Small Business Seasonality: Characteristics and Management

Jeffrey Shields, Joyce Shelleman


Seasonal cycles of demand present major problems for management of small businesses. This research provides the first known empirical descriptive evidence on seasonality in U.S. small businesses. Frequency data were gathered from a survey of 73 small business owners. The study revealed information on the attributes of cyclical demand, including the length of seasonal phases and reported causal factors of the phases. Cost and revenue management actions small business owners employed to manage seasonality were identified by phase. Implications of the findings for both practice and future research are considered.

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