Ten percent of workers feel that their productivity suffers during rainy and cold conditions. Also, employee absenteeism is higher on rainy days with twenty-one percent of workers admitting to calling out sick to avoid facing the elements. Ultimately, it depends on every business. For example, when there is a snow storm a landscaping business can’t complete their jobs, whereas ski resorts are flooded with business.

In the painting industry we see an interesting trend. When the sun shines, people go outside and see what the winter, spring, and fall have done to their home and make a phone call to find out what it will cost to repair. It’s difficult to do an exterior paint job when the temperature is below 40°F. Most customers recognize that cold, wet weather means painting will have to be put off. If we were to compare the number of calls we receive during a sunny week vs. a rainy one Five Star Painting’s phone rings twice as much when the sun is out. Also, interestingly enough, our phone always rings the most on Monday.

Years ago I used to be involved with a winter festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba called Festival du Voyageur. This festival was insane enough to run in the height of winter and provided heated tents with entertainment, ice sculptures, and dog-sled racing. All in all it’s a great time, but I can assure you that this outdoor festival would in some years experience -50°C (-58°F) weather. I acquired some research and did a plot chart of the average temperature to the festival attendance. The correlation was staggering, yet expected. The colder the weather the less tickets sales we would have.

How does bad weather affect your business? A few disadvantages of running a business when the weather is bad can be overwhelming traffic, delayed shipments, tardy employees, and the list can go on. Most businesses have to take risks and try to force through it. Surprisingly, 75% of restaurants report a sales drop of at least 10% due to undesirable changes in the weather. BlueskyLocal.com mentions that if you are in the restaurant industry, this may not surprise you too much since many accept it as a way of doing business. Simply stated, if weather is bad certain businesses suffer. Click here to read my blog post on fishing. It would make sense to avoid direct mail in December to market painting a home and try to do it in the spring as the days get longer, and the sun starts to come out.

When running a business, how can you take advantage when the sun is out? Usually in the springtime, people are more willing to do spring cleaning, clean out everything, and organize. AnnArbor.com states that a Farmer’s Market in Kerrytown, MI decided to take advantage of the sunny skies and warmer temps, and ended up having great success. The mood was festive around the market, shoppers were enjoying the weather and the vendors were happily selling their wares. Many merchants, who said sales were up, credited the boost to the good weather.

Even the best weather professionals get it wrong, so how can an entrepreneur get it right? Before you start marketing take a look into what your environment experiences historically during the months you are going to be marketing, and go with the highest probability plays. You won’t always get it right, but sometimes the stars align and your marketing program will hit the week of sunshine you are looking for.

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