When the slow season arrives, it can be hard to feel productive. We asked the professionals who contribute to Pest Management Professional: How can PMPs best take advantage of downtime during the slow season? Here’s their advice.
Stuart Aust: The best way to take advantage of the slow season is for your staff to get licensed in necessary categories, service equipment for the following season, and have your staff use up their personal, sick and vacation days. If you can get your staff to schedule vacation time in the off-season, you have hit a home run!
Dr. Jim Fredericks: Identify learning objectives for each employee, and take advantage of the winter months to learn a new skill, get certified or review pest biology and behavior.
Dr. Austin Frishman: Promote pest-proofing, undergo training and get involved in positive community events.
Paul Hardy: With the many technologies now available to pest management professionals, there is no downtime. Now is the time to provide add-on services for customers. They already know us, and we know them. Plus, we should know which services their homes or offices need and we can provide.
Dr. Doug Mampe: Receive training. Inspect and maintain equipment.
Eric Scherzinger: The slower season of winter is the very best time to perform maintenance on your equipment to keep it in top working order. It is a great time to provide companywide training and roll out new programs. Offer safety training, general technical training and a refresher on all of these now that you have more time hold companywide meetings. It is a great time to attend an industry association meeting. If you haven’t been to one, you are missing out on countless opportunities to learn from your peers and meet with vendors to find out the latest products and technology.
Kurt Scherzinger: Attend and/or view as many training sessions as possible. Make sure equipment is in the best working order so when it does get busy again, you are ready to hit the ground running.
Pete Schopen: Continuing education. On the days my techs have light routes, we make them study Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations, the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, or watch YouTube videos. Otherwise, our techs do phone sales.
- Keep your promises. All those things you promised you would do when it slows down? Do those.
- Review the year for success and failures, and take steps to improve on all counts for next year.
- Train and retool for next year.
- Plan and organize. Take time now to put time-saving measures in place so next year will be more efficient and more profitable.
Dr. Stephen Vantassel, CWCP: Read, clean, prepare, restore, refresh.