1. Housekeeping: When spring arrives, a fresh look can be taken to organising the general admin of the business. One task that will prove incredibly useful is creating a customer database which features a list of jobs completed over the winter period. This will save you time in the long run, as when you receive your next call out, you’ll immediately be up to speed with the history of the appliance and subsequent requirements.
2. Think Ahead: Once the database has been created, you can be pro-active and start thinking about what you can do for each customer next. Spring and summer are ideal times for homeowners to have their chimneys swept, also for carrying out maintenance on the appliance itself. It is a good time to update heating controls, such as installing thermostatic radiator valves where appropriate. There is no better time to give your existing customers a courtesy call to check if they have any stove servicing or maintenance needs.
3. Advertising: Think about placing an ad in your local paper: advertising your business during the quieter months might prompt consumers to consider you when investing in a new heating appliance. An effective way of showing more industry knowledge in your region would be an advertorial in a local newspaper. Perhaps talk about old open fires and the benefits of changing to a new wood burning stove. Many homeowners aren’t aware of the safety and environmental issues around open fires, so this is a sound way of informing consumers and encouraging them to think about how they heat their home.
4. Technical whizz: Take the time to check out what’s new and exciting in the world of home heating. Use this quieter time to read up on the latest technologies and new appliances and components so you can be the technical whizz of your business. It is always useful to look at how you can expand the range of services you currently offer.
5. Training: It is important that your installers are fully trained in all aspects of the trade. Make sure all training is up to date, book any courses that still need to be undertaken and give some thought to extending the scope of training into new areas of the business.
6. Insurance: Check that all your insurance policies are up to date and relevant so you are fully prepared for the year ahead.
7. MOT: Without a safe and reliable mode of transport, businesses are at risk of breaching health and safety legislation. Check van servicing and MOTs in the spring months so they’re ready and raring to go for the next heating season. It is essential to present your company as a good trader, so ensure that you have your registration scheme stickers on all company vehicles.
8. Debts: Check on any outstanding customer debts that may have been overlooked in the busier period. You could consider signing up to Prompt Payer, which does all the hard work for you, as well as promoting your business on its platform.
9. Quality tools: Think about discarding tired tools and purchasing some new ones. Give some extra thought as to how you present your company. Devoting time and money to ensure your business maintains its level of service year on year is time well spent.
10. Instruments: Use this time to calibrate your electronic measuring instruments to ensure reliability. Although you may be using top quality gadgets, throughout the course of the year something may have occurred which would render your instrument less accurate, or at worst, unsafe.