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How to meet the seasonal demands of increased business.

How to meet the seasonal demands of increased business.

The good weather is here which increases the demand for home improvement projects. As a small business, how do you handle the increased volume? You don’t want to turn away business, but you also don’t want to compromise the quality and level of service. Planning ahead and hiring seasonal help is a smart thing to do. Here are suggestions on things to help with the more demand than supply dilemma.

For some businesses, summer is when the majority of revenue is made to carry the company throughout the entire year. For seasonal businesses, it’s important to manage cash flow and staffing to be sufficiently covered for the peaks. Plan ways to increase business during the slow time. Brainstorm on types of service you can provide to lure buyers to call in the off season. Advertise during the off season to convince consumers they need the service now. Create great limited-time deals or packages for them to get their home improvement done during the slower months. Perhaps partner with a business whose busy time is the opposite of yours?

Most sales for home improvement are made over the phone. It’s important to make the customer phone experience a good one. Implement a phone system that can handle the volume and will take messages when the call volume is too great for your customer service staff to handle. Train staff from other areas to cover the phones when the calls cannot be answered. There are also call center firms you can use if the ROI of an outside service is justified.

During your down or slow time develop a user-friendly website to assist when it is busy. Make sure you have a very visible Call To Action (CTA). In addition to your phone number, one CTA should be an online signup form to aid in capturing leads. An online form helps you not miss any after hour inquiries or orders. Some services can be requested online especially repeat orders or reoccurring services.

During the busiest time of the year, it is vital that service reps make the most of their time. Routing and scheduling can make a big difference in efficiency and hence revenue. Designating a person to dispatch is key to a smoothly run operation. There are many software programs that handle this operation challenge.

Capitalize on the busy time by getting to know your customers and get referrals from them. When you speak with your customers, see if some projects can be postponed until your slower times. Offer them discounts if they do their project in the fall.

Hire seasonal staff ahead of time so you can get them trained and ready for the busy season. This can be field service people as well as customer service reps. Offer incentives or rewards for your full-time staff to work more hours and not take their vacation during your busy time.

Keep up on news events and the weather. These things can affect business both positively and negatively. Perhaps there is a rash of burglaries in your area. This could be the time to increase your advertising if you are a security system company. Perhaps California extends an energy rebate program? If you’re a window or roofing company, you’ll want to capitalize on this news to bring in customers.

The best thing you can do is plan. Plan for the upswings and the downswings. The Scouts, BSA motto is “Be prepared.” When you are prepared, your customers will be better served, and your business will be successful.

TheHomeMag specializes in lead generation for the home improvement industry. To find out more about how to market your home improvement business, check out our website for business professionals called THM Toolbox.