The busy season for a field service business can be quite overwhelming, but don't call crisis counseling just yet. Take a deep breath and read on for some tips on how to keep up.
Keep Motivations High
It is now officially your busy season, what can you do to keep motivations high for yourself and your employees?
Share expectations with your employees. What can they expect in terms of additional workload, stress, extended hours, long meetings and collaborative work?
Talk about how to manage the workload, so it’s spread out among your employees in a way that gives people a chance to take necessary breaks.
The busy season usually lasts for a window of time. Look realistically at that time period and make plans for how to pace yourself and your employees, so you can all manage the increase in business.
Prepare your company website so it’s working well for employees and customers, has up-to-date links, current information and is set up to handle the increase in sales and activity. This will help your employees stay calm knowing they have the online tools necessary to get the job done efficiently and successfully. Work out all the technical issues well in advance, before your busy season arrives.
Have a plan
Try to anticipate what may happen in your field service business during your busy season. Make a list of things you’d like to do to keep your small business running smoothly and employees satisfied during this time. Find ways to acknowledge the hard work that is being done by your employees during this demanding time.
Try to delegate specific tasks to key employees. The busy season will help you see very clearly what kind of talent you have in your employee pool when it comes to working under pressure. Some people work best under challenging times and others do not.
Try to set some goals for your busy season. Share the goals with your employees and continue to communicate as you gain momentum toward meeting those goals. This is a great way to keep employees excited about what they’re doing and how they’re contributing to the success of the company.
Communication is always important, but even more so during a time like this that demands more energy and effort from employees. Employees need to understand the following questions:
- What is the plan during the busy season?
- Why is the plan important?
- What happens if the plan goes awry?
- Who should employees turn to with questions and concerns during the busy season?
Open communication keeps the door open and helps people feel connected to each other and valued. Share your expectations with your employees in advance of the busy season, so they have time to think about what will be expected of them.
Ask for their feedback. They may need to make extra preparations, and if they are told what the expectations are prior to the busy season, it gives them time to make arrangements. Be clear and direct about your expectations.
Stress that you and your employees work as a team and this will encourage people to work together and support each other through the busy season.
Have some incentives for work well done. Bring in meals for the team, have healthy snacks available for long days, set up a comfortable spot for people to take breaks. Take care of your employees while they work to help you build your business.
Make sure you let your employees know how much you appreciate the additional work they’re doing during this crunch time. Reward them with incentives like: gift cards, flowers, tickets for a play or sporting activity, extra time-off at a later time or a monetary bonus.
After the busy season is over, think about what might be a thoughtful way to thank your employees for the outstanding work they’ve done, and then do it.
It’s important for you and your employees to pace yourself during the busy season and take breaks. It’s so much easier to manage workloads when they’re broken up into smaller pieces. Model that for your employees, and they will follow your lead.
It’s essential that you and your employees stay healthy before, during and after your busy season. Make sure you and your employees eat well, have down time to rest, get regular exercise and take care of your health. The last thing you need is for employees to be sick and not able to work during this critical time.
Running a successful small business means spending time trying to be more efficient. Efficiency means trying to streamline the business, so the necessary tasks are accomplished in a timely and cost effective manner. Streamlining is a critical strategy for growing your business. It takes time and thought to create and to execute.
It’s important that you have enough employees available to work during your busy season. If employees plan to take vacation days, it might be best for them to wait until the busy season is over. Otherwise, it may be necessary to consider hiring temps or bringing in independent contractors to help during the busy season, so plan ahead.
Before the busy season hits, talk with your employees about ways to streamline their workflow. Employees may have great ideas to share with you about how to simplify tasks, cut corners and costs without jeopardizing customer service or important processes. Gather ideas and implement changes before the orders come rushing in!
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