Summer months can be a tricky time for businesses for two main reasons: either the summer is their busiest time of year or it is their quietist. For either reason, it is crucial that a company has prepared for their summer, especially for the concentrated period of weeks in which the schools are off and the kids are at home. Without being prepared, you risk your company being understaffed and unfocused as summer rolls over the country. In this blog therefore, we explore how best to prepare your business for summer.
Getting holiday requests in early
The primary concern for most businesses during the summertime is holiday requests. When the sun comes out, everyone wants to take a break in the heat and take some much-needed time off work. All full-time workers are entitled to a period of 5.6 weeks of statutory paid holiday, and it is typical for a large part of this leave to be requested over summer. To be able to run your business efficiently over the summer period, it’s important that you encourage these holiday requests to be made as early in the year as possible so you have enough time to plan how to operate whilst staff members are away. This will reduce the chances of holiday overlapping and give enough time to ensure that any processes which are reliant on certain staff members can be handed over before they leave.
It is also important as an employer to take a break from your business. It is important from time to time to be able to switch off from your company and take a step back to recharge your batteries over the summer. If you plan to do so, it is again important that your team are aware of this time off, so they too can plan for your absence. Being prepared in this way will ensure that the day to day running of the company will continue smoothly over the summer.
Scalability: Staffing requirements
With your staff’s holiday sorted in advance, you will be in a much better position to see where you have any shortfalls in staffing numbers over the summer. Bearing this in mind, employers can then begin to plan how they will scale the number of workers they employ during this period, and this will range from industry to industry. For those working in hospitality, as more and more people want to enjoy the sun and eat out, your business will get busier, and you may need a few extra staff to help offload this added pressure. Advertising for and hiring temporary staff over the summer will help to alleviate some of this extra workload; keeping moral and productivity high.
As an employer, you should also bear in mind the fact that your full-time employees will have requests other than holiday over the summer. This is especially prevalent during the summer holidays where employees may have other family commitments, and an employer may have to be relatively more flexible to fit in these added considerations. Offering solutions like hot desking or working from home will keep employees happy and working hard over the summer months.
Ticking off those small jobs
The summer may also provide your business with the downtime it needs to get those niggly jobs out of the way. It would be a good idea therefore to come up with a list of all the small jobs you would like to complete if your business goes through a quieter period over summer. All the tasks you couldn’t complete during your busy season, like taking inventory, reviewing your business processes, or even auditing your website are but a few examples.
If it so happens that your business does go through a quiet period, it is important that you have a significant fund to fall back on during the hottest months. This type of contingency plan will take time to prepare for, but having a significant amount set aside will allow you to relax a little as business slows, so you can focus on all those little jobs that you hadn’t had time for previously.
Whether it’s your annual leave policy, staffing scalability or getting those small jobs completed, it would be a useful part of your business plan to outline your company’s preparation for summer. If you would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.