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If you own a business in the Lowcountry then you know the busiest time of the year is quickly approaching. The Lowcountry will be seeing an influx of visitors and tourists this spring when students and families from all over flock here to spend Spring Break. Then after Spring Break of course comes the peak summer season!
While these busy times are coming up fast, it’s important to make sure your business is ready to go and can handle the spike in traffic. In fact, this year might be even busier than usual since many people are eager to get out and travel after missed vacations and trips. Preparing ahead of the busy season will be important and help ensure you don’t have to stop your business and interrupt operations to deal with preventable problems. Keep reading for some helpful things you can do to make sure your business is ready!
1. Ramp Up Hiring and Training
Staffing shortages have been a challenge for nearly all types of business over the past year, but the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit. For those in the hospitality industry in hotspots like the Lowcountry, it’s a must to hire additional staff during the peak season. You’ll need a more robust team to handle the increased business you’ll have, as well as the longer hours you may be open for and to cover your own staff’s summer vacations.
By ramping up your hiring now you have a much better chance of building the team you need in time for when business begins to pick up. Waiting until the last minute not only means you may not find enough people, but you’ll also want to make sure you have enough time to train everyone adequately to ensure your team is ready to go.
Speaking of training, now is a good time to focus on training not only your new hires, but even give your current team a refresher. In order for your business to succeed during this time, you’ll need everyone on your team to be in the know and provide consistent service, so a little extra training for everyone never hurts.
2. Set the Perfect Temperature
Locals know that summers in the Lowcountry can get hot. It’s hot enough outside that people look forward to a refreshing hit of cold air as they enter your business. Setting the right temperature for your business will not only make your customers happy, but it may even help boost your business.
It’s all about keeping your business at a temperature that’s comfortable for customers so they’ll want to stay longer. For example, if a restaurant is too warm customers won’t have much of an appetite and therefore will order less food. Same goes for retail businesses. Customers won’t have the energy to browse your store or try on items if it’s too hot. For bars and ice cream shops on the other hand, you can get away with keeping the temperature a little less cool – this will only make people crave an ice cold treat or beverage even more!
It’s also important to be aware that maintaining the temperature in your business during the summertime is much different than maintaining it in your home. With people constantly coming in and out your HVAC system is going to have to work harder to keep the temperature comfortable, especially on those sweltering summer days. This is why getting your system checked ahead of the peak season is so important. We can check out your system and make sure that it’s healthy to continue working properly. Afterall, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of a Lowcountry summer without A/C!
3. Evaluate Your Goals
The Lowcountry’s peak season just happens to take place about halfway through the year, making this a perfect time to evaluate the business goals you had set for yourself this year and see where you stand. Now is a good time to reflect back on those goals you had in mind for your business and take stock of what you accomplished and what you still need to work on.
If you had certain financial goals for yourself (what business owner doesn’t?) then this will give you enough insight and time to go into the busy season armed with the knowledge of what you need to do in order to reach your goals.
4. Consider Specials and Promotions
Seasonal food and drink specials take advantage of local, in-season produce and ingredients and attract both tourists and locals looking for something different. Now is a good time to start giving some thought to what types of food, drink or retail specials you could have over the busy season to help bring in extra business. Not only can specials help you take advantage of pricing on in-season ingredients, but it can also help give your business a boost during slower times. For example, look at your business’ history and see which summer days tend to be slowest for you. If your business seems to slow down in the middle of the week then maybe offering a hump day promotion can help bring in extra traffic.
5. Plan Accordingly
Ultimately, now is the time to get everything in order so that your business is ready to hit the ground running once the peak season begins. Take stock of supplies or items your business may be in need of in the near future, evaluate your team and perform preventative maintenance that your business may be due for. Taking care of these things now will ensure you have the time and energy to dedicate to your business when the time comes.
The peak season is a critical time for businesses in the Lowcountry, so going into it prepared will help you get the most out of these next few months. From making sure your HVAC is ready to handle the summer heat to planning ahead and adding more staff, these things will help ensure your business is prepared.