So the summer is finally here and users are out enjoying the sunshine. If this has coincided with a dip in your numbers, it’s tempting to blame the good weather and to explain the decline as a temporary or seasonal aberration.
But you have to be careful with an argument like this.
Sauce for the goose
Most obviously, when the numbers tick back up, are you going to take the credit or are you going to attribute it to a decline in the weather? Investors and acquirers are justifiably sceptical of one-way explanations which only ever help justify bad news, never to explain outperformance.
Online vs. mobile
Secondly, you might be able to make a better story anyway by looking deeper in to non-financial KPIs, such as online (desktop) vs. mobile usage. Sure, a bit of sunshine should see online traffic decline, but your mobile volumes should increase. Even if this comes at the expense of monetisation, pointing to a temporary shift in your online/mobile mix like this helps validate your mobile strategy and demonstrate user loyalty.
Equally, you might see a decline in daytime traffic but an uplift in the mornings or evenings, or a shift from weekend online use to weekday as users catch up during office hours.
This is where a corporate finance adviser can help your discussions with investors/acquirers, helping you move away from glib excuses and focus on a broader strategic narrative.