Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Business Model of New Year's Resolutions

An interesting thing happens every January. The gym is more full than normal (very frustrating for those of us who go year-round and get used to having the place to ourselves 11 months of the year). Places of worship see increases in attendance and donations. I'd imagine more blog posts are written, more journals are purchased, and more 'diet food' is consumed in January than any other month of the year. Why? New Year's Resolutions.

I see an enormous business opportunity in all of this self-improvement and goal-setting every January. People aren't happy with where they are at, and they're ready to part with their hard-earned money to try and get better, or at least feel better once they have an idea to try and be better and then they spend some money to show some form of commitment to being better.

I'd imagine that more than half of all gym memberships are sold in January. Many churches likely bankroll donations to sustain them throughout the year. So, here is the question for every business owner and entrepreneur--when is the most emotional time your customers want to buy from you? When do they feel more compelled than any other time during the year to buy your product or service?

The next questions surround the business model of a business with one time of year when customers want to flock to their products and services. How can you structure your business model to leverage this seasonal demand? What is the ideal way to engage customers during this peak, the point in time that they are most likely to sense the most highest degree of value your products or services offer to them?

I don't know the full history of the subscription pricing model, but it seems like seasonal demand could have had something to do with giving birth to it. Why not get people to sign up for a year commitment, like a gym?

The business model of new year's resolutions is really about understanding your customers and helping them buy from you at their most opportune, and often emotional, time. The time when they need your product the most, when, from their perspective, it can add the most value to them. Embrace, don't resist this about your customers, and build your business model to make it as successful as possible for you, your team of employees, and your customers.