With spring in the air, Fergus has released five simple tips for trade business owners to get their company ready to bloom this summer.
Whatever your trade, getting your business ready for a profitable 12 week run through June, July and August can mean the difference between a good and a great year. Summer can be a very busy time for some trades, but not for others. For instance, the plumbing and heating sector often experiences a quiet period before the cold weather and ‘heating season’ returns in autumn. However, by following the same ideas, even those trades who suffer from a seasonal lull can still maximise the time to prepare their businesses to prosper.
“Spring is a great time to remove any old, outdated systems that aren’t working for you anymore and look to make some actionable steps that will set your business up for success,” says James Chillman, UK Country Manager for Fergus. “By making some changes now, at the very least you will be ready to take a holiday and enjoy the important things in life, knowing your business is in good shape going into the middle of 2023.”
Review your business performance
To grow and maintain your business successfully, you need to know which areas you can improve upon. Reviewing your business’ performance allows you to gauge your achievements and milestones.
At the same time, check your customer satisfaction levels. Collect any feedback and see where you’re kicking goals, and where there may be room for improvement. Review your client list: how many new customers did you get? If your client list isn’t growing, it may indicate that you need a new marketing strategy.
Set your business goals for summer
Setting a goal brings everything into perspective. It’s a way to assess where you are right now and where you want to be by autumn. Your business goals for summer can be as simple as having a specific number of clients on your books or identifying the amount of profit you want to make. Your goal may be as simple as switching off completely – plan for that now and make it happen.
Schedule jobs and plan efficiently
Trying to juggle too many jobs at once and with no visibility across each team member’s movements throughout the day and every member of the team running an individual calendar can mean scheduling conflicts easily occur. If you are also unsure which materials are in stock, on backorder or with a supplier, you have yourself quite the headache.
By using a centralised scheduling system such as Fergus, you can take complete control of your schedule by assigning tasks to team members or clients, matching calendars with individual projects, viewing the progress of a job in real time, and breaking big jobs down into separate tasks. With this visibility across the whole team, you can maximise working time and profit.
Dust off your website
Tradespeople often rely solely on referrals and word of mouth. However, a website is still vital in this day and age and can be a brilliant ‘shop window’. It can drum up more customers and adds another layer of credibility to your business. If you’re a small business and don’t have a website or haven’t updated it in years, now’s the time to revise it. Maybe you’ve updated your brand logo or perhaps you offer more services than what is currently listed on your webpage. Use a service like Wix.com or GoDaddy to help you.
Touch base with customers
It is important to plan your holiday time, after all you work to live, not the other way around. Plan to get in touch with your clients to let them know of your holiday operating hours and when you’ll be back on deck.
This is a good opportunity to take the time to thank them and to cement these relationships. Explain who to call instead or provide them with a call-back form/waitlist on your website where they can leave their details for you to get back to them once you return to work. If you have business management software, set up an out-of-office automated text and email to let your existing customers know that you’ll be away and will be back on ‘X’ date.