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Get your trade business summer ready

As the summer months approach, it’s crucial for tradesmen to prepare their businesses for the unique challenges and opportunities that this season brings. Whether you’re a sole trader or manage a team, taking proactive steps to optimise your operations can help you make the most of the summer rush. 

Here at Tradesman Saver, we explore below key strategies to get your trade business summer-ready.

Nurture your customer relationships

The pre-summer period is an ideal time to reconnect with your best clients. Reach out to them through phone calls, emails, or social media to keep them informed about your summer availability and any new services or promotions you’re offering. 

If possible, schedule face-to-face meetings with your most valuable customers to strengthen your relationships and discuss their upcoming projects.

Expand your client base

While some of your regular clients may be away on holiday, summer also presents an opportunity to attract new business. With some competitors potentially taking time off, you can capitalise on this by ramping up your marketing efforts. 

Take a critical look at your website and consider updating it with fresh content, case studies, and testimonials. Plan your social media calendar in advance, focusing on engaging, informative posts that showcase your expertise and highlight your unique selling points.

Plan for staff absences

To minimise disruption during the summer months, it’s essential to plan for staff holidays well in advance. Ask your team members to provide their holiday dates as early as possible and ensure that their time off aligns with their contractual agreements. 

For key staff members, request that they prepare handover documents to facilitate a smooth transition for any temporary cover you may need to arrange. Conduct a risk assessment and develop training materials to support temporary staff in their roles.

Consider temporary staff or your first employee

If you’re a sole trader looking to take a summer break, consider hiring temporary staff or even bringing on your first employee. This can help keep your business running smoothly while you’re away. 

Be sure to handle all the necessary paperwork, including contracts and employers’ liability insurance, and provide adequate training to ensure your new team members are equipped to maintain your high standards of work.

Manage your cash flow

Cash flow management is always important, but it becomes even more critical during the summer months. Reach out to your clients to confirm who will be responsible for processing payments while key decision-makers are on holiday. Be proactive about invoicing as soon as work is completed to minimise any delays in payment. 

If necessary, consider offering incentives for early payment or setting up automated payment reminders to keep your cash flow healthy.

Don’t neglect your own well-being

As a tradesman, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of running your business, but it’s crucial to prioritise your own well-being. Don’t feel guilty about taking a holiday yourself. In fact, taking time off to recharge can make you more productive and creative when you return to work. 

Give your customers and staff ample notice of your planned absence and arrange for someone to handle any emergencies in your absence. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your business.

Unplug and recharge

When you do take a holiday, make a conscious effort to disconnect from work-related digital distractions. Set specific times each day to check your emails and messages, preferably in the evenings, to avoid constantly thinking about work during your time off. 

Communicate your availability to your staff and establish clear guidelines for when they should contact you in case of an emergency. By setting boundaries and allowing yourself to truly unwind, you’ll return to work with renewed energy and focus.

Tradesman Talk

How do you prepare your business for the summer months? What strategies have you found most effective for managing staff absences, attracting new clients, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below! 

Remember, getting your trade business summer-ready is all about planning ahead, communicating effectively, and being adaptable. By implementing these strategies and staying focused on your goals, you can make this summer your most successful one yet.

Source: https://www.travelers.co.uk/small-business-guide/running-your-business/seize-the-day 

 

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Tradesman Saver, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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