Summer can often be considered a quieter period for businesses, especially those in the education industry with schools and pupils on holiday and the exam season over. But Frank Milner, the president of in-home and online tutoring franchise, Tutor Doctor, says that quiet doesn’t mean slow and it certainly shouldn’t mean unproductive! He believes that preparing in advance for seasonal variations can help you to capitalise on new opportunities, refine your delivery and even strike a better work-life balance.
Ultimately, the key to leveraging market variation is preparation and planning. Be it related to the financial year end, Christmas, or the summer holidays, as a franchise owner, you know when yours is coming. For our franchisees, this means using the school holidays to lay the groundwork for a booming start to the academic year in September. To ensure that your franchise stays ahead of the curve, no matter what the summer months throw at you, think like a Tutor Doctor franchisee!
Take care of what you have been putting off
If you have been trying to find the opportunity to make small tweaks to your operations and processes that will bring in more customers, now is the perfect time to do so. Through refreshing your website content, establishing a larger presence on social media, or even learning something new for yourself, the summer season is the ideal time to look at what more can be done in order to grow as a business and improve your services.
Find new avenues in your marketing strategies
With new trends and tools constantly emerging for you to maximise your reach, your marketing strategy should be kept up to date and exciting for prospective customers and employees. Throughout the summer, our franchisees are always on the lookout for ways to make their presence felt in their local communities either by attending popular events, providing advice and guidance, or contributing to charitable causes. As ever, be strategic – use the data you have from last year and keep on top of current trends in order to stay relevant and at the forefront of your audience’s minds.
Keep your customers engaged
In marketing, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder! Not all your prospective clients will be away over the summer, and even If they are, how many of them do you think will still be active on social media? Not maintaining an active online presence can be the downfall of many businesses. Your competitors might be out of action over the holiday period, so why not take advantage of that? The lead-up to the summer period is the perfect time to plan ahead and revamp your marketing material, to make it both seasonal and as on-trend as possible. Tutor Doctor franchisees benefit from a regular supply of timely, seasonal and impactful marketing collateral designed specifically for our customers. The result is enviable year-round engagement.
Keep your staff happy
The holiday period may give a team member the chance to step into a different role or learn a new skill. Managed properly, this change may do wonders for their motivation and confidence, which will ultimately benefit the wider team and your business operations. Outside of work, with family celebrations, social commitments, and with the need to have time off, the summer can actually be a stressful period for staff. If you’re able to, dedicating more time to your team’s professional development will be an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.
Remember the value of having a break
Franchisees are passionately invested in their businesses – it goes with the territory. But it’s important to take a break every now and then. A holiday will give those batteries a much-needed recharge, enabling you to come back to business with a bang. These days, this is as important mentally as physically; remember the value of having a ‘digital detox’ as well, and refrain from checking your emails and performing other tasks online that might cause you stress during your break.
One franchisee, Rob Kerrison of Tutor Doctor Cambridge and Norwich, summarises how his planning has contributed to his successful franchise.
“There’s no such thing as down-time really when you run a business but in those quieter periods, we have worked on ways to ensure there is not a single point of weakness in how we deliver our services. Redefining job descriptions and using new planning tools as a team to ensure workstreams can function really effectively. The result is that we have an extremely comprehensive set of systems across the business now. We’ve employed the right people and have the right processes in place so the business can run without me.”