Hunting season is amongst us. All vacation time for hunting should have been scheduled by now. Remind your employees that you need advance notice if they plan to take time off for hunting this fall. Make sure your employees know how much notice you need to keep your jobs running smoothly and on time. This, by the way, should be covered in your employee manual as well.
Next, check that your September sales and production goals for your company match or exceeded your goals for the month. It’s late to be playing catch-up. If your sales and/or production are down, you need to reduce your overhead accordingly. Many of those contractors who did their end of year review and next year planning drill between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31 last year are running well ahead of their projections for this year. You can read about how to do this drill here: Planning Part 1 and Planning Part 2
Send a letter to all your old customers reminding them to winterize their homes. Be sure and emphasize plugging foundation vents and covering hose bibs and maybe give them two or three other hints that will help them. You might also suggest that you can do it for however many dollars. You never know what new business this might turn up.
How is your employee handbook doing for you? We continue hearing about problems with employees from your fellow contractors. If you need some help getting an employee manual started, we've done it for you.
There is good money in holiday lighting work, don't ignore it. Get a letter out to all your old customers that you install and take down lighting and ornaments, etc. They aren't mind readers - if you don't tell them you can do it, they won't call. With a little research you can find companies that will teach you how to do holiday lighting. Don’t ignore this great source of end of year income.
Now is the time to get your advertising out for your Thanksgiving and Christmas Specials. This should also be on your website.
Speaking of holidays, about two years ago we recommended using pumpkins and Halloween in your marketing in this blog post. There might still be time to get it together?
Check that all your subcontractor's license, bond and insurance are up to date. Stay on top of this; you don't want to get bit.
Check the maintenance schedule for your office building. Be sure and schedule winterizing your building.
Start planning to spend the Thanksgiving four-day weekend with your family and an equal amount of time off at Christmas. The most important thing you have is your family; plan now so you can invest the time. If you HAVE to work through either of these holidays, maybe it is time to call us for some coaching help.
Start advertising now so you won’t have downtime in January-February-March. Make sure that includes any needed updates to your website. See my comments below.
How is your website? You should be getting 40-60% of your leads from your website. If not, see what needs to be changed and change it. If potential clients aren't calling you from your website, the problem isn't your potential clients. It's your website. You might consider Brian Javeline’s two classes to improve your website and start getting some good leads in the door, you can read about what Brian does here.
Third quarter taxes are due soon. Get that distraction off your list of things as soon as possible.
The other major event in fall is football. I love it, but please think twice before getting involved in any tailgate parties and three times about sponsoring one, especially if alcohol is involved. It's not worth the risk to your company.
If you live in or near the Pacific Northwest, or have wanted to visit, plan to attend the JLC Live show in Portland, Oregon, November 28, 29 and 30. We'd love to see you!
Have you taken that special someone in your life out on a date recently? A nice dinner out, maybe a movie would be great. Work on the flame with your flame.