3 weeks ago

Tips & Tricks to Avoid Summer Holiday Business Havoc

Updated June 2024

The dreaded school summer holidays present an enormous challenge for many British businesses. SMEs can struggle if they don’t have the number of staff to cover employees who are jetting off with their families for some downtime. It doesn’t help matters if your customer base is primarily in the B2B sector.

By implementing a few sound strategies, your business can adapt to the summer holidays and, at the very least, limit the damage done by this tricky period. In this guide, we share our tips and tricks to keep your sales figures ticking along until it’s back-to-school time.

Sort Out Your Staffing

Effective staff planning and holiday management is crucial to mitigating the impact of summer holidays on your business. Consider cross-training or even temporary staff to ensure operations remain consistent. Identifying key roles and functions essential to the machine's smooth running is an excellent place to start.

By equipping team members with a diverse skill set, you can create a versatile workforce capable of seamlessly stepping into different roles when necessary. This strategy ensures that essential functions can be maintained even when key personnel are on leave.

Consider Flexible Working

Implementing flexible work arrangements for your team is a beneficial but often overlooked method for managing a potential summer slump. As employees get their annual leave booked in, remaining agile can help your business maintain productivity and a healthy work-life balance.

Woman working from home with a child on her lapRecognise that employees might have commitments and obligations during the summer and be flexible. If certain team members work remotely, you could achieve this by investing in technology such as VPNs and video-calling platforms. You could even offer the option to work longer hours on fewer days, resulting in long weekends.

You could also shift your focus to a more results-based approach. Changing the emphasis from tracking hours worked to tracking outcomes could empower employees to manage their time effectively and still hit objectives.

Explore Partnerships

Forming strategic partnerships with other businesses can be an effective way to manage the challenges posed by the summer holiday season. You can share resources, expand your reach and maintain service levels even when your team is stretched thin.

Developing relationships with freelancers and agencies that can provide temporary support during peak holiday periods allows you to tap into a pool of skilled professionals who can handle projects or manage specific tasks, ensuring your business operations continue without disruption.

Identify businesses that offer complementary products or services and explore opportunities for cross-promotion. By partnering with these brands, you can reach a broader audience and generate additional revenue streams. For example, marketing agencies could partner with web developers to offer bundled services.

Engage with local business networks or industry bodies to build connections and find potential partners. These networks often provide resources, support and opportunities for collaboration that can help you keep summer stress at bay.

Communicate with Customers

Clear and proactive communication during challenging periods is essential to managing expectations and preserving positive customer relationships. Reach out to them well in advance of the summer holidays to inform them about potential challenges for your business that could affect the service they receive.

The honesty you show will likely resonate with your customer base. Instead of glossing over disruptions, your business demonstrates a willingness to confront obstacles head-on and provide solutions to mitigate their impact.

By reaching out before the summer holidays, you prove your commitment to delivering exceptional service and offer your customers with ample time to make any necessary adjustments on their end. This can reduce uncertainty, allowing them to plan accordingly and minimise the inconvenience they might otherwise experience.

Think About Finance

If all else fails, consider pre-empting cash flow challenges by looking at business finance. A business loan could be an excellent short-term option to help bridge the gap between upcoming debts and a source of credit becoming available.

Another avenue to explore is invoice financing. If your business struggles with customers paying late during the summer holidays, this can throw a spanner in the works for your cash flow.

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Sam White