If you want to stay ahead of the curve and reach your audience when they're in the buying mood, your best bet is to actually meet them there. In order to do this you need to find a way to track their interest and understand what internal and external factors influenced their interest and engagement in the past - so you can emulate that at a later time.
If you're a brand new business and have never worked in your current sphere of business before, then speculation and asking questions (surveys) will have to play a role. If however, you do have some experience, then you'll have to look back through your sales, CRM, analytics or what ever you feel is relevant to check on and see what makes your business either more or less popular at the time and why?
August is a popular time for buying back-to-school shoes:
It's generally known that children have a faster rate of growth during Spring and Summer (see here) so the highest purchases of shoes are in late August.
People generally eat, drink and move more in January:
New Years Resolutions, 100 days of walking and other initiatives are pushed more commercially in January
Most corporate and public companies spend faster, later in their fiscal year:
Budgets are created for the full year and are only repeated or improved if sufficient evidence is provided to the "higher ups" that the spend is needed / required.
As you can see, causality is considered and anticipated as part of each statement. If however, you take any one of these into consideration and don't have sufficient, time, budget or motivation to make the most of them, then internal factors have impacted external ones.
Find a large sheet of paper, whiteboard or excel spreadsheet and on the left hand side write down vertically (the y axis) each one of your products / product types and services. In the next column vertically write down how many of each you anticipate selling per month. For example it could be each, per kilo, per order etc.
Then on the horizontal line at the top (the x axis) write down every month of the year.
Then either by looking at your previous 2-3 year stats and / or utilising your own experience, now start thinking what may or may not have impacted those good and bad months. Here's a few things that may have done below. I've heard a lot of reasons over the last few years.
A loss of or perhaps adding more staff?
Good or bad online promotion / complaint
You were able to get discounted products
You won an award
You got an amazing client or project
You collaborated with someone
A death in the family
Ill health of your own or immediate family
Ads promotion through Facebook or other platforms
Good or bad Social Media or Ads Manager
School Holidays / Back to school
New product or Service added
You had a stand at an event
You spoke at an event
Closure of business due to COVID
As you can see, each one of these will impact your energy or your focus or potentially both when it comes to marketing your business and how your business listened to you.
By understanding this you'll be able to fairly ascertain why something did and didn't work for you over the last few years. Then you can do you best to ether avoid or emulate as needed.
Now do it for more than one year and you might see some overlap or not, it depends on the "season" of your business and how you ran it at the time. You might look back in your diary and see you spent an extra €100 on an ad campaign, or maybe you got shared by an influencer? These both impact your reach, impressions and engagement.
You may also want to check your email list, when it went up or down for the same reasons. Did you do more lead magnets, or were you posting too often and not being helpful? There's a lot of things to consider and reflect upon.
Do your Seasonality Chart at the same time as your SWOT - once every 6 months.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.