4 tried and tested ways to even out the peaks and troughs in your business

Now that the SATR silly season is over for another year, are you enjoying the peace and quiet? Or are you seeing your staff under-utilised and your practice unprofitable? Frustrating, isn’t it! On the one hand, you need significantly more capacity for December and January. On the other hand, you don’t need this amount of capacity outside of this time of year. So, what’s the solution here?

The solution is to build in a level of flexibility with your resourcing. Here are 4 ways that our clients have used to build in flexibility to their resourcing.

1. Train your staff to be flexible
Wouldn’t it be good if you could move your staff around dependent on where the work was coming from? How about in your next quiet period, starting to multi-skill your staff so that they can be redeployed to a different area of the business if needed?

2. Outsource your work
Even without knowing that we help save our accountancy clients 30-40% on their costs, there are other benefits to using an outsourced workforce. Outsourcing lets you use highly qualified staff who are remotely located just when you want them. This has the benefit of taking the pressure off your core team in peak periods. After all, who, given the benefit of hindsight, would have liked to have slightly more capacity in the months of December and January?

3. Freelancers
Freelancers normally start working with immediate effect, meaning, if they are available, then they can start immediately. Many freelancers also don’t want full time work with one client. They like the freedom and variety of working with multiple clients. This can make them a great resource for you to use in peak periods as they are often happy to pick up a few hours per day or week. Because most freelancers are self-employed, you save the NI costs as well as infrastructure costs such as computing kit.

4. Annualised hours
When your business has major peaks and troughs throughout the year you may like to take a trick out of the retailers books. Many large retailers have their staff on annualised hours. Annualised hours contracts are where they can negotiate when their staff are working and not working, and match this to the peaks and troughs in demand.

In summary
Matching your resource to the peaks and troughs of your practice’s workload is possible. However, whatever route you choose needs careful thought and planning to make it work.

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Posted in For Accountancy Practices.