Avoiding the Summer Effect

Summer vacations are when we relax, enjoy the nice weather, and maybe take our mind off work for a bit. It’s healthy—even necessary for people to go through seasons of greater and lesser productivity. But if you’re using similar logic when thinking about the amount of effort you’re putting into your business, you may be entering into a dangerous season. As an Orange County marketing agency that often helps companies with short- and long-term strategic planning, we look at how to ensure that the summer effect doesn’t take the wind out of your sails.

Are you more productive in warmer weather or cooler weather? If you’re like me, you get more work done when it’s colder; still, a majority of people think that warm weather equals a happier mood, which manifests itself in being more productive. While this is logical, the data seems to suggest otherwise. One study conducted in Tokyo actually found that a one-inch increase in rain was roughly equivalent to a 1.3% decrease in the time it took to complete work-related tasks!

It’s the Summer Effect. During summer, people tend to slow down, spend more time outside, drink more lemonade, and generally enjoy, or think about enjoying things that are, well, not work. Winter, with cooler, sometimes rainier weather contracting our possibilities, can create an environment of focus and productivity, if only for the fact that there are fewer options for fun available. For individuals, this is probably more or less unavoidable. Can something analogous be said for companies?

Start-up companies that break through into a period of growth face a serious challenge not to be swept up in this summer-like feeling. It can be easy to feel that everything is going swimmingly. The decision-makers of the company may begin shedding clothes, working less, and enjoying what they’ve earned.

It’s at this point that startups fail. Maybe out of arrogance, maybe out of premature desire to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the company becomes blind to pitfalls or opportunities that need to be acted on. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as summer vacation for a business.

Unless your company actually has seasons, (popsicle companies, fan companies, and snowshoe companies immediately come to mind) your company should not have seasons where it’s less necessary to work. Humans within the organization can and should be able to take breaks—people need time off. But the human needs of those who work in the organization should not affect the progress of the organization in the least. Businesses are not people, and don’t have human needs.

This is not the same as setting a goal to constantly grow. Charging forward in pursuit of quarter-after-quarter of growth for your business can leave you without the infrastructure to maintain that growth. By measuring growth in more ways than just profits, you’ll grow more organically, which means the growth of your business will have more ability to last.

There’s a difference between growth and work. A farmer’s work is year-round, and yet the amount of food the farm produces goes up and down with the season; likewise, there is always something to do for your business, no matter what kind of growth you’re experiencing. If you’re in search of help with short- or long-term strategic planning, or an Orange County marketing agency that can help you regardless of the season, reach out to us.

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