We’ve certainly had some unusual winter weather across the country this year, and with spring on the horizon, it’s just a matter of weeks (or days) before you and your team are in the full swing of the season. With that in mind, now is the time to make sure you are ready to start off on the right foot. Take a look at these 5 Things to Tackle Before the Start of the Season:
1. Equipment Maintenance
Whether you winterized and stored your equipment or you haven’t looked at it since the end of last season, now is the time to do a final audit of each piece to make sure it’s ready for the season. When reviewing your equipment determine if you need to:
- Replace it
- Give it a major overhaul
- Or if it just needs routine maintenance
Complete any necessary replacements, repairs and maintenance on your equipment and take stock of any pieces that you may be missing. Do you have spare parts for common wear items? If not, now is the time to have them on hand to easily and quickly replace during the season.
2. Trucks Serviced and Stocked
Have your trucks been serviced and do you have a regular maintenance schedule? If not, now is a good time to make sure everything is running as it should:
- Get the oil and filters changed
- Fill all fluids to the proper levels
- Replace spark plugs and belts if needed
- Check your tires and tire pressure
- Make sure you have all the needed emergency roadside materials
- Know the next time you need to bring the truck in for maintenance
What does the exterior look like? Do you need to replace torn logos, images, or phone numbers? Now is the time to make sure your trucks look their best before they are on your customers’ property. Remember, the exterior of your trucks act as marketing for your business and you want them looking their best.
Are your trucks fully stocked? Create a list of materials that every truck should have and stock them appropriately. Don’t forget items like multimeters, chargers, and to have backups of easily misplaced items.
3. Office & Operations
Is your office set up and ready to go? Have you evaluated your operations and processes from last year?
- Take a look to make sure you have your office supplies are fully stocked and that equipment like printers are working properly.
- Evaluate where all your office employees are in terms of their remote options and in-person hours from any COVID procedures you previously put in place. Decide now before the season gets underway what your office operations are going to look like for the coming months.
- Does your office team know what common questions they can expect this year? Will it be questions about WiFi controllers, mosquito abatement, or organic products? Work with your office team to make sure they know how to field these incoming questions. Put together a work-flow chart so they know when specific services are normally performed this time of year.
- Does your office team execute marketing? If so, make sure you have a calendar and schedule when these items need to go out. If you don’t have a calendar for market, focus on creating a simple one with a few of the most important services to promote and when.
- Do you have a process to send “thank yous” and ask for reviews? Whether its an email that goes out when a service or installation is complete, a phone call from the owner, or a hand written card—a thank you goes a long way. Better yet, this is when your customer is the happiest, it’s the perfect time to ask them to give you a review and a referral. Be sure to set up this process before the season gets too busy.
4. Recruiting + New Employee Onboarding
Whether you have a core team with a few seasonal employees or you work with a majority of season employees, recruiting and new employee onboarding should be on your pre-season agenda.
73% of employers across all industries are having challenges finding qualified, dependable employees. The Green Industry is no different. Take a look at how the current job market is effecting our industry and how you can get ahead of any possible pit-falls.
Do you have an onboarding process for new employees? Most new hires decide pretty quickly if they are going to stay with a company after starting a new job. This is why it is so important to make sure that the first days and weeks are positive for a new employee. Having an onboarding process can help to make sure your new hires are successful quickly. Take a look at these 4 recommendations for onboarding.
5. Team Training
It’s a good time to get your team to a training class to learn about new products or get up to speed on areas they are unfamiliar.
- Don’t see training that you need? Reach out to your local Central rep. We have subject matter experts in every category and your local rep can help connect you.
- Have you done any internal training? Customer service and new customer experience are two things that are easy to do internally. Walk through challenges or examples from last year and discuss ways to improve upon them. What are your expectations when it comes to customer services or a new customer experience? This is a good time to refresh your team on the top customer service trends for 2022 and solidify a process when it comes to customer service.
- Have you had one-on-ones with your employees and set goals for the year? Take the time to meet with each employee to set expectations and goals for the year. If your company is too large to meet with each employee, meet with team leads or department leaders. Listen to their concerns and recommendations, and talk about ways to overcome so that everyone has a successful season.
Rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about business planning, marketing strategy, closing leads, or strategic purchasing. Central is the right partner for your business. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!