This guest blog was written by the team at time tracking and invoicing platform, Harvest.
With the busy summer season approaching in the northern hemisphere, many small businesses are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. And while the increase in customers provides a nice boost in revenue, the summer months also bring unique challenges.
If your small business is one that experiences heavy traffic during the summer season, you’re likely preparing to meet the steep demand while also keeping your team motivated and focused. So what can you do to manage the chaos while simultaneously maintaining morale?
In this article we’ll cover four tips for staying ahead of the curve this summer so you can make the most of the season.
Tip 1: Streamline your invoicing process
The best way to gain control over your payments influx is to make sure you have a proper system in place to manage them. This is especially important for service-based businesses that experience a major boost in their customer base during the summer months.
Using a time tracking and invoicing platform like Harvest makes it easy to keep track of invoices in one convenient place. The easy-to-use tool automatically transforms time spent on jobs into invoices that your customers can pay online. And since Harvest integrates with Xero, you can automatically copy your invoices and payments to Xero for simplified accounting.
Tip 2: Evaluate team capacity
It’s critical that you assess your staffing situation before the summer months arrive so you can avoid the headache of scrambling for coverage when things get crazy. Encourage your team to get their time-off requests in as early as possible so you can have better insights into everyone’s availability.
Depending on how much increase in business you think you will experience, you may also need to hire more people to keep up with new projects or manage the influx of patrons.
Time tracking apps can surface helpful insights into your existing team capacity so you can evaluate who’s got too much on their plate to help with the summer preparations, who can take on more work, and whether or not you need to hire more employees. Some apps can also show past data to help you assess performance during previous summer seasons and get a better idea of where you can improve this year.
Tip 3: Review your inventory
It’s easy to get distracted by other factors of your business, but don’t forget to keep your inventory in check so you can meet the demands of the summer rush. With supply chain issues still looming, it’s more important than ever to prepare ahead of time. If you’ve experienced a shortage due to the increase in business in previous years, start building up now.
Check with your vendors to see if they’re expecting any upcoming delays, or consider using new vendors that can meet your needs in time.
Tip 4: Declutter your operations
A little spring cleaning is always a good idea, and it’s a great time to declutter your work activities so you’re better prepared for the boost in business. Here are a few ways you can optimize your work process and set you and your team up for success this summer:
- Go digital: If it’s possible to automate something, do it. From time tracking to billing, there are plenty of online tools that can help you reduce time spent on day-to-day tasks, improve efficiency, and add security to your business.
- Ensure data integrity: Make sure critical documentation like accounting and invoicing are completely backed up on a regular basis so you can avoid any major issues.
- Review service agreements: Get up to speed on all agreements so you don’t encounter any unexpected surprises that hinder your ability to meet your demands.
- Complete any maintenance now: Assess if anything needs an upgrade, replacement, or tune-up to avoid getting stuck having to shut down operations during the busy months.
By preparing for the summer rush ahead of time, you and your team will have a leg up — meaning you can easily manage the challenges and avoid unnecessary headaches. And by connecting Harvest together with Xero, you’ll have a better handle on operations, making it easier to optimize your work flows and reap the rewards.