two women negotiating a business deal

How to Be a Powerful Negotiator as a Small Business Owner

The best way to grow your business is to secure more jobs, but there’s a huge element to success beyond the actual labor itself. Your research, communication, and negotiation skills are crucial for your small business to thrive in a competitive market.  Here are some top steps you can take to become a more powerful negotiator to secure more money for your work. Research Your Local Competition The first step to becoming a better negotiator happens before the negotiation begins, and it’s all about being an expert on the local competition. When a potential customer reaches out to you, you’re probably not the only person they’re contacting. Chances are they’re talking to other similar businesses in the area to determine the work they can get for the right price.  With search engines and business websites at your fingertips, you’ll want to regularly check to make sure your pricing and packaging is attractive. When you’ve got this knowledge at your disposal, you’re able to present yourself as the best possible choice while negotiating and give your client confidence that they are making the right choice. Be More Than Just Your Services When you’re prepping for a job interview, you’re told to make a great first impression. The same is true when you’re talking about a future job with a client.  So what are the best ways to make a strong first impression?  Be personable. When you take the time to learn who the customer is, what their needs are, and create a genuine connection, your relationship-building efforts will give the client a very positive image of you and your business. Focus on Creating Win-Win Situations The ultimate goal of negotiating as a small business is to create a win-win situation, but don’t forget about yourself in that equation. You always want to create positive outcomes for your customers, but not at the expense of your work and profits.  Never undervalue yourself. Know when it’s okay to walk away from a job. Some projects won’t be a good fit, and part of being an expert negotiator is knowing when to say no to a job that’s not worth your time and labor. Negotiate Services Rather Than Cost One steadfast rule for being a more powerful negotiator is always emphasizing the services you’re providing over the cost. Know what your floor price / minimum profit margin can be, and don’t break that number. Instead, negotiate how you might adjust your services and materials to bring down costs for a client without sacrificing your earnings.  It’s imperative to listen to the needs of your clients. What are the client’s expectations while the job is in progress, and what will the finished product be? If they aren’t sure themselves, you can highlight your expertise by asking lots of questions to get the details you need.  Document Your Negotiation With an Estimate or Invoice Once you’ve asked all the questions you have, sorted out expectations and details for the project, and made that personable connection with your potential clients, the absolute best thing to do is to drive that momentum forward by immediately sending a detailed digital invoice. You can use InvoiceASAP’s invoicing app and accounting software to document notes about the job and quickly send all of the details through email or text. It will help the customer see your professionalism and your precise plan of action, but it also acts as a receipt of your conversation to help you land the job and secure the best profit possible. Sign up for a FREE InvoiceASAP account today to get started!
remote contactless payments

Top 3 Ways Small Businesses Can Accept Remote Payments

As more communities begin phased reopening, small businesses and customers are getting into the groove of the “new normal.” Social distancing, touchless interactions, and remote activities are prevalent themes among new safety precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19.  When it comes to issuing and receiving payments, small businesses are beginning to provide safer payment options for their customers. Here are the top three options for remote payments that create win-win situations for you and your business: the safety of your employees and clients and improved transaction speeds! Make Use of Popular Contactless Transactions Thanks to the need for increased security measures combined with mobile convenience, contactless payments like ApplePay and GooglePay have become more popular over the past several years. Since the beginning of the pandemic, small businesses have seen a 27% increase in the use of contactless payments. This payment method is providing a safer way for consumers to pay and is quickly becoming a preferred payment method for small transactions as consumers seek to reduce touchpoints.  With contactless payments, you can even eliminate touchpoints. Consider disabling the signature screen and emailing digital receipts to client email addresses already on file. There’s no touching a shared keypad, no holding a shared pen, and no cleaning needed after each transaction.  Although every customer may not have the ability to pay from their mobile device, many small businesses are finding that it’s just one of the many ways to promote safety. Utilize a Virtual Terminal When you hear “virtual terminal,” you might imagine a portal out of a sci-fi movie, but virtual terminals are actually software applications that allow for remote payment processing. Essentially, your computer is able to process transactions from credit cards without physically needing to exchange the card between customers and employees.  A virtual terminal is hosted online and allows you to enter and process credit cards through your browser manually. Customers who shop online are already familiar with virtual terminal technology and find it convenient to pay for goods and services.  Even if you don’t have an online store, you should consider including a virtual terminal on your company’s website or social media page to increase sales and collect remote payments securely. This option provides multiple solutions for payment without face-to-face contact. Take Advantage of Digital Invoicing with InvoiceASAP Don’t count yourself out when it comes to digital invoicing. Even if your company doesn’t offer home or contracting services, invoices can be used to collect payment for a wide variety of small businesses, whether you are selling goods or services.  Customized invoices created on a computer or mobile device are a great way to give your customers a quick and easy way to pay digitally.  Consider sending branded invoices designed to be paid by credit card or ACH so you don’t have to deal with collecting specific information. It’s convenient for your customers and gets you paid quickly. With payment management tools provided by InvoiceASAP, small business owners are turning to digital invoicing that allows them to bill and receive payments, organize invoices and customer information, and also analyzing sales and data.  InvoiceASAP is a remote payment option that is fully customizable for your small business needs, and should definitely be considered as a remote payment option. As small businesses adjust to creating a safer environment during the current global pandemic, InvoiceASAP is here to help you make accepting payments easier, faster and safer. Sign up today to create a free InvoiceASAP account and discover how we can help you accept remote payments.
turn estimates into revenue

How to Convert Free Estimates Into Paid Revenue

No matter what type of small business you operate, securing and retaining customers is the primary goal. But how do you get there?  First impressions are crucial and can turn a potential buyer into a lifelong customer. For many small businesses, this starts with providing potential customers with a free estimate.  Potential clients will want to know how long the work will take, what they can expect, and what the final costs will be. Although some projects are straightforward, others can get complicated – especially when multiple factors must be taken into account. Here's how to create the perfect estimate, so you can be competitive while remaining profitable, and increasing the chances you convert your estimate into a paying job.  Establish a Realistic Timeline and Create Milestones If you don't know the specific details for a given project, you will never be able to provide a proper estimate. When a bad estimate is given, you may get the sale, but you will lose future business from the client and people they know.  Bad estimates are bad for business.  Take a step back and examine the full scope of the project. Outline the steps you will need to take to complete the service and be realistic when mapping out the phases.  Once you have a broad understanding of what will need to accomplish, write down a timeline for milestones you'll hit along the way, based on the agreed upon scope of work. Keep in mind the importance of defining how out-of-scope efforts or changes will be handled and priced. Consider the Materials Needed and Labor Costs Outlining the tools and materials you need will be a significant factor in creating your estimate. You may already have many of the items you will need to complete the job, but in some cases, you may need to order additional materials. This will affect your estimate, so be sure to weigh shipping costs and delivery times (be sure to give yourself a bit of wiggle room!).  You’ll also want to predict how many hours of labor the job will take and how many workers will be needed. Depending on the services you offer, you may need to factor in an independent contractor. Add these components to your estimated timeline and cost. Take Advantage of InvoiceASAP’s Invoicing Platform Now that you have drawn out an approximate schedule with service milestones, outlined material and labor sourcing, how do you present this information to your client in a way that turns them into a customer? Many small business owners find the best strategy is to provide a professional, detailed, and easy-to-read estimate to the potential client rather than simply quoting a final cost number over the phone.  With InvoiceASAP, you can breakdown all of the components that go into the final estimated cost so your prospective customer is more comfortable with your quote. You can also include images, detailed notes, and auto-generated reports to create an accurate estimate. When the client can see what they’ll be paying for and how the services will be completed, they’ll trust you to complete the project. Sign up today for a free InvoiceASAP account and start turning potential customers into sales.
Person Working at desk with Mac Computer

4 Important Questions to Answer Before Purchasing Accounting Software

When you add up all the time you spend sorting through paperwork, compiling data into spreadsheets, and importing inventory receipts, the idea of bringing on additional tools may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, the right accounting software will save you time, money and resources while better enabling you to grow your business.  But how do you choose among the many accounting platforms available and determine which is right for you? Read on to learn how to decide what type of accounting and invoicing software is the most compatible with your business.  Doing Your Research As you research accounting software options, you’ll want to look at a few big-picture functions before diving into the smaller details and features. Your primary goal should be to see if the software supports your type and size of business, the number of employees you have, and the size of your client-base and/or inventory.  After your initial evaluation, here’s what else you should consider: How Do I Balance Functionality vs. Cost? First, you should consider whether you’d be paying for more software features and elements than you’ll actually use. If a program designed for a larger business has lots of detailed features you don’t need, move on to a more streamlined program that meets your needs without going over budget. Next, you’ll want to look at the specific features and tools offered. If your invoicing and financial software needs are more complex, pay attention to how the program will be able to organize your books, payments and contract data.  Be sure to take advantage of any free trials or limited feature options so you can evaluate a solution by actually using it. Once you’ve tested out a certain platform and see how it works, you can choose whether you’d like to add on additional features or upgrade to a plan within your budget’s price point.  If you have an established business and understand your accounting needs, there’s no reason to pay for features you will simply never need. Is It Compatible With Your Existing Software? Another deciding factor is the ability to sync to existing resources or databases. Many businesses and accountants rely on QuickBooks and don’t necessarily want to start from scratch with a whole new platform. InvoiceASAP’s accounting software syncs directly with QuickBooks, to reinforce and streamline what’s already working for your business. Another consideration is mobile payment apps. For instance, if you’re offering remote payments from the Clover app, you might want compatible accounting software that keeps track of all those transactions in one place.  Does It Offer Enough Flexibility? There is a wide range of features and tools at your disposal when using accounting software, and you’ll want to evaluate the type of reports, analysis, and data management system you need. While a small plumbing or landscaping business that works directly with homeowners may focus more on invoicing software and customer management reports, a large beer and wine company focused on selling products may be more interested in software that can create inventory reports and smart budgeting guides.  Overall, you’ll want to choose a program with the ability to meet the specific needs of your business today while giving you some flexibility to adapt to meaningful future changes. If you’re not completely sure which types of accounting software features would be best, don’t hesitate to reach out to a company’s customer service team or sign-up for a free trial. Can You Use It On-the-Go? Given the ubiquity of mobile apps and wireless internet, you’ll want to choose accounting software that travels with you in the field. This can be especially useful if you have multiple techs or other professionals updating invoices and payments offsite. You’ll want a program that can collect this information remotely and automatically update the information across your entire system. Having immediate digital invoicing when working with a client will also help you get paid faster and can offer a wider selection of payment options for your customers. When your software is able to track this information, you easily get an overall look at your contracts, invoices and payments in real-time. Powerful Accounting and Invoicing Software from InvoiceASAP The amount of money you’re looking to spend on accounting software is obviously a very important factor when making your decision. You shouldn’t commit to an additional monthly-cost without first considering your budget.  InvoiceASAP offers a FREE basic account to help you see if this platform works for your business. And, when you agree to accept electronic payments, you get automatically upgraded to a Premium account for free, Overall, we also offer some of the lowest monthly rates compared to our competitors. Learn more about InvoiceASAP today
money saving habits for small business

Top Money Habits You Need to Adopt for Your Small Business

Your small business is unique, but there are certain money-saving-habits every company should practice to improve finances and cash flow.  We’ve pulled together some of the proven best practices that will set your company up to be more efficient and ensure you are on track to achieve heightened success. Make Reviewing Your Finances a Habit As a small business owner, you have taken on a range of roles and responsibilities that fill your days, weeks and months, but you may be forgetting one crucial step. No matter how confident you are about your business' financial well-being, this is something that needs to be reviewed regularly by adding a detailed financial review to your monthly or weekly schedule.  Based on the time of year, level of demand, and the type of contract services you offer, your flow of income and expenses will likely vary from week to week and month to month. Having a clear understanding of your current, and projected, finances will help you make better decisions concerning your spending and budgeting.  Additionally, this top money habit will help you better understand full-scale operations so you can determine what changes you can implement to inspire growth within your company.   Create (and Follow) an Every-Dollar Budget Knowing the comings and goings of your money dramatically reduces stress and enables you to understand at any given time whether or not you should make a purchase, set aside additional funds to pay down an outstanding expense, or whether you will be able to cash flow your expansion plans. Budgeting seems obvious; however, in common practice, most businesses fail to implement this vital money-saving step. And even those that do often do not track exact spending, choosing to instead to round numbers off. For a successful business, you must create an every-dollar budget and then follow and execute that budget as exactly as you can.  Whether you set up a monthly or quarterly budget, it’s crucial to determine your predicted income and known expenses to generate precise numbers concerning additional spending and savings.  Creating and enforcing an effective budget may take time, but the effort spent is well worth the time. While you may initially think a budget is designed to restrict, it’s actually designed to free.  Reduce Unnecessary Spending by Managing Your Inventory Comparable to a regular review of finances, you should also routinely review and manage your inventory. This is most easily accomplished through auto-generated inventory reports.  By reviewing your inventory, you should compare what’s coming in, to what’s going out, and at what rate so you can identify cost-saving possibilities.  From there, you can determine if there’s an opportunity to source items you need to restock more cost-effectively, along with how to adjust your future orders to meet changing demands. You may also need to re-evaluate and determine which approach to inventory management (LIFO, FIFO, FILO, or LILO) is most beneficial to your business. Plan Ahead for Tax Season By planning ahead, when the time comes to pay taxes, your finances aren’t hit with a huge expense all at once. You can use your taxes from the previous year to predict what you’ll owe the following season and regularly set it aside throughout the year.  One of the best money habits you can put in place for yourself is to prepare for future known expenses, including federal and state taxes. We strongly recommend working with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to ensure you’re avoiding costly mistakes, taking advantage of all tax breaks, and correctly reporting all relevant activity. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions and Benefits  Think of tax breaks as “free money.” As a small business, you have multiple money-saving opportunities when it comes to deductions and write-offs, and a CPA can help you find all of them. Invest the time to educate yourself on the benefits available to your specific company and industry so you can ask the right questions. Don’t hesitate to utilize programs and opportunities to help reduce the final tax amount owed.  Adjust Services and Inventory to Meet Immediate Needs When you learn how to adjust your business to meet and consumer needs, your business will be ready for anything! During COVID-19, many small businesses found they needed to adjust how they offered their services while diversifying what they sold to meet the immediate needs of their clients. Staying flexible with how you offer services and adapting your inventory management practices are strategies that can help you grow your small business even after unexpected disruptions occur.  Identify Unnecessary Debt and Prioritize Reducing It Debt management is a sign of a healthy business and dramatically impacts your ability to leverage debt in the future. Are you prioritizing your business debt? If you're not, you should be! One of your top goals should be to prioritize and reduce debt. Just as you would put money aside for taxes, you should be regularly making payments to work off debts - be sure to include these set payments in your budgeting plan. Pay Out Your Own Salary on a Pre-Set Schedule If, at any point, you plan to consider taking on investors or debt in order to grow your business, you will need to provide flawless financial statements. How you handle business profits and your personal salary are a part of that equation. Paying yourself a set salary is an incredible money-saving habit that only half of small business report doing. Just as you would pay an employee, you should pay yourself a fixed salary on a pre-set schedule. This not only maximizes predictability of your business and personal cash flow, it’s a fundamental practice of any mature company. How this happens can be done in a manner that makes the most sense for you and your small business. The goal is to view your business profit and your own pay as two separate items.  Get Creative With Free Marketing Tools Available The implementation of a successful marketing campaign can boost the success of your business. Whether your small business is doing financially well or has fallen on hard times, marketing should be a priority.  Traditional marketing can be pricey for a small business, and you should be taking advantage of the free marketing tools available to you. Social media platforms are a great way to find and connect with your customers without having to spend money.  Through these platforms, you can create posts that are engaging and informative. You can also use location and audience tools to reach potential customers and clients. The philosophy of working smarter and not harder is the key to create this money-saving habit with your marketing.  Utilize Invoice Technology to Improve Efficiency  Traditional invoicing can get messy, be difficult to keep track of, and has limitations on customer interactions. Not all invoicing is created equal, and using the right invoicing app can help you track customer payment and manage data reports.  Invoicing software, like InvoiceASAP, can improve payment efficiency and customer retainment. Invoicing software enhances business operations, saving you time and money.   Manage Your Small Business with InvoiceASAP The most important thing you can do for your small business is to utilize InvoiceASAP’s affordable accounting and invoicing software, featuring valuable auto-generated reports. These reports will help you master many of the aforementioned top money habits to help you manage your business. Sign up for a FREE account today and discover how the InvoiceASAP platform can help your small business build smart money habits with data-driven insights.
Reasons to offer credit card payment options

Why Your Construction Company Should Accept Credit Card Payments

In the past, it was typical for construction companies only to accept cash or check payments from clients. Today, improved technologies and resources make credit card and debit card payments an expected option for customers.  According to the 2016 U.S. Consumer Payment Study, credit cards took the top spot in customers’ preferred way to pay, with debit cards coming in second.  With mobile payments becoming more accessible, and the growing popularity of online banking and credit statements, it makes sense that 40% of the population surveyed revealed they prefer to pay with a credit card.  So what does this mean for improving your business when it comes to invoicing for construction jobs?  Being flexible with your accepted forms of payment can not only grow your customer satisfaction but also improve your cash flow. Here's what else you should know: Accepting Credit Cards Benefits Your Customers Customers want the ability to pay invoices quickly and easily, they want a record of their payment, and they want to be able to pay securely.  There are multiple ways to have customers pay via credit card to secure a faster process for getting paid. Offering credit card payments in the field is one.  Whether you decide to collect payment with a mobile credit card scanner for your tech to use at the job site, or email a digital invoice that includes a "Pay Now" feature, overall, clients will find it more efficient to pay via card rather than write a check or hand you cash.  Plus, InvoiceASAP’s invoicing app functions with your mobile team’s existing technology.  Another reason customers prefer credit card payments is that it gives them confidence about your company and about their payment itself. Showing customers you accept credit card payments, helps your small business appear more legitimate and trustworthy.  Customers may also feel encouraged to use credit cards because of the protections and customer support they provide. It's comforting for clients to have access to a digital receipt, especially when a credit card company can also view the transaction.     How Accepting Credit Cards Benefits Your Business In terms of how accepting payments is beneficial to your contractor business, the primary advantage is how quickly you'll see invoices getting paid. Credit card payments are processed easily and quickly while keeping transaction fees low. You can even pass transaction fees on to your customer, which is a common practice. Access and flexibility with payment methods means customers will pay sooner and money will hit your bank account faster. When your tech can take a payment at the job site, or when a customer can enter their credit card information on a digital invoice following the job, the payment will be processed much faster. If you're waiting days or weeks for checks to come in the mail and then clear, or handling excessive amounts of cash, you should absolutely be incorporating a credit card option for invoice payments.  Another key benefit to credit card payments is the ability to know instantly whether the payment has been correctly processed. You can begin new jobs more quickly, without having to wait and see if the expected payment from your previous job went through.  Additionally, if your business offers clients the option to pay in multiple installments, having a credit card option connected to recurring invoices can automate the process and help guarantee those payments come in on schedule.  Available Tools for Managing Credit Card Payments A payment management system designed specifically for your construction business is an excellent resource. InvoiceASAP offers services - beyond just accepting payments in the field - that will make it easier to manage and grow your business.  For example, with InvoiceASAP's invoicing platform, customers are easily able to make payments directly from the digital invoice. There's no phone call to make or additional websites to navigate, which simplifies the payment process and gets invoices paid out to you faster.  For your regular clients, credit card payments from previous jobs can also be stored for the future. With InvoiceASAP's Card on File tool, you can save your clients' card information, allowing customers to submit a new payment immediately.   Additionally, the online credit card payment can be tracked and viewed easily with the A/R Management tool.  Not only will you see all of your invoices in one place, but you can sort unpaid invoices from paid invoices and view payment details in real-time. This platform allows you to look-up any needed information if questions arise in the future. Overall, giving your clients the option to pay with credit cards opens up new opportunities to grow your business and secure payments quickly.  Consider utilizing a mobile invoicing service such as InvoiceASAP to guarantee your credit card payments are processed efficiently and are effortless for you and your customers. Try InvoiceASAP today with a FREE account.
When to offer free estimates and when to charge a fee

Home Contractors: When to Offer Free Estimates And When to Charge

Estimates are the first step in completing a transaction between you and your prospective customer. The estimate initiates a formal relationship with your client, presents the first impression of your business, and sets up what the actual materials and labor will look like over a certain timeline.  While some home contractors offer these preliminary estimates without charge, others find the potential advantages to doing so are not worth the loss of payment for their time.  So when is the best time to offer free estimates for your customers, and when should you charge a fee?  Here's What to Consider Many factors fall under consideration when deciding whether to offer free estimates, particularly when it comes to home improvement. Often, the reasoning may be based on industry and regional standards. Overall, the type of work your company specializes in, the number of techs you have available, and even the location(s) of your business are all points to consider. While some work is generally straightforward with minimal anticipated surprises, other work may involve complete inspections, potential revisions, or research back at the office. Complex or more labor-intensive work generally requires more detail, more time, and more expertise. Other cost considerations may be case by case, including the distance of the job site from your location, the scope and duration of a particular project, and even your company philosophy.  Some companies want the estimate to be completely accurate from the beginning. In contrast, others want to leave it more open, in case the work takes more time than initially expected. When to Offer Free Estimates For many home improvement businesses, offering free estimates is a popular tool to get prospects in the door.  By extending free estimates to prospective clients, you'll potentially attract a larger number of new customers who might just be shopping around or who are more budget-concerned. There's no obligation on the customer to commit, so they automatically feel more comfortable beginning the process.  Offering a free estimate also allows you to sell in-person, talk about the project more in detail, and start a relationship with the client. Many customers have been Googling for months but have yet to hear real advice from an actual expert. Free estimates can act as the first step in earning a customer's trust to complete the job.  While this can be an excellent strategy for your business, here's how to decide if it works for your company.  Is the job straightforward, and does it make sense to offer an estimate for free? If a client comes to you with a clear problem that doesn't likely have any extra hidden complexities, you'll likely know the expected cost for the service based on similar services you've completed in the past.  Whether it's painting a room where you are given the dimensions and know the current condition of the walls, or installing a certain number of lighting fixtures, it may be simple for you to offer a free quote without needing to invest too much time. When Should Home Contractors Charge for Estimates On the other hand, if an estimate requires a comprehensive inspection and has the potential to be more time-consuming or difficult than what can be seen on the surface, it may be in your interest to charge for your estimate.  When you do decide that it's necessary to charge clients for estimates, you should do so on a sliding scale. An estimate for a single project in one room would be a lower rate than an estimate for a project that's throughout an entire home or office space.  Take your time to research what competitors are charging in your area for similar projects, and communicate with your clients about their expectations and budget for services needed, before giving any quotes.  Consultations requiring multiple revisions, diagnostics, or several steps in the planning process could also warrant the need to charge for an estimate.  In this case, however, you should specify with your customer that they're paying for the inspection and consultation, along with the additional planning required for the job – and not solely paying based on the number of estimates. Another reason to charge for an estimate is if there are multiple parties involved in the project. If the contracting job requires you to communicate and plan a timeline alongside subcontracting companies and specialty professionals like electricians or designers, the time involved in scheduling and coordinating should be taken into account when charging for the overall estimate.  Deciding What's Best for You Remember, the decision whether to charge for an estimate comes down to what makes the most sense for your business. While some believe that offering free estimates will attract more customers, others have found that charging for estimates ensures your customers are more serious about moving forward and are hiring you for the duration of the project.  Either way, always be upfront with your client about what cost they can expect and what service they're paying for when setting up any kind of inspection and estimate appointment.  Ready to Streamline your Estimate Process? Learn more about InvoiceASAP’s invoicing software. Spend less time writing estimates without sacrificing quality and accuracy. Try us today for FREE.
home repair business tips covid-19

Demand for Home Repair Increasing Amid COVID-19

Social distancing policies have dramatically changed our day-to-day routines and interactions. With people spending long periods of time at home – and looking for ways to entertain themselves around the house – many people have taken on projects at home. The combination of wanting to keep busy and finding yourself with lots of time on your hands has made DIY projects, home repair work, and other major clean-up efforts enticing. But not everyone can handle repairs themselves, and that's when it's time to call in the experts. Increase in Demand as People Stay Home Though many industries are seeing a major slowdown in sales at this time, home repair companies are expecting to see an increased demand for work. More people are spending extended periods of time at home, and that means a higher volume of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC needs for families. At the same time, there is also a new sense of urgency for home maintenance needs. For example, a drainage problem with your kitchen sink, or losing power to the refrigerator, is now a bit more complicated and stressful. People are eager to get repairs fixed quickly and looking to home repair companies who can get the job done safely. How to Safely Serve Customers While social distancing regulations are in place, there are concrete steps you can take as a home repair business to ensure the safety of your employees and your clients – and it starts before you even schedule an appointment with a customer. Your website, phone system, and social media pages should all provide new information about the steps you're taking to ensure safety during the coronavirus. As families look online for companies who can quickly complete their home repairs, they are going to be looking to see which businesses are prioritizing safety precautions and actively communicating with customers.  Read Our Full Guide for Managing Your Business During COVID-19 Customer Communication During COVID-19 Update your phone and email on your webpage and social media sites if your contact information has changed due to now working remotely. Also, remember to regularly check direct messenger chats for new customers who may reach out about a home repair need via social media. Before sending out technicians to a customer's home, be sure to communicate your safety measures so the customer can prepare and know what to expect when they arrive. Ask the customer about any current illness in the home to better protect your employees. Send a reminder to the customer on the day of the scheduled service using the client's preferred communication method and verify once again that no one is sick or showing any symptoms in the home.  Communicate any reminders to the tech about social distancing practices and remain accessible remotely during the appointment should your tech need to contact you. Finally, after the service is completed, reach out to your customers with any follow-up questions to gain valuable feedback on how to improve your services for future clients. Best Practices for In-Home Repairs, Invoicing via Email, & Collecting Payment Remotely Before entering the residence, properly put on a mask and gloves, and then gather additional sanitation supplies along with your equipment and tools. You'll also want to have sanitized and prepped any equipment and hand-held tools you bring into the home. Though customers may want to greet you and lead you to the area where you'll be working, you should avoid any handshakes and try to keep a distance of at least six feet. From that point, everyone in the residence should be staying in another room or area to minimize contact. If text messaging is a preferred communication method for your client, the technician should also use texting to ask the client any questions that arise while the repair is in progress. Keep in mind, if you're touching a phone screen without sanitizing your hands first, do not bring the phone up to your ear or touch it to your face. If you need to move to another area of the home or communicate face-to-face with the customer, do your best to maintain as much distance as possible. After you've completed your repair work, sanitize any surfaces and tools that you touched. If possible, an invoice should be sent digitally, and payment should also be collected with minimal or no contact. With the right guidelines in place and an extra effort made in regard to customer communication, home repair during COVID-19 can be successfully completed with everyone's safety in mind.      Learn More About Our Integrated Platform Now more than ever, businesses need the best tools and management software to help reduce costs and keep customers happy. Get improved estimating, invoicing and customer-payments software from InvoiceASAP. Streamlined technology means safer interactions and less-hassle for employees in the field and in office. Start today with a FREE account from InvoiceASAP.