With fall fast approaching, the busy season will soon be upon chimney sweeps. It’s easy to face the busy season with a feeling of resignation that things will be hectic and items on your to-do list will go ignored. With a little preparation, you can face the fall rush with confidence.
Review Your Records
One of the best ways to prepare for the busy season is to look back at last year’s busy season. How many appointments did you have? What were your peak appointment times? Knowing what to expect can help you better prepare your staff and your schedule for the busy season.
Prepare Your Staff and Inventory
Once you know what to expect, you can begin to prepare your staff and your inventory for the busy season. Make sure you have enough sweeps to accommodate your clients. Let sweeps know what hours they can expect to be working and when you will need to have additional help on hand. Make sure you also have all of the supplies you’ll need for the busy season. You don’t want to scramble for supplies or have to delay service because you don’t have the tools your sweeps need to do their jobs.
Leave a Little Room in the Service Schedule
It’s easy to pack the service schedule. You want to get to customers as soon as possible, but you might consider leaving a little extra room in your service schedule to accommodate emergencies and repairs. It’s likely that some of your sweeps’ inspections will turn up the need for repairs; you want to make sure you have room in your schedule to accommodate those repairs.
Create Your Schedule in Advance
Even while your sweeps — and perhaps even you — are working to fulfil all of your clients’ service requests, you still have regular business operations to perform. Practice calendar blocking: Block of chunks of time in your schedule that you will dedicate to business tasks that need to be completed.
Know What to Put Off
As you plan out your schedule, know what tasks can be delayed. Don’t plan to perform unnecessary tasks during the busy season. It’s not the time to take inventory, review your annual numbers or begin the hiring process. Take a look at your regular to-do list and see what items can be delayed for the next month or two.
Communicate with Your Customers
Most people know that chimney sweeps’ schedules book up in the fall, and they’re pretty understanding of limited appointment availability and long wait times for scheduling. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to communicate with customers as you gear up for the busy season. Send out reminder emails or call past customers encouraging them to schedule their appointments as soon as possible.
Begin Planning for Next Year
As you endure this year’s busy sweeping season, you can begin your preparation for next year. After finishing this year’s services, encourage customers to schedule next year’s chimney sweeping now! You can offer specials or just tout the convenience of scheduling ahead. You could have an electronic scheduling service that allows sweeps to book on the spot, or you could have your office staff perform follow up calls.
With a little preparation, you can gear your business and your staff up for a successful fall sweeping season.