Summer can be a funny time for business owners. Depending on the nature of the work, it might be incredibly busy or very quiet. Seasonal variations are a fact of life but what can we do to make sure we’re ready for them? Since the majority of people I speak to seem to be trying to cope with overwhelming demand, I’ve pulled together some top tips for managing seasonal increases:
- Prepare – plan ahead so the busy times don’t creep up on you. Look back over previous years to see exactly when business picks up;
- Research – identify the cause of previous increases e.g. the weather or a specific event. If your sector is impacted heavily by weather, then monitor the forecast. This is something we did successfully at both Pizza Hut and Starbucks – hot weather meant low sales for Pizza Hut delivery but high frappucino sales for Starbucks. And rain always brought a surge to Pizza Hut delivery.
- Talent spot – always be on the lookout for good people, especially sub-contractors. It’s a good idea to run an advert regularly and meet with anyone who looks promising so you have a stock of people to call on when things get busy. If you’re confident you will need the services of sub-contractors then make sure to give them plenty of warning so they can make themselves available to you.
- Outsource – look at what takes up your time (and that of your team) – could you improve your own productivity by outsourcing? This is particularly relevant to tasks such as admin and marketing.
- Systemise – have clear systems and processes to deal with busy periods. Ideally this will include a customer relationship management (CRM) system such as Insightly, Zoho or Tradify for Trade businesses to log all enquiries and track jobs. This obviously needs to be in place with everyone trained how to use it well before a busy period kicks in.
- Celebrate – don’t forget to recognise the team at the end of a busy period!
We’ve worked extensively with businesses in the Trade and Construction industries and use our specially designed BUILD system which addresses five key areas to help these business owners get off the tools and start working on their business rather than in it.
Find out more about the BUILD system here.