How to manage workflow ups and downs


Even if you’ve got a good handle on your tradie business and you’re getting a steady stream of business, there’ll likely be times when your workload fluctuates. Here are some great tips for managing a busy workload, but also for keeping your business going when you’ve got some downtime.


When you’re busy…

Organise your jobs

When you’ve got a lot going on, make sure you’re using your time and your team’s time efficiently. This might mean taking time to plan ahead for your day – group jobs together that are in the same location or are similar types of work to maximise your productivity. 

Manage expectations

If you know there might be a delay getting there, or you’re going to have a problem completing the job in the time you promised, it’s important to let the client know ASAP. If you’ve got a tonne of jobs going on in the same week, maybe add a disclaimer for your clients when organising their work to state that there may be delays. 

It’s better to be as upfront as possible and manage expectations from the start, rather than trying to deal with multiple calls from irate clients asking when you’ll be arriving.

Charge a premium for guaranteed times

If a client needs a job done urgently or wants you to prioritise them, offer them a premium rate for a guaranteed completion time. Only do this if you know that you’re able to – it’s great to give the client the option, but if you guarantee something, you have to deliver. 

In most cases, the client might rethink how long they need the job to take in light of the extra cost, but if they’re paying it, you know they mean business.


When you’ve got downtime…

Offer an off-peak discount

Depending on what kind of business you’re in, there are a few different options for you when you’ve got downtime.

One of them is offering an ‘off peak’ discount during slower times when you know your business is likely to slow. This will help draw in customers who were maybe on the fence, and will help boost your bottom line. Note that this probably won’t work if you’re just having a lull, or your business isn’t seasonal – you’ll likely just have customers asking you for a discount all the time. 

Get busy in other areas

Having a quiet time in your workflow gives you more time to properly look at your business and what could be improved or changed to maximise your growth. Get busy and focus on your marketing plan, or attend events and network to build your contacts – whatever you do, always be looking for ways to grow and improve so that when you do get busy again, you’ve got a solid foundation in place.

Do you have many ups and downs in your tradie business?

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