Summer Is Coming
No, I didn’t accidentally post this article 3 months too late. Or 9 months too early. Labor Day just happened and summertime blinked by as it usually does.
I’m posting this as a reminder to myself and other entrepreneurs, as well as my ad tech friends that I’ve casually polled. Consensus: summer generally sucks (for business). While the weather is nice, which makes it a little more tolerable, summer is a challenging time to: keep the bulk of clients engaged, raise capital, engage partners/advisors and generally get the same amount of shit done compared to other times of the year.
It’s a special time of the year when people are enjoying spending time with family and friends, traveling while school is out, taking well-deserved vacations and “summering” at a location outside of their primary home.
But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and therein lies the challenge for the start up. Those actions are; scaling the business, raising capital, executing the road-map, generating revenue, establishing partnerships, hiring talent and 100+ other things on the never-ending to-do list. The reactions; the folks you need to engage are all recharging themselves for the “busy parts” of the year. And they’re all doing it on their own schedules over a roughly 10-week span. How dare they. Have they no regard for my incredibly important start up that will change the universe? No. They don’t give a shit. Until you convince them to. On their timeline.
Which is why the pre-planning for the summer business productivity doldrums needs to start now. Like today.
I launched my company, Good Harvest Co., last year so this was my second “summer” experience and it didn’t disappoint. All capital raising conversations tailed off in June, but I was confident based on prior funds closed, current monthly burn and diligent cash conservation (summer hibernating) that we would sustain through Labor Day and months after with no additional inbound capital needs. Roger that.
Additionally, two partnerships scoped in the spring out of three commenced this summer. Both aligned to advance our businesses in complementary ways. While they didn’t kick off quite on their expected timelines, they’re now moving forward and some of the time delays can be recouped in a few ways.
Key point, the seeds need to be sown early and often as any solid leadership, sales or business development person knows. Particularly in advance of the productivity slowdowns on the horizon.
Right on cue, the “let’s regroup after Labor Day” loose ends on investor discussions are resuming, the partnership strategies are being rolled out, revenue opportunities are commencing and the regular drumbeat is picking up.
Now there are about 8 weeks until we start hearing: “let’s regroup after the Holidays” so the clock is ticking.
Go get after it now. Not tomorrow. Not the day after. Now.