Whether you’re an accountant, in the wedding industry or even in landscaping, you know when your busy season is about to start. But have you ever been able to get through the season without something falling through the cracks? No one is perfect, but there are some things you can do to make the season less stressful and more profitable. Here are eight tips:
- Hire extra people. A busy season means more business and more sales. Don’t run your business without plenty of help to get through the long days. You can hire temporary employees or independent contractors for a specific period of time; just check with your accountant to set it up properly and make sure you’re adhering to tax regulations. Make sure you train the temps well before your busy season starts so they are ready to go.
- Plan for mistakes. Think of all the errors you and your employees could make when things get so busy no one has time to think straight, and come up with a plan to prevent them. Could there be a power outage? (Summer and winter months are especially prone to these.) Come up with a backup plan detailing what everyone needs to do until the power comes back on. Did you recently update your website and aren’t sure it can handle extra activity and visitors? Talk to your IT person to test it and straighten out any tech issues.
- Delegate. The best way to get through the busy season is to assign other employees specific duties that you usually handle during normal working conditions. It’s a perfect time to see who works well under pressure and who can be trusted with more sophisticated tasks.
- Plan time off ahead of time. Of course some of your staff might want to take time off during your busy season. To keep things running smoothly, create a system where employees need to ask for vacation time far in advance so you can assign others to handle their tasks.
- Don’t forget to eat healthy and exercise. Your busy season will be a bust if you get sick or don’t have any energy. Provide healthy snacks for yourself and your staff. Institute an exercise plan. Getting through especially busy times takes extra energy and requires you to be on top of your game.
- Create your marketing campaigns ahead of time. Write all your copy, create all your email campaigns, write all your blogs and develop ads before your busy season starts. You can even schedule your marketing emails and e-newsletters ahead of time so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to send them out.
- Set a goal. Give yourself and your employees a goal for the season and keep updating everyone on how the business is doing. Setting a goal is a great way to motivate everyone and keep their eyes on the prize.
- Reward yourself and employees. Once the season is over, make sure you thank everyone for their hard work with extra time off, a little bonus from the season’s sales or a nice dinner out—something that shows how much you appreciate all the hard work.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.