill Country stays close to perfect most of the year.
    However, we do have a saying about the seasons—we have 2–summer and not summer.
    The winters here are erratic and unpredictable before a week or so in advance. Usually the weather is great but we can have short periods of very cold weather and even the occasional ice storm. So winter usually only slows things down for a week or so at a time and then it is back to perfect weather.
    The summers are a different story from about late May to early October it can be brutally and predictably hot. So we get started on any outdoor projects at sunrise and work until it is just too hot–usually by 11 am. We may pick it up again around 6 pm and work until dark.
    We are lucky here in our part of Texas to have wonderful spring fed creeks that stay cool (67 F) year around. Our beautiful spring is the reason the Texas Ranger built his home here. So it is great to cool off in the afternoon. One of the surprises to visitors to Austin is the crystal clear Barton Spring pool fed by millions of gallons of pure water at 67 degrees in the middle of town. Great fun.
    One season that is unique to Texas is deer hunting season from early November through the first week of January. Many workers will take off to go hunting. So with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, football games and hunting projects slow a bit in fall and winter.
    I love to work outdoors when ever possible. I even do my sculpting, painting and paper work out in my courtyard or on one of patios under our giant oak trees.
    Best wishes, Pablo Solomon Artist & Designer

  • Kraig Kalashian 02/21/13

    We find that many clients start planning big projects in the off season so that they can start as soon as the weather turns. A good Architect or Contractor can help a client pre-order long lead items such as custom windows or kitchen cabinets so that the project can move faster when it starts. Any business that has seasonal demand can also shift their focus to interior work or climate specific outdoor work. Just as many landscapers offer cleanup and plowing services in the winter, many other opportunities exist in heating, insulation, window replacement, and interior renovations. There is always work to be done, regardless of season.

  • Richard Koller, C.O.O., Criterium Tauscher Cronacher Professional Engineers 02/21/13

    …*To everything turn, turn, turn, There is a season turn, turn, turn.”

    Almost all businesses, professions or jobs have a season. A time that is more or less busy than most. The home services industry is no different. As a Professional Engineering firm that specializes in consulting for home and buildings, the real estate buying trends have a direct impact on our work flow. Additionally, construction and repair is usually consistent with the weather patterns. For example, If you can help it, winter is not the ideal time to replace a roof. The other seasonal impact was perfectly illustrated by the recent Sandy storm. Home and building related businesses usually will see a bump in the business following a major weather event.

    If a business is very season specific, like landscaping or pool cleaning, you may often see those companies offset their scope of business with snow removal, for example. Otherwise flying South for the winter may be an ideal option.

  • charlie randolph 02/21/13

    Although our plumbing service business allows for a wide array of services that can “weather” a slow period , the seasons do affect the homeowners’ interest and willingness to pursue certain home improvement projects. We actively remind our customers of the
    routine maintenance around the house that either they (or we) can do to reduce the chance
    of a bigger , catastrophic problem happening later. These reminders go out bi-monthly
    and help us stay in touch with our best customers as well as fill in some of the gaps during
    those seasonal slow downs.

  • Cheryl Rolwes 02/21/13

    The plumbing service and repair business is unique. There is always a backed up drain, leaky faucet, water heater issues, etc. There are certain times of the year when people are hesitant to spend money on much needed repairs. These are typically at holidays, income tax season, and vacation season. We have found that being creative in our marketing, pricing and our payment options during these “seasons” have kept our business operating at a high level of customer satisfaction for the last 22+ years. Successful companies adapt, improvise and over come. You must change your business model to meet the ever changing needs of your customer.

  • Jason Todd 02/22/13

    One of the reasons local HVAC companies partner with GreenHomes America is to address the rollercoaster ride of work as the seasons change. After all, it makes sense that a heating and cooling company might be affected by the seasons!

    There is no reason for it to happen if you take a whole house approach to comfort. I can only speak to the HVAC and Home Performance industry but I think there is a story that is relevant for any business. I think it has to do with the tools we carry.

    With some diversity in our offerings our locations are able to service their customers year round and keep their employees busy. It can be Southern California, or Seattle, Washington, South Carolina or New York State, the seasons are different, but the need for comfort and energy efficiency is the same. In broadening the ways we provide that comfort and efficiency, everyone wins.

    For a cooling contractor, summer is the peak season and they are busy installing and servicing equipment, the inverse happens for a heating contractor, they are busiest in the winter. Down time is the opposite time of year, a great time to do other related comfort work such as insulating attics and walls.

    Our locations have sales advisors who perform home assessments, but everyone in the company is aware of the benefits of all of the types of work we do, HVAC, health and safety testing, and insulation and air sealing. Those folks going in to service equipment year round are a conduit of information for homeowners.

    An HVAC service call can lead a homeowner to what they may really need. The surprise may be, especially coming from an HVAC company, that it’s not bigger or even new equipment, it might be improving the home’s insulation. If you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail right? It’s good to have a well stocked tool box.

  • Doug Murrell 02/22/13

    In the heating and cooling business there slow times because of the season but you can do preventative maintainence on equipment. Also explore other avenues of the business such as refrigeration service is big and is a spin off of hvac,also there is full time when you look at green energy sources to pursue a career in. There is so many opportunities coming out in this market,ways to heat and cool for free.

  • Joseph Molluso 02/22/13

    I own a pest control business in New York. The way we prepare for the seasons is as follows. Pest control is an ever growing industry. Warmer summer months are our busiest.The hotter weather causes the roaches and bed bugs to breed at a much faster rate than in the colder months. Normally most of our money is made during the end of spring throughout the summer.Between June-September is mainly bed bug treatments and roach treatments.
    The Spring brings us many Termite Inspections which can lead to termite treatments as well as many call for bees. Due to new laws, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to treat bees.
    When the colder months roll around is when it is the slowest for our business. We get a lot of animal control calls. Many squirrels and raccoons ( yes we have those in the city ) look for a nice warm place to hide when the temperature drops below 40 degrees outside. We have even gotten calls to remove raccoons from peoples living rooms!
    As a business we must be ready to adapt to the changing weather because it brings upon a great deal of skill to be able to differently deal with all of these problems.

  • Matthew Kettner/MLK Construction LLC 02/22/13

    Our company works in the exterior construction field in St. Louis, MO doing roofing, gutters, siding, masonry, etc… so a majority of our work cannot be done during the winter months without careful planning.

    We strive to offer very competitive pricing throughout the year so our pricing does not change due to the season. We normally try to plan ahead and budget bigger residential/commercial jobs to be done during the winter months when the days are shorter and the weather is less cooperative with scheduling. This allows us to work with the weather and still turn a profit. When you normally would have a working period of up to 12-16 hours now you only have 6-8 hours of daylight.

    The reason we try to do bigger jobs is so we don’t have the daily load/unload time that is acceptable when you have more working time available. When you only have 6 hours to work and you spend 2-3 hours setting up and tearing down at the beginning and end of the day it makes the job take too long and doesn’t make the client, employees or the employer happy.

    We also spend our down time educating our staff on any new products and installation techniques. We strive to do anything that will help our company and our clients throughout the next year. I believe this has helped us stay busy throughout the year and keep our employees around all year and not just seasonal employees. The employees are the back-bone of any business and to turn employees into seasonal workers can be the downfall of customer relationships and eventually the down fall of your business.

  • Steve and Ben Holloway KERRVILLE PLUMBING tm 02/23/13

    We are very proficient, honest, reliable on time Texas Plumbers.
    Steve Holloway and Sons, Ben and Daniel Holloway and 2 more plumbers make up KERRVILLE PLUMBING.tm
    We work to serve, are clean, effecient and happy in our work.
    Relying on the very best advertising, our customers, we work all the time; no matter the month or season.
    Post cards delivered by hand to the person or business you want to work for; Sidney Hurlbert, the favored Wordsmith approves this message.
    KERRVILLE PLUMBING Thanks you for knowing where the real Holloways’ are in Kerrville. Happy to talk with you.

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