Running a service business is hard, but for many business owners it’s harder than it has to be. One in five small businesses still rely on pen and paper to manage their operations, and two-thirds of small business owners find new business technology to be overwhelming. Without the right technology in place, however, business management is a complicated and time consuming endeavour. If you’re a service business owner who is struggling with scheduling, dispatching, and invoicing because of old-school management methods, there are solutions on the market that can save you both time and money.
The right all-in-one business management software for your service contracting business can alleviate many issues that accompany job scheduling, team member dispatching, customer management, estimate/proposal management, invoicing, payments, and more. With the rise of smartphones and connectivity, technology can help keep your business organized, allowing you to save time, make more money, and grow your workforce. We’ll show you how technology can help solve these common issues.
Finding customer information in a filing cabinet is hard. Between bad handwriting, misfiling, and inaccurate information, it can take hours to find the information you need, and compiling that information into something you can use to monitor your sales and business activity can take days of work. Thankfully, there’s something better.
Customer relationship management systems allow you to quickly store, and access, important customer information. Customer profiles allow you to store detailed information such as email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, and secondary contacts in a structured and organized way. Keep on top of customer updates with notes and comment logs on their profile that can serve as reminders of their specific needs. You can attach any customer files and photos that you may need to reference such as “before and after” photos, photos of the issue to resolve, work orders, blueprints, and more.
Customer management systems let you stay on top of who you’ve worked with and the services you’ve provided, letting you improve your quality of service without spending hours digging through files and making notes, just to track your average earnings per job or most common service types. With powerful smartphone apps, these systems let you access these records and photos on the go, letting you make fast decisions on the job site, too.
With customer relationship management systems, your jobs, invoices, and customer records are automatically connected, making them easily reachable when needed. Need to check notes from a previous job? Simply open their customer profile and find the previous job record. Need to verify the payment status of prior projects? Check the job record and find the connected invoice. Customer relationship management systems provide you full access to stored information and related jobs, invoices, and files you need at your fingertips.
Job Scheduling and Dispatching
Scheduling and dispatching is hard. Building a schedule that accounts for a diverse workforce, distant job sites, and changing customer demands can take hours, and predicting when and how to scale your scheduling is close to impossible without the right tools on hand. If you want to get the most out of your workforce, you need to go digital.
With job scheduling and dispatching software, you can quickly and easily find available timeslots in your team’s schedules, and then create a job record with all necessary information and files that help get the job done. Once the job record is created, all assigned team members can be automatically notified of the new job record, saving you the time of manually sending them information and allowing them to retrieve all relevant job information on demand from their smartphones. Need to update your team members with new information? Simply update the job record for it to be automatically reflected in the assigned team members’ accounts.
Digital job records and work orders offer two-way information transmission as well. Skip the phone calls and notepads; with job scheduling and tracking software, your team members can provide status updates as they start and progress through the job, allowing you to track the status of the job in real-time without interrupting their workflow. With location tracking, you can easily see if your employees arrived to the jobsite on time and if they also left the jobsite when they indicated. From easy dispatching to status updates, digital job scheduling software keeps you and your team members in sync and with the information to get the job done.
Estimates and Invoices
A handwritten estimate might work under ideal circumstances, but having a system in place will save you countless headaches if an issue ever comes up. Not only do handwritten estimates and invoices take a long time to put together, they’re also prone to miscalculations and mistakes. They aren’t easily retrievable, either, and misplacing one can lead to serious complications later on.
With digital estimating and invoicing mobile apps, you can easily and quickly create an invoice for your customer at the job site with simple taps of a button, and all of the taxes and math is handled automatically. You can also save commonly used services and invoice items to quickly re-use for new invoices, making the process even faster.
Need to modify an estimate or invoice? With just a few taps, you can automatically adjust your line items and settings to update all of the subtotal, tax, and total calculations. Once your customers are ready to sign off on your estimate, you can collect signatures from your customer right on your mobile phone and then easily convert them to an invoice with a simple tap.
If you want to provide a copy of the estimate or invoice to your customers, you can easily send them an SMS or an email with the file attached. This allows your customer to easily search and find your invoices, making it easier for them to stay on top of what they owe. Once the invoice is paid, simply mark the payment and everything is logged and traceable for any future needs. Digital invoicing systems allow you to save time with faster invoicing and never lose track of your estimates, invoices, or payments again.
While tools to digitize the management of job scheduling, dispatching, customer management, and invoicing can be powerful in themselves, using an integrated solution that combines all aspects into one application allows for less complexity, faster data entry, and maximum traceability into your customer history and workforce activity. Keep all of your data in one secure location that you and your team members can access from anywhere using computers or smartphone mobile apps, allowing you to better serve your customer and get the job done right.