August, Ghost Month and Your Business
August is the time where the stock market slows to a crawl. Institutional investors often take the month a little slow, many of us are on holiday. Businesses and business in general slows down. It’s generally a time in which to explore potential investments and, perhaps, benefit from the slow market.
But, there just might be another reason why things go a little dead in August. Ghost Month is a traditional period observed by Chinese Filipinos (Chinoys). From late-July to the end of August, Ghost Month is when the spirits of our ancestors run wild, roaming the earth. It’s a little like Halloween, and the Chinoys believe in making offerings to their ancestors in order to avoid all sorts of calamities and misfortunes.
But let’s talk bluntly now: Business can often be slow over August. The stock market slows, institutional investors do clock off, business grinds to a halt. It really is a good time to stop and reflect.
As for Ghost Month, it might all sound a bit superstitious, but millions of people the world over take it seriously and much of the traditional advice for surviving Ghost Month works well for business owners, too.
As we said, a slow market might mean a ‘great’ market for you, depending on your strategy. As the institutional investors and businesses are moving slow, perhaps take advantage on the stock market and explore potential investments.
Don’t start a new business
As we said above, investors and potential customers tend to slow down at this time of year. As a result, August can be flat for both sales and funds in general. Instead of launching, take the time to work on your business plan and be ready to go when things liven up a little!
Assess your situation
Following on from the above, if you’re already in business, then now’s the time to pause, to take a look around and to begin making decisions. It’s a slow time, so use the opportunity to assess your strategy. From advertising to staffing, cost-cutting and more, perhaps there are changes to be made, now’s the time to investigate in-depth.
Avoid large business investments
It’s a slow month, so it’s time to keep spending under control. Avoid making any large investments in your business, if they can be put off for a little longer, do so. If you’re going to make an investment, pause, look the situation, can you really afford it?
As a fun aside, the Chinese believe that buying anything expensive during Ghost Month will make your ancestors jealous. So, perhaps now’s not the time to treat yourself to a new phone.
The Chinese believe that this is a period in which we should do our best to help others and donate to charities.
In a business sense, this means revisiting your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Who could you support? Is there a local cause or charity you could get involved with? Now’s the time to think about community.
Perhaps don’t spend on CSR now, but be ready to do so when business picks up.
Ghost Month can be tough in terms of income. Now’s not the time to relocate to a new office. The pandemic might be manageable, but August isn’t a time to uproot and move around. Hunker down and stay put.
No new debts
Low income and slow sales. It’s obvious when you think about it, but now’s not the time to incur new debts. Be careful, spend within your means. If you can delay an expense, do it.
During this period, your income needs to be saved. If you can bank it, do it. Save your money for when business picks up, so you’ll be ready to invest cleverly when the opportunity arises.
So, there you go. With a little luck, we’ll all survive Ghost Month. Just remember, it’s a time for reflection, a pause, and that’s something we rarely get the chance to do in business. Take advantage of it.
But, what are we doing, here at FX Back Office?
Well, in-between visits to the beach, we’ve taken the time to make updates to our systems. We’ve revisited our code and made some tweaks, we’re smoother and better than ever. We’re offering more features. We’ve also taken the time to pause, to think and to begin planning our next steps.
Click here to see our latest updates.