Peak season is the make-or-break season in the pool service business, and nobody knows this more than you do. When those crazy summer months come rolling around, how do you handle it?
As you prepare for the juggernaut that is the summer season in the pool business, is there anything that might make it a little easier? Here are a few tips from the experts at Quality Pool Supply to make this busy season easier.
If we’re talking about time management, probably the most important component is considering your options.
For instance, is it possible or desirable to reschedule a pressing appointment? And what if, instead of staying up late, you got to bed a little earlier so you could start your day earlier? Would that allow you to be home more, even in your busiest season?
The other problem that most people wrestle with is being able to say “no” to certain things. But we would argue that it’s probably more important to consider what we give your “yes” to. This directly impacts the most important people you “do life” with — whether it’s business or personal.
It’s important to remember that you can do anything for short bursts. Sometimes it’s just fine if things are a little out of balance for a while, especially if everybody in your tribe has a clear view of both the start and finish lines.
Work-life balance is often best achieved by buckling down when things are tough and making sure everybody’s expectations are clearly communicated — and that everyone knows they’ve been heard.
Sure, he who plans ahead plans twice, but the important thing to know is that you have a plan to begin with. This is especially important when business gets crazy. Remember that making adjustments is all part of the process.
If you have your customers on a schedule, you should probably put yourself on one. You know you’re going to be busy this summer. What do you need to handle now so that — when you’re too busy to spare a moment — it doesn’t cause an emergency?
Here are some tips to keep your sanity and get ahead of the game:
- Get seasonal vehicle maintenance done before you’re too busy
- Stock-Up on Pool Chemicals, Maintenance tools and white goods
- Consider hiring an assistant for the summer
- Schedule regular times with family, friends, and your spouse during peak season
- Instead of shopping for what you need at a branch, save time and get it delivered by shopping online
Those are just a few ideas, but you get the picture. You could do so many things now to make peak season run more smoothly, with less stress for you — so you can focus on your work.
Finance experts usually counsel small business owners that cash flow is the most important make-or-break discipline, and they’re right. For pool service providers and anyone else who’s insanely busy all summer, the big concern is how to get from October to April without racking up all kinds of debt.
You might not want to hear this, but less is often more. It might help to downsize your living situation, even if it’s physically uncomfortable getting used to the new digs. And if you’re driving around in a vehicle that’s using more than it’s giving back to you, consider a switch.
Major auto manufacturers are all-in on electric pickups, and if that works for your business, maybe there are advantages to be exploited. It’s surprising how useful minivans can be, too (just sayin’), and some get better than 35 MPG on the highway.
Another sensible thing you should consider is drafting a budget and sticking to it. The idea is to project your seasonal earnings and distribute them evenly over all 12 months of the year. This will allow you to limit spending in the fat months so that you have enough in the lean months.
You can budget your time, too. When not much is going on in the offseason, you can budget to spend less time working in the business and spend more time working on it. That means marketing with a newsletter or email campaign, making phone calls, and interviewing prospects for helpers (so you don’t have to work a million hours a day).
Believe it or not, there are several things you can do that affect your body, which will help ease your stress during a busy season at work.
If food is fuel, then what you eat really matters. If you’re constantly ordering the double mistake with fries at your favorite burger chain, or the bucket o’ warm milkshake at your favorite coffee chain, perhaps it’s time for a change.
Since humans are creatures of habit, sameness comforts the soul, especially in stressful times like peak season. If positive change is going to happen, it will probably be uncomfortable.
This is also true with exercise. We all need to move more. Regular exercise is so important. But it’s also important that whatever method of exercise you choose should stir your soul.
Whether taking a quiet walk and getting your thoughts together or hitting up the local skatepark (grown-ups can do this too!), you’re more likely to keep it up if it’s fun for you.
Another thing to consider is your “why.” Do you know (and have you written down) your reasons for doing what you do? If it’s just to make enough money to support your family, that’s awesome.
But if you have other reasons for doing what you do every day, it’s important to write them down and remind yourself of why you do what you do — especially when all you have is the pressure of a daily routine that’s pretty much work, eat, sleep, repeat.
As we mentioned before, it’s possible to do anything for a (peak) season, but you must identify your goal and why you are going after it.
We hope you find these tips useful and that this year, your peak season is less stressful and more streamlined than ever before!