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How Home Service Brands Are Preparing for the Busy Season

How home service brands prepare for busy season header

For a recent webinar, we brought together home service and franchise experts to discuss the most important things these businesses should focus on as we head into the busy season. 

Our panel included:

From hiring and marketing to scheduling and tech, this group covered it all and provided actionable takeaways to help you get your home service in the busy season groove.

Hiring & Onboarding

Headcount is one of the most important (and expensive) considerations at the beginning of the year. Should you hire in anticipation of new business, or should you hire as you go?

Erich suggests asking yourself two simple questions to help guide your decision:

  1. Have I maximized the efficiencies on my current team?

  2. How will I train new hires/​bring them up to speed?

It’s tempting to throw bodies at problems” during the busy season, but if you scale up too much, you’ll run into inefficiencies that cut into your bottom line. And you’ll likely have to make tough employment decisions when outside of the busy season.

You can maximize your current crew through training and tech, leading to better business margins and employee experience.

Related: Maximizing Profitability for Contractors in 2024

To answer the second question, home service brands employ a few different models:

Ryan suggests trying an apprentice-type model to get quick wins for your new hire. The sooner you can get your new hires out in the field — supervised by more veteran employees — the sooner they’ll feel comfortable doing the job and start producing.

Erich’s team relies on a learning management system (LMS). Junior techs are incentivized to complete their e‑learning to learn about their career path within the company, how to bid and bill customers through their CRM serviceminder properly, and, ultimately, earn their truck.

Whether you decide to use one method or a combination of the two, a structured onboarding experience is vital — it makes all the difference in retaining your skilled labor.

Managing Their Tech Stack

Technology and software play a HUGE part in realizing efficiencies across your workforce and business. But dozens of tools out there promise to level up your business, so where do you start?

Leverage the network, leverage the brand,” John said. Franchise owners (and any business owner, for that matter) should not try to make these decisions alone.

Especially if you’re a new owner, you need to reach out to your franchisor and other franchisees to see what they’re doing and what they’ve done and share any learnings they’ve had with the software. After all, you’re paying for that support!

Claire advises having one person — a business owner or a project/​office manager — own your software so that your team knows how to use it and gets the most out of your tech investment.

Have them test and train with your software rather than just saying, Hey, this is what we use,’ and throwing them to the wolves.”

Creating an advisory council within your business can help you audit the cost-benefit of your business tools and processes. Ryan suggests using his CPU thinking: Cost, Performance, and Usage.

Software is an investment, and getting this buy-in will go a long way toward helping your team find the right tools that they’ll actually use.

Scheduling Seasonal Services

Now that you’ve hired the right people and implemented the right software, it’s time to start filling out that calendar.

John suggests reaching out early and often to the customers you have in your CRM, like serviceminder:

Don’t wait for your customers to contact you — get them on the calendar so that you can start planning your team’s schedule.

Once you have a density of projects, you can start to build high-efficiency routes, Erich shared.

Build the most efficient route you can up front, then work with the 15, 10 percent who will need to reschedule.”

Marketing & Customer Communication

Crews ✅ Tech ✅ Recurring customers ✅

How do you go about attracting new customers? 

Piper says to go where they’re looking for you: Google.

It’s like your billboard […] Get those happy customers to post reviews as early as possible… and respond to them.” 

Once your accounts are set up, you should post photos of your recent projects, especially before-and-afters. This not only promotes your work but having a backlog of photos from your jobs can help with unfounded complaints.

These are just a few of the key takeaways from this webinar. Whether you’re a home service franchise owner or running a non-franchise operation, we highly suggest you find 48 minutes to listen to the replay (linked at the top). There are plenty more operations tips where these came from.

Looking for more content like this? We host monthly webinars covering a range of topics to help you run your business more efficiently and grow your team.

Christian is known round these parts as the silent wizard — whipping out editing, researching, and strategizing skills like it’s nobody’s biz. As a Content Strategist, he stays busy assisting our Product and Activation/​Retention teams with all their content needs — all while staying as quiet as possible. (Heaven forbid he’d talk too much.) 

After work, Christian can be found hanging out with his beautiful wife Ruth, playing catch with his dog Sunday, rewatching that one Indian reality TV episode he starred in (#famous), or making dumb vides on his fine. Go on, Christian. Share your work with the class.

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