Has business slowed down for you? Typically, things slow down in our Chicago Service company during the month of February. We schedule work for then but have contingency plans in place just in case.
Chicago winters are notorious for snow, biting cold, winds and ice. We get out and work in most of this weather. When we absolutely can't be on the roof, we use that day to call our customers on bids, visit customers to discuss bids, go door to door and tie up loose ends. How prepared are you? Can you change directions on a dime? If not, then it's time to develop your contingency plans.
Make sure your employees know what to expect. For example, if they can't get out and work on the roof, they can still earn money by coming into work. There will always be something for them to do. And, they will be expected to be at work unless road conditions would endanger their lives.
Have a plan
Are you prepared for loss of electricity? A few years ago we had a storm that knocked out power in our warehouse. Our phones wouldn't work. We were able to switch the phones to ring into an employee's home that had power. We have also had similar situations with loss of our telephones.
Have a solution
Do you have a back-up generator? This could run the fan on the furnace and power the phones if needed. Maybe you need two generators. You can bet that the chances of finding a generator in a power outage are slim to none. Prepare your solution ahead of time.
Business is slow
Plant the seeds for future business. Follow up on bids. Revisit old bids. Call customers who haven't used your services this year and schedule them. Go door to door (we do). Reorganize so when you do roll again things will be more efficient. Take time to network with other businesses in the area such as realtors, insurance companies, masons (who don't like small jobs), roofers and other service companies. Do you offer dryer vent cleaning? Stop by Laundromats, beauty parlors, barber shops, restaurants, and automotive shops – in short – any business that washes towels, dust/dirt rags or clothes.
Invite your employees to help plan. They may come up with some creative original ideas. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".