Seasonal business rollercoaster can hit you and your relationships hard


With the festive season upon us, it is a time many businesses either thrive or struggle to stay alive. Life is full of highs and lows, successes and struggles, wins and losses. Business experiences the rollercoaster to the same degree as relationships. When you’re riding high, hitting sales KPI’s and in alignment with goals it has an overflow effect on other areas of life, maintaining harmony within your relationships seems effortless.

In every area of life, we become accustomed to hurdles. But for many small to medium businesses who deal with seasonal fluctuations in turnover, the added stress not only affects your business and the way you manage it, it also impacts personal relationships.

For a seasonal business who is in high demand and relies on most of their income during a peak season the physical input and emotional output required to manage busy periods can cause friction at home. The additional hours required to manage fluctuations naturally takes time away from your partner and family who struggle to understand the underlying pressures and many small-business owners don’t stop to even fully understand where their emotional set point is let alone communicating effectively with their partner.

What are you really dealing with?

  • Increased stress in the day to day management of consumer demands.
  • Lack of personal time to pursue outside interests.
  • Short temper from being overloaded and exhausted, with nobody to share the load.
  • Management of additional staff, rostering, training, contracts, wages all increasing the backend workload.
  • Dealing with employee’s stress of increased responsibility which requires your coaching hat to be permanently on.
  • Whilst the money is flowing through there is a softening of stress, but it is often your partner who feels the biggest impact as there is little left in the tank to consider their needs. The ripple effect of seasonal fluctuations starts a whole new rollercoaster.

On the flip side when the peak has finished and times are tight it also creates stress trying to find new ways to maintain revenue flowing, keeping yourself busy, energised and motivated as well as dealing with staff productivity. Often the downtimes can be more stressful to the business owner which exasperates the disconnection in a relationship.

Six tips for balancing seasonal business with an annual relationship

  • Don’t leave your partner out of the loop, communicate with them before your season kicks in and show your vulnerability to what lies ahead.
  • Forward plan something special to look forward to at the end of the season which you both play a part in.
  • Ask your partner for support when you need it rather than expecting them to read your mind, resentment spreads fast in times of increased stress.
  • Share successes in equal proportion and celebrate wins together.
  • Don’t make everything about you, pay attention to your partner’s needs.
  • Set agreed upon designated time to spend together on date nights etc, but also make sure you each have your own free time.

Louanne Ward, Relationship Strategist, Writer and Motivational Speaker