As we head into fall, strengthening our calendar is important to ensure we are covered through the harsh winter. We take into account the weather forecast. If we know we will have scattered thunderstorms the next few days we make sure to leave room in our schedule for potential reschedules. Once we get to winter and our schedule is primarily weekly route work and minimum outside only residential services, we try to schedule our work for the warmest days of the forecast. With the holidays quickly approaching, we anticipate the rush of not only our repeat clients but new ones as well.
When scheduling, we ask if they are having an event and try to schedule them as close to their event date as possible so that their windows are nice and fresh. In turn, I find that that strengthens our long-term schedule because those clients know they can rely on us year in and year out to make their holidays that much more special. When we do a service for a client, we always remind them that we can break up the work into a minimal service and that we do work year-round, not everyone does, but we do. Living right on Lake Erie in Ohio, we service many lakeside homes. Since we get harsh winters that muck up the windows, many of our clients will have us out to clean up their lake-facing windows in the middle of the season.
Offering minimum services helps to get multiple repeat clients throughout the year.
As we discuss how important it is to strengthen and secure our calendar, balancing it with rest days is equally important. As the weather gets colder and harsher, our bodies need more recovery time to work after dealing with the elements efficiently. Some rest days are spent doing office work, some are working on fun side projects to keep the zeal and generate extra income, and some days are designated for rest.
Throughout the winter, we organize our calendar and look at all of the clients we serviced in the previous season, how frequently we serviced them, and what services they had done. We then look at which clients asked to be on a service schedule. We also look at how many clients were new in the previous season. After that information is gathered and analyzed, we use it to forecast and anticipate the next year. Once we know what to expect in the coming months, we look at where we need to fill in the blanks and where we would like to allow for time off. We consider the typical slow-down periods and analyze how they have shifted over the last couple of years. We review our sales for the past years and compare them to see where the patterns of busy and slow are.
Once the patterns have been identified, we address if we need to obtain more clients and sign existing customers for more frequent services. Usually, adding more frequent services for a client happens gradually. As I mentioned earlier, living on the lake, we have noticed our lakeside clients like to go more frequently throughout the year when we offer a minimum outside-only service to them. Paying attention to your region’s weather and seasonal patterns does help to strengthen your calendar. In the spring here in Ohio, we know that the pollen will be really bad in certain areas around May, so we suggest to those clients to hold off on their spring cleaning until June when the pollen has settled.
When a client sees that you took the time to consider the environment around them and make that suggestion, so they are not paying for a service that will look just as dirty as before in a couple of days, they will appreciate that.
When we consider, it helps to ensure our customers that we care about them, not just the money. Equally as important as environmental factors are events and holidays throughout the year. In our city, the Fourth of July is a huge day. Many of the homes along the parade route have gatherings for a holiday every year. For these clients, we have them on a yearly repeat for the days approaching the fourth. This gives them confidence every year that their home will be extra sparkly for the day’s events. It also helps to secure those services in our schedule. We let new clients know that if they would like us to come out before a holiday event, to schedule because it is busy. All in all, it is important to analyze your region and your customers to understand how to strengthen your schedule effectively.
-By Grace Gerengher & Craig Hendzel