Seasonal Business Challenges

Posted by David Alazraki

Wed, Oct 17, 2012

workforce managementThe field service industry is more susceptible to seasonal business trends than most other businesses. Some of the reasons for this are fairly obvious - HVAC is busier in hot summer months, plumbing can be busiest during the colder winter months. Any service business that must work outside does tend to have more activity in hotter weather than in the colder seasons.

Business owners in the field service industry need ways to handle seasonal business challenges.

  • How do I keep work orders coming in during slow seasons?

  • Are there ways to leverage down time for technicians?

  • When times get tough how can I cut expenses?

To keep your field service moving during the slower seasons, consider the following tips:

  • Refocus your marketing efforts - send out fliers, launch a promotion or sale, and work on your online marketing to get new business coming in. If you have not done much in the way of online marketing, consider working on tuning up your website or launching a social media site on Facebook or Twitter

  • Cultivate your preventative maintenance - make sure your current customers are aware of your preventative maintenance services and encourage them to take full advantage of these services during the slower seasonal months.

  • Follow up on those tougher jobs - over your busy season it was very likely that you had a few situations that could have been handled better. It might be a good time to place a follow up call to those customers and see how their systems are working and if there is anything else you can do to help them. You might get a new project or two as a result.

  • Tune up with training - you techs will need training and certification courses. During a slow period is a good time to get that training taken care of.

  • Look for expense cutting opportunities - take a good hard look at your operations and processes. There are very likely some areas where you could streamline your business by automating processes or fine-tuning steps. This might include realigning territories for field resources, adjusting work schedules, evaluating work order management or improving inventory efficiency. Be sure to look at your travel expenses and ways to keep your techs busy without having them drive too much.

  • System upgrades - whether it is laptops, printers or servers it could be time to take a look at upgrading equipment or looking at outsourcing options to reduce costs or to get productivity to a higher level.

For many field service operations, seasonal business is as normal as the seasons. By proactively preparing for those slower periods you can keep your business running smoother, keep your field resources busy, and help to keep your profits going while managing costs. These steps will help you to manage through the seasons to keep your business successful.

Tags: Workforce Management Tips, Field Service Management for Small Business, Developments in Field Service Management