4 Ways to Handle a Winter Slowdown

January 12, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

 

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Well, when winter hands you foul weather that slows down demand for your services, you can still make the most of it. Here are four ways to handle a winter slowdown.

  1. Schedule smart. With fewer jobs on your calendar, it’s more important than ever to deploy your workers efficiently. But if you’re still scheduling workers on paper and alerting them to changes via phone calls, mistakes are likely to be made. You might end up with too many people on a job site, workers arriving late or not at all, or workers taking too long to finish jobs. Instead, use team scheduling tools that let you create and edit a team schedule, see who’s where at any given point during the day, get updates on job progress and completion, and text workers to alert them about job or schedule changes. A cloud-based solution updates in real-time, so you can be confident workers always have accurate info about their schedules and jobs.
  2. Get paid right away. When business is slow, you need customers to pay fast. Get help from software that lets you create digital invoices on the spot—no more mailing paper invoices and waiting for checks to arrive. Better yet, collect payments from customers right at the job site. If your payment solution syncs with QuickBooks, you’ll always see accurate cash flow reflected in your accounting software. That helps you manage your money better and avoid unpleasant surprises.  
  3. Target existing customers with special offers. When the weather is bad, fewer people have home repairs, remodeling or landscaping on their minds. Give customers who do take advantages of your services the chance to save big by creating seasonal offers or special discounts. Lighthouse 360 can help by developing offer suggestions tailored to your industry. Customize the offer for your needs, approve it and it automatically posts it on your business website and your social media accounts. You can also use Lighthouse 360’s library of professionally written email templates to email customers with special offers and seasonal reminders.
  4. Catch up on your business. Use your downtime wisely to handle business tasks you’ve been putting off. Here are just a few ideas:
  • Update your business website design (make sure it’s mobile-friendly!)
  • Try a new type of advertising, like pay-per-click or advertising on social media
  • Contact existing customers to ask for testimonials you can use in your marketing
  • Ask customers to write online reviews of your business
  • Reach out to contacts on social media to meet up in real life
  • Try out a new business networking group
  • Attend an industry trade event or sign up for one in the future
  • Learn a new skill that will help grow your business

Your seasonal slowdown won’t last long once you know how to maximize your time. Before you know it, the sun will be out and the business will be pouring in.

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