Get a quote
Home Tradesman Insights Navigating Festive Slowdowns and Spikes as a Tradesperson

Navigating Festive Slowdowns and Spikes as a Tradesperson

From the first flurry of winter to the New Year’s countdown, Christmas often feels like an emotional and financial rollercoaster for trade companies. Workload fluctuations can give even the savviest business owners whiplash if they’re unprepared. To help you anticipate and manage the highs and lows, here’s an in-depth guide to thriving across this season.

Breaking Down The Christmas Crush

The festive lead-up delivers a flurry of requests as homes hurry to finish renovations before celebrations start. Be ready for the influx by:

Careful Calendar Planning

Map out jobs scheduled across early December. Reconfirm timeframes and budgets with clients to avoid misunderstandings amidst the rush.

Team Capacity Assessment

Determine team capacity before accepting new urgent work. Factor in holiday downtime so you don’t over promise capacity.

Smart Resource Allocation

Deploy your pros efficiently by outsourcing secondary tasks where viable. Let key tradesmen focus on critical jobs while others handle basic repairs and maintenance.

Transparent Communication 

If jobs likely won’t complete before Christmas, let customers know ASAP. They’ll appreciate honesty so plans can adjust. Managing expectations well, even when tough, builds trust.

Explore Overtime 

Gauging demand and offering overtime around the December peak period may ease pressure. But monitor team energy levels – don’t risk burnout.

The Mid-Late December The Slowdown

Work eases in late December as Christmas commences. Use the relative calm strategically by:

Confirming Post-Christmas Bookings

Proactively call existing clients to schedule January works while they’re available over the holidays. These confirmed jobs ensure income stability in the new year.

Account Administration

Chase overdue payments so cash flow stays healthy, pay employee holiday wages, confirm contractor availability for January, restock materials and parts – don’t let admin slide.

Equipment Maintenance

With tools down, thoroughly service machinery needing upkeep. Well-maintained tools mean a smooth start to projects come January.

Rests and Reflection

Encourage the team to relax and recuperate after an intense year. Their energy will be invaluable amidst the January rush.

Seasonal Celebrations 

Mark achievements with a Christmas lunch or gesture of appreciation. A little festive cheer goes far to maintain morale.

Planning For The New Year Rush

The pressure returns with a vengeance come early January as clients launch fresh home projects post-holidays. Act decisively to make the most of renewed demand by:

Confirming Team Availability

With holidays ending, check your best tradesmen are back on deck before agreeing to January work. Notify clients of any changed capacity.

Review Sales Funnels 

Follow up on quotes provided during December’s slow period to convert bids into January bookings.

First Things First

Tackle urgent repairs first in January before commencing larger projects. This ensures small issues don’t escalate into costly headaches down the line.

Maintain Momentum

Use the New Year buzz to your advantage by lining up February and March work while customer willingness is high. This helps smooth earnings.

Preparing Financially For Fluctuations

Sharp drops and spikes in earnings around Christmas can hit cash flow hard if unprepared. Some tips include:

  • Boost emergency funds: build a savings buffer for slower periods. Automate transfers each month so it becomes a habit.
  • Explore credit lines: pre-approved financing gives flexibility to smooth mismatches in income and costs.
  • Claim holiday pay: don’t forfeit entitled holiday wages for yourself or employees. Understand rules around rollovers of unused leave.
  • Offer payment plans: if struggling with lump sums, customers may opt for payment instalments. Just be sure to check affordability.
  • Shop around suppliers: negotiate discounts or account payment terms with regular material and parts vendors. Improving conditions even marginally makes a difference across thousands of transactions.

Tradesman Talk 

What other strategies do you use to tackle seasonal workload variability? Do you have a unique approach to coping with December’s organised chaos? Share your top tips below!

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a Digital Marketing Masters Graduate with extensive Customer Service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a Senior Marketing Executive at Tradesman Saver.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

Leave a comment

This website is intended for customers based in the UK and is therefore subject to the UK regulatory regime(s) © Copyright 2024 Tradesman Saver | Tradesman Saver and Henry Seymour & Co. are trading names of Barkdene Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 303965) for our insurance distribution and credit broking activities. Barkdene Limited is a credit broker not a lender. You can check our financial services registration status on the Financial Services register.
Registered in England No 1842617. Registered Office – Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1JB. All rights reserved.
Back To Top
You need to be logged in to Your Account to make a payment. Redirecting you to Account Login.