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With half of the year finished and just a few months left before the year ends, it seems the perfect time to make the most of 2021. However, for business owners, this might not be the right time to do so. After all, we have just entered the dreaded ‘ghost month.’ August is often considered a ghost month due to its low sales and performance. However, why does this happen? And is ghost month true?
Reasons why August is a ghost month
There can be many factors as to why August is considered a ghost month. For one, many clients go on vacation during the month, so new projects and decisions are usually delayed until September. As a result, processes are slower and sales go down.
The second reason would have to do with business superstition. Many entrepreneurs, especially Chinese entrepreneurs, regard August as an unlucky month to transact or venture into new projects and partnerships. This stems from the Chinese tradition that hungry spirits roam the Earth during the seventh month of the year (which usually falls in August), causing mischief and misfortune. So, some businesses avoid making contracts, launching projects, taking big risks, and more—all to appease the spirits.
However, another possible reason could be the weather. In Australia, since August is still part of the winter season, this can affect consumer behaviour. In fact, according to a survey, 80 per cent of residents in Canberra and 58 per cent of Tasmanians say that they are more irritable in the winter. In the survey, Aussies seem to have less healthy and more carefree lifestyles during winter. Moreover, winter also means flu season.
In addition, lockdowns are currently in place in some parts of the country, affecting businesses in several cities. All of these could be possible factors as to why August is a ghost month for businesses.
However, superstition or not, businesses can still make the most out of this ghost month.
What to do during ghost month
If your business has experienced low sales during August, then take this opportunity to improve other areas of the business. After all, a business is not just about sales. Here’s how you can make the most of the ghost month and get back stronger next month.
1. Complete pending or non-essential tasks
Do you have tasks that you have been pushing back for a long time because of urgent or more important projects? Since most businesses don’t launch new projects during August, this is the best time to finally finish those tasks. Moreover, take the time to finish non-essential tasks that have also piled up. Use this month as an opportunity to finish tasks, so you can have a fresh start on new projects and tasks next month.
2. Evaluate your performance
Since August falls in the middle of the year, it’s a great time to evaluate your business or team’s current performance. Whatever industry you’re in, this is a good opportunity to check if operations are running smoothly. By doing a thorough assessment of your operations and performance, you can learn what’s working and what’s not. In turn, this will allow you to plan and change strategies to align with your business goals.
3. Plan your next steps
After assessing your current performance, you now have the data and information on what you need to improve on. Based on these, you can now strategise new projects to align with your goals. As the ghost month offers more time, your team has ample time to plan and solve the current challenges that your business is facing. After planning, the most important part is setting them into motion. So, make sure to commit to your plans once you get it rolling.
4. Check on your team
During the ghost month, it’s also a great opportunity to check on your staff. Ask about how they’re doing and see if some of them might be burning out. Stress and burnout have become more common and critical, especially during this pandemic. Aside from this, you can also talk to them about necessary improvements and ask their feedback on how else the business can improve. It’s a great time to regroup and strategise while also maintaining good relationships within the business.
5. Learn a new skill
Finally, why not have you or your staff learn a new skill? A business will continue to thrive if it continues to innovate itself to become relevant and helpful to its customers. To do that, you must invest in continuous learning for you and your staff. Since the ghost month usually offers more time, put that time to good use by encouraging your team to learn something new relevant to their role. In this way, everyone can add something new to the table and help in upgrading your products and services.
Is ghost month true?
Given how some businesses have a track record of having downtime during August, the ghost month may be true. Regardless, this should not stop businesses on their tracks. Use this time to plan or regroup and come back stronger the following month.
Mearth is also using this time to improve our service and develop better products for our customers. Look forward to the coming months as we have a lot in store for our supporters and partners!
Meanwhile, become a Mearth retail partner today, and enjoy exclusive deals and perks!