seasonal businessesWith Santa’s sleigh in the review mirror, retailers are just coming out of their busy season. Of course now they are now watching much of their holiday earnings going back out the door in the form of returns.  But the end of the busy retail season also marks the beginning of a spike for many other seasonal businesses.  Some you probably already know about and some you may not have thought about.

Nobody needs to be told we are now in tax season.  You can just test the blood pressure of the nearest CPA to know that.  We talk about cloud computing on this blog a lot, and people in seasonal businesses like tax professionals are among those who have the most to gain from deploying accounting and management software in the cloud.

The elasticity of cloud deployment gives seasonal organizations the flexibility they need to scale their solution up and down as their business needs change during the year.  Whether they need to add temporary employees or source new suppliers and distribution channels by season, hosted accounting software and management solutions are really the best answer for seasonal businesses.

Another business that might not be as obviously seasonal is the health and fitness industry.   January to March tends to be extremely busy for gyms as Americans flock to the treadmills with new determination and New Year’s resolutions.  Suppose by the time spring rolls around commitment dwindles?

Then there is the divorce business.  Divorce lawyering might not be the obvious seasonal business.  It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it, and February typically sees a spike in divorce filings by about 18 percent more than the average month, according to  The only question that remains… do couples split up in spite of Valentine’s Day, or because of it?

Whatever the case, surviving the rollercoaster of operating seasonal businesses is a challenge.  There are cash flow issues, supply chain issues and human resource challenges that are all unique to running a business that depends on seasonal spikes.  With ERP cloud solutions like on-demand Dynamics AX, these business can leverage the flexible pay-by-use nature of software as a service to scale up and down their technology costs as the seasons determine how much IT power they need in any given month.

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