Information in this Post
- Getting To Grips With Job Management Software
- Digital Has Come Of Age
- How To Improve Your Customer Communications
- Streamlining The Quote Process Can Boost Sales and Customer Relations
- Going Paperless – For Your Sanity and Theirs
- Turn Up Your Time Management For More Profit With Better Job Management
- Record Job Progress For Better Marketing Down The Road
- Keep Jobs On Track With Client Sign Off
- Speed Up Invoice Payment
- Using The Right Job Management Software To Streamline Your Entire Business
Getting To Grips With Job Management Software
You might think we’re biased, but we’re just going to say it; job management is coming of age.
We know that you’ve heard it all before and you’ve been told you must update practically every aspect of how you do everything from recruiting a new apprentice, electrician or plasterer to how you order materials and even how you file your taxes.
We’d wager that you’ve tried one or two different job management apps or software packages, sucked in by magical promises of hours of free time, less coffee-stained post-its and a whole lot less stress.
We know you’ve been left tearing your hair out, more stressed, less organised and altogether a bit fed up.
Bear with us.
Digital Has Come Of Age
You might dread the thought of trying a new product and consider it to be a total waste of your time.
We get it!
But, job management tools have evolved and developed considerably in the last few years so even if you have had a bad experience before, it doesn’t mean you will be left frustrated and stressed this time around.
If you can put in a bit of legwork up front – much like you’d go out and size up a job before giving your customer a quote – the right job management software, carefully chosen and properly set up, actually can make all the difference.
We know you’ve heard it all before but hear us out:
- In the good old days you had an office phone and a receptionist. You could only receive calls when you were at home/in the office. Now, your mobile is as essential as your screwdriver and customers old and new can just as easily speak to you whether you’re under a sink staring at a leaking U-bend, stood on site up to your knees in the mud looking at plans for 10 new houses or sat in your van drying off.
- Where you once had to log into Facebook when you actually wanted to publish an update, you can now upload a month’s worth of posts and leave your social media tool to decide when to publish them for you.
- Your accounts software calculates your VAT without you having to break out the calculator.
Each of those scenarios shows how much progress has been made versus traditional approaches and it should show you that trades businesses open to digital advances such as jobbing software can benefit.
How To Improve Your Customer Communications
Traditionally, older businesses are slower to embrace change than start-ups but that doesn’t mean that the challenge is insurmountable.
A specialist job management software, such as ServiceM8 which is built specifically for trades businesses, can make the process easier.
It’s likely that you’ve already embraced some aspects of going digital and using automation to keep your clients happy and help with winning new business.
Even something as simple as using an email marketing tool which inserts the customer’s first name on each email of its own accord is automation at work.
It’s not just for marketing and text content, this kind of system can also see trades job management become much easier, quicker and mean less time is wasted on paperwork.
Being in regular communication is now one of the average customer’s most basic expectations – the trades have a poor reputation historically for this, but a carefully chosen job management software tool could not only make this a reality, but it could also handle a lot of the heavy lifting too.
Streamlining The Quote Process Can Boost Sales and Customer Relations
One of the most frustrating things for many home and business owners is the amount of time they’re left waiting for a quote.
A quick Google search will return dozens of forums filled with homeowners asking how long they should be expected to wait for a quote.
Most say they don’t expect to wait more than a few days.
Some a few hours.
When you’re running a business, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work to take care of – and you’ll need to fit quotes around getting prices for materials, checking availability, fielding calls, traveling between jobs and most importantly, actually doing some work.
Having to then go back and start writing up quotes manually at the end of a long day is not just a killer for you – it can also kill off your chances of securing the work if the person in question has been left hanging.
If you’ve carried out your due diligence ahead of time and weighed up job management software against the four Ps of people, pricing, product, and process, you’ll find the right job management software helps you with more work.
ServiceM8 from Software Buddy makes this part of your job especially easy – with just a few swipes you can create professional quotes while at the job.
Needless to say, this speed means you’ll be first in the running to win the work, while also impressing the customer with your efficiency.
Never a bad thing when you’re convincing them of your ability to get the job done!
Going Paperless – For Your Sanity and Theirs
If your works van has more papers than your desk, and your desk has more paper than your local office supplies store, then it could well be time to go paperless.
Not only do piles of paper everywhere create a sense of chaos, but they also make it near on impossible to work efficiently, put your hands on the job sheets, quotes and appointments when you need them.
Even worse, if you’re managing a team of plumbers, electricians or other trades professionals, you might not have a clue where someone is or where they should be and no means of sorting it out until you’re organised and filed a year’s worth of rubbish.
In the field, a job management system can also make it easy to pinpoint client details and lay your hands on your next appointments contact info at the touch of a button to let them know you’re on your way, delayed or even expecting to arrive early.
If you work from a trusty old notebook or scraps of paper, you’ve probably spent more time than you can remember hunting down notes from jobs, invoices, addresses and job specs. In the trades, time is money and paper could be costing you a bundle.
Turn Up Your Time Management For More Profit With Better Job Management
Not only does removing all the wasted time and effort you spend searching for job data give you more hours in the day, being on time for clients can bring more recommendations, better reviews and even repeat business.
When you have a full schedule, multiple jobs in progress, travel time and supplier stops to factor into every single day, it’s a wonder you can get by without a constant supply of aspirin.
As your business grows it can become almost impossible to stay efficient and arrive where you need to be, when you said you’d be there, using a paper diary alone.
A well-chosen job management software will help keep you on the road and heading in the right direction– use it as your virtual PA, without the salary and PAYE contributions!
Record Job Progress For Better Marketing Down The Road
Marketing is part and parcel of running a business. Whether you fix leaks or fit new kitchens, the jobs you complete are the best possible form of marketing.
All too often though, recording progress and taking before and after shots falls by the wayside in your hurry to crack on with the work at hand.
It can also be a massive hassle if you have to remember your camera or have dozens of images stored on your phone and are left scratching your head as to which job was which.
A tool like ServiceM8 will allow you to take both videos and images and save against a specific job – meaning they are there when needed.
You can also use them for case studies and marketing purposes later. Win, win!
Keep Jobs On Track With Client Sign Off
We’ve all been there – expected to do more for a client that was originally agreed and cost for.
If you’re retiling for example and discover a leak, should you be expected to fix it?
Job management goes beyond simply knowing where you need to be and keeping all the files together, it can actually help keep your projects on track and on budget.
Client sign off is something that’s often overlooked and isn’t possible with paper-based job management.
Just as you would sign for a package that had been sent to you, you can also get your clients to sign off on any required changes so it’s all stored, named and dated for easy reference later.
This means no uncertainty, no disagreements and no jobs spiraling out of control.
Speed Up Invoice Payment
If you sit in the pub on any given night with any five people who own or run a small business, you’d probably get five out of five telling you that late payments suck the life out of their business.
Few things are as frustrating as finishing a job, leaving an invoice and then having to wait weeks to get paid, following countless phone calls and email reminders.
Not only is this a waste of time, but it can also have serious implications for your cash flow and your ability to pay your staff and suppliers.
Unlike paper-based systems of old, modern job management software has payment apps built in, helping to speed up the process of being paid for a job when done.
Using The Right Job Management Software To Streamline Your Entire Business
Modern jobbing software isn’t just about accessing client details, job history and job scheduling.
It can also streamline your entire business with easier invoicing, payment reconciliation, marketing, and team management too with job reminders, scheduling tools and more built in.
They also help keep jobs on a budget, make it quicker and easier to win new business, organise marketing assets, receive funds due and implement better business controls.
Chosen carefully, trained fully and used properly, they can help you boost your profits, roadmap your business processes and make life much easier.
Lisa Knaggs Hunter has spent 25 years helping small, medium and enterprise clients as a software consultant, Lisa now assists clients with software strategies, online training and one to one consultancy to improve efficiency and profitability.
Today Lisa manages the Software Buddy Team sharing her knowledge helping business just like yours overcome the trials and tribulations of managing projects and clients. Lisa also is a partner in her husband’s small trades business Service Buddy, so she work with trades, staff and job queries every day.
You can connect with Lisa on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisaknaggshunter/