The Smart Service Dispatch

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November 15, 2018

 

Offseason Tips for Pool and Spa Service Companies

Find a good way to spend the downtime this offseason.

The weather gets colder, service calls have become less frequent, and you’re looking for something to do—it must be another offseason in the pool and spa industry. 

It’s frustrating to see revenue drop and schedules suddenly empty-out again. Businesses crave consistency. Heavily-seasonal industries like pool and spa service need revenue strategies to get them through slower times of the year. 

Thankfully, the cold season doesn’t need to get you down. Turn your slower season into an opportunity for your business! We’ve got some tips to keep you busy until next spring. 

Plan Your Slow Season

Start brainstorming how you’ll look in the summer during this slow season. If you need to hire new employees, work on your business, create new marketing, or get something else accomplished, start planning as early as you reasonably can. 

Estimate how much free time you’ll have to fill this fall and winter. Will you still schedule employees during these seasons? Will you spend more time in the office? Determine how much time you have to fill first before you figure out how you’ll fill it. 

Got an idea? Great! Let’s fill those empty shifts. 

Offer Winterizing Services

As the temperatures drop in the fall, you can winterize customers’ pools and spas. Offer check-up appointments to identify problems and provide solutions. Some pools don’t winterize properly, costing your customers more in the long run if they have to replace pump parts or pipes. 

Algaecide treatments represent another valuable offering you can recommend before freezing temperatures hit. (And remind your customers that dirty swimming pools are a big reason why diarrhea illnesses are spreading, according to the CDC. Yuck! Swimmer’s Ear, another unpleasant thing you can catch from dirty pools, causes 2.4 million visits to the doctor each year in the US. Pool maintenance is a year-round thing even if swimming isn’t.)

Winterizing makes a great packaged service, so let your existing customers know you offer it. Check liners, pumps, and filters for damage so your customers’ pools will be ready-to-go when the warm weather returns. Depending on your location, you could fill September through November with winterizing appointments and pool treatments. 

Focus on Sales

Pool and spa sales represent another great area of focus for fall and winter. If your company also sells pools and spas, you can focus on creating a fantastic sales season. When spring rolls around, new purchases can become ongoing service contracts and appointments. Use this opportunity to set the stage for a fully-booked schedule next year.

Moving a lot of inventory during the offseason could add revenue. If you can, consider a sale or special deal to generate interest. 

Turn “To-Do’s” into “It’s Done’s” 

Prioritize that to-do list from this past Summer before your life gets crazy again. Have employees? Solicit their feedback about improvements you can make to your business, new services you can add, problems customers routinely mention, etc. This is also a good time to conduct employee reviews and other necessary business that’s harder to do during the busy spring and summer months.

Train Employees and Work on Your Business

You may want to learn something new or implement key changes that can transform the trajectory of your business next year. If you can continue scheduling employees through the slow season, then fall and winter represent ideal times to train employees and work on your business operations. 

If you plan to make a significant change to your business, do it in winter. Whether it’s a change in policies, a new marketing strategy, or new software, the best time to learn and make moves is after appointments slow down.  

Scheduling, dispatching, and keeping accounts organized… these things represent a struggle for many businesses. Pool and spa service software can help lighten this load. Of course, adopting a software package can mean a lot of new training and learning. You don’t want to deal with this hassle in the swing of the things. Do it in winter instead! 

Implement Service Software

For any business, bringing on new software can mean training employees and experimenting with new workflows. Pool service software becomes a game-changer during the busy season, but it does require that you invest time and some effort to learn how it works. Key employees also need to learn how to use the new software—slow periods can make for a great time to do so. 

Service software makes scheduling service appointments, dispatching pool technicians, and billing customers a breeze. Rather than having multiple software systems perform these tasks separately, you can use software that connects directly with QuickBooks or whatever other system you routinely use. If you still use paper-based accounting, consider moving your bookkeeping to the computer. 

Making the right changes to your business now will prepare you for continued growth in a few months. With the right planning, even cold seasons become revenue-boosters for your business. 

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