Let us count the ways seasonality impacts your field service business: steamy temps, freezing temps, hail, sleet, snow…it’s a wonder any work gets done sometimes. Then again, these seasonal signals might mean business is booming! But either way, you’ve got this.
While there are some ways around the wrenches thrown by Mother Nature, sometimes you just have to wait it out, right? Not necessarily. Here are some tips to operate your business so seasonality works with you, not against you.
When Business is Slow
If you’re in a business (or geographic region) that completely stalls as the seasons change, you have another set of challenges. You’ve got to work “lean and mean” and make the most out of downtime. Here are some ideas:
Catch Up On Vehicle Maintenance. Are You Thinking About The Lifecycle Of Your Fleet? Now’s a great time to get your company vehicles serviced or replaced, depending on your cycling schedule. And while you’re at it, order the supplies you’ll need for the future and get some “spring cleaning” done in your garages or shops.
Check-in with Customers. With more time on your hands, why not call your customers and follow-up on the last service you performed? You can also encourage them to schedule some off-season, preventative maintenance, if it makes sense for them. If you want to take the focus off of sales, send out a customer survey to get your finger on the pulse of their needs and how well you’re meeting them. You’ll gain insights you can take with you as you prepare for busy season.
Engage Your Workforce. You may or may not have a full roster of technicians working during slower times. Either way, off-season is ideal for getting your workers trained on the latest and greatest in your industry, from the skills they need to the trends they should follow.
Market. Immerse yourself in marketing—growing your social presence, getting listed on all the best review sites, and coming up with sales promotions. Take some time to network in your community, too, and get the word out about your services and put a personal face to your business for influencers who can refer you around town.
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When Times are Good
Busy seasons, long stretches of ideal-for-your-business weather…these are your golden moments. Make the most of them:
Focus on Profitability. Make sure you’re out there serving your customers in a timely and comprehensive way—and get the job done right the first time. Stay on top of invoices and payments to keep things running smoothly in the office. That might mean adopting some technology tools to automate operations, from accounting to fleet management.
Vince Griffiths, Owner of The Brick Paver Dr. in the Detroit metro area (think harsh winters!) adopted fleet telematics with the goals of managing time better and boosting productivity. “Automile easily saves me at least a few hours a week in labor hours, and pays for itself,” he explains. “I know exactly what’s going on with my vehicles, and where they’re at. I use the app for accountability, and it is pretty powerful in helping me manage my fleet.”
Get the full story in Business Spotlight: The Brick Paver Dr. Achieves Cost & Time Savings With Automile.
Allocate Resources Wisely. When you swear your customers have you on speed dial, you need to make sure you can meet their demand with enough technicians, vehicles, supplies, and time. Your trucks need to be well-stocked and your workers need to be healthy and available. And your scheduling and dispatching procedures need to be razor sharp.
Seasonality is a top challenge for pest control businesses, particularly in areas with hot summers and cold winters. Cody Bledsoe, Service Manager at 855Bugs.com, counts on technology to help allocate resources when demand is high. He says that with Automile, “We can bring up a map and know where all our trucks are so I know that if I have a house that needs to be done in a neighborhood, I can see which vehicles are closest to this neighborhood and get someone over there as fast as possible.”
Automile is revolutionizing fleet management with its innovative, cloud-based, mobile, and design-first experience.
Try Automile for free – https://automile.com/get-started