With the end of 2018 fast approaching, most of us are thinking about 2019 and what it will mean for our businesses. If you are like me, then you would have spent some time reflecting on the highs and lows of this year and putting a plan together to do even better for next year.  As well as your financial, operational and marketing goals, staffing should also be part of your business planning –  it is essential.

You may be a wedding venue and your plan is to increase booking sales by X%. Perhaps you are a photographer who has had a surge in 2019 bookings from your ideal client. You may be a catering company who has successfully secured a place on an additional 3 preferred supplier lists in the new year. Or, a sole trading wedding planner, with ambitious plans to up the anti and book in 10 weddings in 2019.

It is great if you find yourself in any of these positions, but have you thought about and planned how you are going to manage your staffing to support these wins?  It is unrealistic to think that you can do it all by yourself and even if you have a small team, you need to consider if they will be able to manage the additional workload and how you will keep them engage, motivated and loyal.

Being in this industry, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen last minute frantic social media posts from business owners asking for helpers for an event happening the next day.  This may be necessary to cover an unforeseen staff shortage, but how often is this really the case? Could the reason for these last minute cries for help be due to poor people planning? For every goal that you set and every booking you are taking on board, you need to think about what it means in terms of your staffing. How many staff do you need? How much do you need to pay them? Where are you going to find them? In any event, when pricing up a job for a client, staffing is one of the overheads that you should be accounting for  – it is an essential element of getting the job done.

Whether you are using agency staff or tapping into your carefully nurtured pool of of trusted freelancers or casual staff, it should all be pre-planned as much as possible.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • You will have peace of mind knowing that your staffing is covered
  • You are able to easily incorporate these costs into your fees when writing your proposals for clients
  • Everyone will know where they stand and will have the dates blocked out in the diary – less chance of double booking and unavailability, especially during peak seasons
  • You will have time to get your due diligence done i.e. your contracts, training, induction and briefings.
  • You will minimise the need for last minute searches for “anyone” to help you. Doing this runs the risk of taking on someone who is not the best fit or the right level of competence
  • You will earn a good brand reputation in the industry as being an “employer” of choice

Running your business on a last minute staffing basis is just a no no if you are trying to build a reputable brand, build a loyal team and actually run a business rather than an expensive hobby.  So, if you have already planned out your 2019 or you are starting to, do not forget to add “people” to the plans.  It is all about short. medium and long term planning so that you are ready and prepared. Building a team, the right team does take time but if you make it a considered point within your business strategy, everything that you do will be geared towards this.

Ask yourself some simple questions like:

  • What are my long terms staffing needs?
  • How many staff do I need to meet the needs of my bookings?
  • What staffing resources do I already have?
  • Does my current staff structure deliver my business goals?
  • How will I build staff loyalty within my business?
  • Does my reward package (pay, perks, benefits) support my business goals?

If you want to know how to incorporate a people strategy into your business planning, then why not book my HR Hour service where I will give you 60 minutes dedicated time to talk about your 2019 goals and help you to factor in the people element.

Have something to say? Why not join the discussion in my Facebook Group “People & Business.”

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