While summer is a great time to gain more customers, many home improvement contractors have to fight off a slump in new business as the summer wraps up and they head into fall. As the latter portion of summer approaches, you might start to find that your employees seem a little worn out. This is the time when many start dreaming of sunny beach vacations and may lose focus on growing your business. As their employer, you can have a large influence over your employees’ motivation—and subsequent business growth. Applying these tips to your business plan can help inspire your employees to finish out the summer strong, and keep their focus on their work.
Teach your employees how to spot opportunities
Every work site is surrounded by potential future projects. Whether it is additional upgrades to the home, or neighbors who are also thinking about remodeling, your employees have the best opportunity to drum up new business. As they are working on projects, remind them to take a few minutes to chat with the customer about the home. A friendly conversation about his or her home or project is a great way to feel out any future plans. If neighbors are curious about the work that’s going on, don’t miss an opportunity to show off your company’s work—they can quickly turn into new customers.
Reward your employees
Set goals with each of your employees and offer rewards for goals reached. It could be anything from a day off or a gift card to a bonus or tickets to a sporting event. Perhaps you could even hold a contest. Whoever gains the most customers or makes the most sales for the month wins. Incentives for working hard are a great motivational tool, and a little friendly competition might make working during the summer months more exciting, too.
Sponsor events for your crew
Working as a home improvement contractor is different than working at a corporate desk job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sponsor fun events for your employees. People oftentimes get burned out when they feel like their days consist of too much work and not enough play. Consider planning a picnic, pool party, or barbecue for your employees and their families. Good food and fun activities will help strengthen your crew, and can provide a great opportunity to recognize successes and look to the future. Your employees work hard, and treating them to a fun event will help revitalize their motivation.
Show appreciation for a job well done
Praise your employees for their hard work and remind them how appreciative you are of their dedication and skills. In the busy summer months, it can be easy to forget to give feedback when there are a million other things going on, but a lack of praise can make employees feel overlooked and unimportant. Knowing how valuable they are to the overall business will remind your employees that their work is appreciated, and will motivate them to continue being a strong contributor to business growth.
Seek to be a good leader rather than a good boss
Fostering a good, genuine relationship with each of your employees makes the work environment a much more positive one. Focusing on the people, and not just the numbers, is what will give your employees a reason to keep working hard all summer long. Remember a few key differences between bosses and leaders: while a “boss” may evoke feelings of dread, a “leader” earns respect. A boss takes credit, while a leader gives credit. A boss is focused solely on progress, while a leader is focused on people. Be a leader, and watch as you build better relationships with your employees and maximize motivation, creating a better work environment for all.
Don’t forget to keep yourself motivated, too
If you yourself are not motivated during the busy summer months, how can you expect your employees to stay motivated? Get involved as much as possible and show your employees you are just as committed to growing the business (if not more). Making sure you don’t lose your focus is just as important as making sure your employees don’t. Set a good example and keep your eyes on the business.
Summer can be a distraction from work. Kids are out of school, pools are open, and the beach is calling your name. But summer is also a great time for home improvement contractors to find more customers and work on larger projects. Incorporating these tips into your business plan can help ensure success for your customers, your employees, and your business as you aim to motivate your crew during the summer months.