Why is a Mobile Solution Essential for Your Home Service Business? Mobile solutions are becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes and industries. Mobile solutions can help increase efficiency and productivity, enhance the customer experience, improve communication, increase revenue, give your business a competitive advantage, and save costs. What is a Mobile Solution? Mobile solutions for business refer to the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to enhance the efficiency and productivity of business operations. Mobile solutions can include mobile applications, mobile-friendly websites, and other mobile technologies that allow employees to access company data, communicate with colleagues and clients, and complete tasks while on-the-go. Some examples of mobile solutions for business include: Mobile apps: Companies can develop mobile applications that allow employees to access important information and tools while on the go. For example, a salesperson can use a mobile app to check inventory levels, place orders, and access customer data while meeting with clients. Mobile websites: Companies can optimize their websites for mobile devices to make it easier for employees to access information and communicate with colleagues and clients. Mobile device management: Companies can use mobile device management (MDM) solutions to manage and secure company-owned mobile devices. This can include setting up security protocols, enforcing usage policies, and remotely wiping devices if they are lost or stolen. Mobile payment solutions: Companies can use mobile payment solutions to accept payments from customers using mobile devices. This can include using mobile payment apps, QR codes, and other mobile-friendly payment methods. As a home service pro, your business is all about delivering high-quality services to your clients. Whether you are a plumber, electrician, or a handyman, you are always on the go, traveling from one client's house to another. In such a scenario, mobile solutions can be a game-changer for your business. How mobile solutions can help your home service pro business in detail. 1. Manage appointments and schedules One of the most significant challenges for a home service pro is managing appointments and schedules.Keeping track of your appointments and making sure your clients receive prompt service can be challenging. However, with mobile solutions, you can manage your appointments and schedules on the go. You can use a mobile app to schedule appointments, receive notifications, and update your schedule in real-time. You can keep organized and make sure you are giving your customers prompt service by doing this. You can also use mobile solutions to track your appointments, plan your route, and optimize your travel time. By doing this, you can save time and ensure that you are delivering your services efficiently. 2. Access client information Another challenge for a home service pro is accessing client information on the go. When you are traveling from one client's house to another, it can be challenging to access their information and preferences. However, with mobile solutions, you can access client information on the go. You can use a mobile app to view client history, preferences, and notes. This will help you provide personalized service and build strong relationships with your clients. By accessing their information on the go, you can provide more efficient and effective services to your clients and boosts your customer experience. 3. Streamline communication Communication is critical for a home service pro. You need to stay connected with your clients and colleagues to ensure that you are providing the best service possible. However, communication can be challenging when you are on the go. Fortunately, mobile solutions can streamline communication with your clients and colleagues. You can use a mobile app to send and receive messages, share files and photos, and collaborate with your team in real-time. This will help you stay connected with your clients and colleagues and provide timely service. You can also use mobile solutions to automate your communication, such as sending appointment reminders or follow-up emails. By streamlining your communication, you can save time and focus on what you do best. 4. Accept payments on the go Another challenge for a home service pro is accepting payments on the go. When you are traveling from one client's house to another, it can be challenging to accept payments and ensure that you are getting paid on time. However, with mobile solutions, you can accept payments on the go. You can use a mobile payment solution to accept credit card payments, send invoices, and track your transactions. This will help you get paid faster and improve your cash flow. You can also use mobile solutions to automate your payment process, such as sending payment reminders or processing recurring payments. By accepting payments on the go, you can improve your efficiency and focus on delivering high-quality services to your clients. 5. Improve productivity Mobile solutions can help you improve your productivity on the go. As a home service pro, your time is valuable. You also need to make the most of your time and ensure that you are delivering high-quality services to your clients. Fortunately, mobile solutions can help you improve your productivity on the go. You can use a mobile app to manage your to-do list, track your time, and automate your workflows. This will help you save time, reduce errors, and focus on what you do best. You can also use mobile solutions to optimize your travel time, such as using GPS to find the best route or avoiding traffic. This can help reduce downtime and improve productivity. 6. Cost savings Mobile solutions can also help your business save costs by reducing the need for physical infrastructure and resources. With mobile business solutions, you can access information and complete tasks from anywhere, which can reduce the need for physical office space, equipment, and supplies. Mobile solutions can help your home service pro business in many ways. InvoiceASAP offers a FREE basic account to help you see if this platform works for your business. So, if you haven't already, consider investing in mobile solutions to take your home service pro business to the next level.
5 Ways to Increase Your Income by Effectively Upselling Home Services It's typical for homeowners to need a variety of services for their homes, including plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and more. Home service providers have the chance to go beyond the clients' original requests and provide them with additional services. Upselling is a strategy that can be advantageous for both the service supplier and the client. Offering extra services that can enhance the customer's experience and ultimately save them money is what is meant by the term "upselling," which goes beyond simply increasing sales. This blog post will go over five strategies for successfully upselling consumers on home services. 1. Understanding the needs of the customer Knowing your customer's demands is the first step in upselling home services. Every consumer has a different set of wants, so it's important to pay attention to these. You can provide them with additional services that complement their initial request once you have a firm understanding of their wants. If a customer contacts a plumber to replace a leaky faucet, for instance, the plumber can advise replacing the old pipes with new ones to stop further leaks. The customer thereby receives a solution that not only addresses their immediate issue but also offers a long-term fix. Understanding the demands of the customer will be made much easier by asking open-ended inquiries. It can be helpful to ask them questions like "What other home services are you interested in" or "Do you have any worries or problems you want to discuss?" to gain a further understanding of their needs. Knowing what your company offers in terms of services is also essential. When you are knowledgeable about your products, you may provide them with wise recommendations. 2. Present Packaged Services Several home service providers utilize the upselling strategy of bundling services. Several services are bundled together and sold at a concession. Bundling services can be a powerful tool for encouraging clients to acquire multiple services. For instance, a landscaping business might charge less for a service bundle that includes planting, tree cutting, and lawn mowing. Because it is easier and more affordable for them, customers are more likely to purchase bundled services. It is important to make sure that the services complement one another when delivering packaged services. For instance, a home cleaning business may offer a combined package of cleaning services and carpet cleaning, which is an added benefit to the total cleaning process. The cost of the bundled services must also be disclosed in full, together with a detailed list of the services that make up the package. 3. Offer Special Deals or Discounts Discounts might be a specified percentage of the service price or a fixed dollar amount, and special offers can include free services or upgrades. Offering discounts or other special deals can be an effective tactic to persuade customers to buy extra services. For instance, a plumbing business might provide a customer a discount on installing a water heater in addition to a water softener system. Discounts and other special offers can persuade buyers to buy more than they might have otherwise. The terms and conditions of any discounts or exclusive deals must be made clear. Clear communication of the proposal's merits is also essential. For illustration, a landscaping business might provide a discount on monthly maintenance services to entice clients to sign a long-term agreement. 4. Demonstrations and Visual Aids Upselling home services can be effectively accomplished by utilizing visual aids and demonstrations. Customers may find it easier to visualize the finished product with visual assistance, like images or videos of completed projects. Customers can better comprehend the advantages of additional services by watching demonstrations, such as those given by a landscaping firm to highlight the advantages of a certain type of grass or a home cleaning company to teach how to operate a steam cleaner. For services that the client may not be as familiar with, visual aids and demonstrations can be very beneficial. One example would be how a smart thermostat can help clients save money on their energy costs, according to a home automation business. Customers are more likely to be interested in using the service if the advantages are made clear to them. Moreover, visual aids and demonstrations can assist service providers in building trust with clients by educating them about their goods. 5. Maintain Contact and Develop Relationships To successfully upsell home services, consumers must be followed up with, and connections must be built. Following up with clients after service is finished demonstrates your appreciation for their patronage and dedication to their pleasure. It's an opportunity to solicit comments and make other services available that they might find interesting. Upselling requires establishing trusting relationships with customers. Customers are more inclined to buy more services from your company if you can establish trust and rapport with them. By providing rewards for referrals or loyalty programs, one can foster relationships. For instance, a plumbing business might provide clients who recommend friends a discount on a future service. When establishing relationships with clients, sincerity is crucial. When a company is simply concerned about making a sale, the customers can tell. Service providers can grow their clientele and establish a solid reputation by putting their attention on developing long-lasting relationships. Conclusion Offering additional services to homeowners can help service providers increase their revenue while providing more value to their clients. Using a Free Mobile Invoicing App is a convenient and effective way for providers to manage their invoicing and payments. There are five popular strategies for upselling home services: understanding the customer's needs, bundling services, offering discounts or special deals, using visual aids and demonstrations, and following up with customers to build relationships. Properly done, upselling can benefit both the service provider and the customer. Customers receive additional services that improve their experience, while providers see a boost in revenue. By utilizing a free mobile invoicing app and following these upselling strategies, service providers can build stronger relationships with their customers, increase revenue, and provide more value. Would you like to learn more about increasing your revenue? Read How to Retain Customers and Boost Revenue with Maintenance Contracts.
Organizing Small Business and its Expenses When thinking about, or actually launching, a small business, a lot of weighty duties fall on your shoulders. Keeping tabs on and reporting your company's financial outgoings is one such duty. The profit and loss of a company can be gauged with the help of meticulous record-keeping of all business expenditures. For this reason, it's crucial for a small business owner to keep close tabs on the company's finances, including keeping detailed records of all expenditures, keeping track of revenue and expenses, and, most crucially, assessing wasteful spending. Prepare a Startup Fund to Cover Expenses In order to get your new small business up and running, you'll need a substantial amount of money. A way to get a handle on such outlays is to monitor your spending habits. I suggest categorizing them according to their nature. The costs associated with launching a business can be broken down into two broad classes: ongoing costs and one-off charges. Expenses like rent, utilities, and employee pay fall into the category of "recurring expenses," which are expected to be paid on a regular basis. Start-up costs include things like government fees, furniture, equipment, licenses, and permits. Digitize; Make Sure You Have a Supply Of Your Hard Copies Managing a mountain of paper is a boring chore. It follows that digitizing is the most effective method of arranging: Estimations and invoicing on paper Documents from the Bank Leasuring and Purchasing Contracts Submissions for Patents and Trademarks Applicable Authorizations and Licenses for Operations Personnel Files Having these records digitized ensures that you can get them from any computer, at any time. In addition to that, it helps you declutter your workplace and retrieve any file with just a few mouse clicks. It's also wise to keep your digital backups in separate locations from your primary computer. To avoid this problem, you should consider putting your data in the cloud. Create a Spreadsheet A spreadsheet is a low-tech solution to the problem of keeping track of business spending, which is especially useful for a fledgling company's early stages. As your company expands, you'll need more sophisticated methods of monitoring, such as accounting software. If you're starting with a blank spreadsheet, you'll have to enter each and every company expense you incur by hand. It's also important to sort and classify your costs in accordance with what's best for your company. Both Excel and Google Sheets are compatible with a wide variety of bookkeeping programs. Get in the Habit of Using Financial Management Software Spreadsheets are a useful tool for managing a company's finances, especially in the beginning when things are still relatively simple. As your company expands, however, dealing with manual entry of transactions gets more difficult. All of your reports—daily, weekly, monthly, and annually—are auto-generated mechanically. Keeping track of invoices, bills, and regular payments can be a headache, but with a solid accounting solution, you can rest easy knowing that your business is financially stable. You can import transactions from your bank account directly into your accounting software. If you use the right accounting software, you should be able to link your business bank account with your books. Your company's bank and credit card statements may need to be downloaded as CSV (Excel) files and imported into the system manually. There is a digital bridge between your bank account and your accounting software thanks to the connectivity plug-in offered by many accounting programs. This paves the way for everyday real-time bank transactions and the convenient downloading of bank statements wherever you may be. In addition, some accounting systems provide for seamless interaction with the bank, allowing business owners to handle all banking activities without ever leaving the accounting program. Maintain Files in Many Places and Sort Them The crucial piece of advice you can follow when managing your business is to categorize your documents and receipts. Cloud Storage from Google: It's a cloud-based archive perfect for storing important documents and receipts for your company. It's compatible with a wide variety of Google products that make it easier to create and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Set up file folders: Make filing cabinets in line with your company's needs. You can organize your business expenditures by creating subfolders and labeling them with descriptive terms. Incorporate Evernote: It's a mobile application that allows you to retrieve data from any location. Digital receipts allow you to make and store notes about purchases. Protect Your Company's Interests It's not enough to know the ins and outs of corporate organization. You, too, must be familiar with commercial security practices. Any business owner worth his or her salt will make protecting the company a top priority. One way to do this is to get company insurance, or to incorporate as an LLC or an S-Corp. A limited liability company (LLC) or (S-Corp) allows its owners to keep their commercial and personal funds distinct. Therefore, in the event of legal complications, neither your personal property nor your assets will be at risk. If you need to renew any important certificates or licenses to be in compliance, it's best to put doing so on your schedule. In order to avoid financial difficulties, it is necessary to take precautions to safeguard your organization. Get a bookkeeper It's not uncommon to struggle with the intricacies of accounting software. In that instance, it's best to employ a professional who specializes in corporate accounting and can handle your needs swiftly. If you hire a bookkeeper, they will handle practically all of your business's financial matters and money habits and also keep you on top of your financial records. Also, they'll help you out when you're stuck in accounting software, allowing you to better your finances and be prepared for any challenges or chances that may come your way. In addition, a bookkeeper may assist you in generating weekly and monthly reports that can be used to spot trends and take corrective action. In addition to a full-time employee, you can also use a freelance bookkeeper or a business that charges by the hour. Organizing expenses for a small business is crucial for financial management and success. By using accounting software, setting up a system for organizing receipts, categorizing expenses, tracking mileage, reconciling accounts regularly, and creating a budget, you can gain valuable insights into your business's financial health and make informed decisions about its future. 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Advice on How to Better Organize Your Company's Finances Financial management is a major obstacle for a new or small business, especially in the early stages but even sometimes later on. You can, however, avoid or deal with the potential financial difficulties. You only need the right information and a reliable method to get started. To do this, a business owner must have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of sound financial management and an appreciation for why this is especially important for a company of their size. The most common causes of a startup's demise are poor financial management and insufficient cash flow. This blog will provide essential advice for managing day-to-day business finances, with a focus on small and new businesses. To manage a company's finances, you must do things like: Bookkeeping Initiating Financial Statement Production Maintaining a Cash Flow Statement By monitoring the money coming in and going out of a small firm, you can maintain everything in order. Proper financial management boosts not only the company's bottom line, but also its market worth and reputation. Improved Tax Preparation: Paying your taxes is easier with good financial planning. You can waste a lot of money if you don't incorporate tax planning into your management strategy. Maintain Financial Stability, when armed with such security, a business can weather any economic storm. Putting your company's financial health first by prioritizing financial planning so that you may meet your short-term financial goals and stay afloat. When it comes to accounting and cash management, as well as debt funding, taxes, and a sustainable business structure, business owners would be well to consult with a tax expert or certified public accountant for sound financial counsel. You can avoid further legal difficulties with its support. Enhanced Financial Stability: Setting and meeting long-term corporate objectives is made easier with better financial management. Maintaining fiscal wellness is important for every organization, and it can help your company thrive. How to Handle Your Company's Money: Essential Advice These are some of the best financial management recommendations for entrepreneurs. Separate your business and personal finances. Separating your business and personal funds is essential. It's a useful tool for keeping records clear and organized. With a dedicated business checking account, you can see at a glance how much liquid capital is at your disposal. It is not a good idea to use your own money or credit cards for company purposes. Do not move the funds to another account in your name. Open a business checking account to accept payments and a business savings account to save money. Separating personal and business funds is recommended. It ensures that neither your personal nor your corporate finances will suffer as a result of the other. Streamline Financial Record-Keeping with Technology With today's modern tools, organizing is simpler than ever before. You can save as much data as you want, and there's an app for that. The greatest approach to avoid feeling like you're drowning in paperwork when you should be working is to convert all of your paper documents, invoices, contracts, and other business records into digital formats. If you must keep paper copies, make sure to file things away in their own designated places and label them clearly. Most of your necessary documents can be safely kept online. Accounting software is a convenient place to save all of your financial and bookkeeping records. An electronic copy of your banking information can be kept in a mobile banking app. With a cloud storage service or note taking tool, you can safely store all of your professional connections. Patent, trademark, license, and permit applications can all be stored in the cloud. Human resource management systems are able to keep track of monetary data and employee records. There are also programs like InvoiceASAP that can help you keep track of your payments and invoices, and also analyze sales and data. Any net profit or loss that occurred throughout the fiscal year, as well as any unforeseen expenses, might be reported to you as soon as they become available. Paying yourself a wage may seem counterintuitive given how carefully you should be watching your spending. You, as an entrepreneur, are well aware of the difficulty involved in generating such a profit. Saving money in this area is a reflection of how much you value it. A penny saved is a penny earned, thus being economical in business and in life will pay you in the long run. Correct Debt Management Businesses and people alike must learn to live with debt. Credit card debt, small business loans, investment for new ventures, commercial mortgage payments, bank loans for major machinery, and leases on both real estate and machinery all count as debt. Rare are the companies that are not saddled with some form of debt. So, the idea of a debt-free company in the modern day is a fantasy. In all honesty, borrowing is not frowned upon at all. Borrowing isn't free, so be sure to record all of your expenses. You may end up spending a lot of money due to the principal sum, the interest rate, and the other fees. If you feel like you might use some assistance with your finances, hire an accountant. Get your payment options sorted out Choose a reliable piece of bookkeeping software. Always make sure your tax payment is on time. You should prioritize financial management at the center of your company. Finance management is essential in any business, and enterprises are no exception. The entrepreneur must practice sound fiscal discipline and seek expert advice when necessary. When you are feeling overwhelmed by the financial administration of your business, using finance and invoicing software like InvoiceASAP can help you get back on solid ground. This program is an on-the-go invoice generator made with ease of use in mind. Track Your Money Flows Well Cash flow problems are frequently cited as the most significant obstacle for any small firm. Accurate charts of money coming in and going out of your business will shed light on its most valuable resources. A cash flow chart can be easily made with the help of accounting software. As you examine your company's revenue flow chart, you can see if there is a trend developing. You may keep tabs on your company's finances and make any required cuts to expenses by studying a flow chart of the money coming into the company on a regular basis. Use a cash flow chart to foresee any financial difficulties your company may face and avoid past mistakes. It aids in reorganizing your company in order to head off any potential financial downturns. When analyzing monetary flows, what is really important is the magnitude of the gap between the inflow and the outflow. Estimate your earnings for the coming year. It allows you to save up for the larger, more expensive investments that will pay off in the long run and bring your organization to the next level. Financial management is critical to the success and stability of any business, particularly small and new ones. Seeking expert advice and using financial and invoicing software such as InvoiceASAP can also help business owners manage their finances and cash flows. Don't let financial difficulties hinder your company's growth; take action and implement sound financial management practices today. Sign up for InvoiceASAP's invoicing app and accounting software to gain control of your finances and boost the reputation and market value of your company. Create your FREE account today!
Expert Tips for Home Service Pros: How to Stand Out in a Competitive Market Running a home service pro-business can be a rewarding and profitable venture, but with so many competitors in the market, standing out can be challenging. To succeed in this industry, it's essential to differentiate your business and provide exceptional service that keeps customers coming back. These are some tips you can use to differentiate your home service pros business and stand out in a crowded marketplace. 1. Provide Outstanding Customer Service Excellent customer service is crucial in any business, and the home service pros industry is no exception. Ensuring that your customers feel valued, heard, and respected will go a long way in building a positive reputation for your business. Be responsive, polite, and professional when interacting with clients, and go above and beyond to solve their problems. Every business needs to provide exceptional customer service, and doing so can make you stand out in a crowded market, and go the extra mile to exceed their expectations. 2. Focus on Quality Quality work is the backbone of any successful home service pros business. Ensure that you and your team provide high-quality service consistently, using the best materials, tools, and techniques. Strive for perfection in every job, and make sure your clients are satisfied with the results. Your reputation for quality workmanship will set you apart from the competition. Continuously improve your skills and knowledge, and stay up to date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices. Attend industry conferences and workshops, read trade publications, and seek out opportunities to learn and grow your skills and knowledge. 3. Offer Specialized Services Consider offering specialized services to target specific customer needs. For example, if you run a plumbing business, you could offer eco-friendly plumbing solutions for environmentally conscious customers. Focusing on a certain specialty will help you stand out from the competition and also attract customers looking for a particular service. Differentiate your services, Identify what sets your business apart from the competition, and emphasize these unique selling points in your marketing efforts. This could include offering specialized services, using eco-friendly products, or using the latest technology to enhance the customer experience. 4. Be Visible Online Online presence is essential for any organization in the modern digital era. Ensure that your business has a professional website, active social media accounts, and positive reviews on popular review sites. Invest in digital marketing to improve your visibility online and attract new customers to your business. Build a strong Online Presence in today's digital era, having a strong online presence is crucial. Build a professional website, create social media accounts, and maintain a positive online reputation by responding to reviews and feedback. 5. Develop A Unique Brand Creating a unique brand can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Develop a brand that communicates your business's values, mission, and unique selling proposition. Use a consistent brand voice and visual identity across all your marketing materials, from your website to your business cards. 6. Embrace Technology The modern customer is tech-savvy and expects businesses to use technology to enhance their experience. Consider using software to streamline your operations, automate your marketing, and manage customer interactions. Embracing technology will not only make your business more efficient but also signal to customers that you are a modern, innovative business. Embracing technology can help your business become more efficient, productive, and profitable. Mobile invoicing can improve the overall customer experience by making it easy and convenient for them to pay for your services. With mobile invoicing, customers can pay invoices from anywhere at any time, using their mobile device. This can help to make the payment process more efficient and convenient, which can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Standing out in a competitive home service pros market requires a combination of excellent customer service, high-quality work, technology adoption, specialized services, online visibility, and a unique brand. You can set your company apart from the competition, draw in new clients, and create a profitable home service pros business by putting these techniques into practice. Overall, following these tips and utilizing technology can help your business become more efficient, productive, and profitable. A way to do this is by using a mobile invoicing service like InvoiceASAP. Try InvoiceASAP today and take your business to the next level.
Your Guide to Pricing Home Repair Services No one knows the ins and outs of your small business better than you do, and when it comes to pricing home repair services, you rely on that knowledge to calculate pricing that will best help you grow your business. You may find that hourly rates work best for smaller jobs, but when facing water damage remediation or septic issues, things can get a little more complicated. Although it might be tempting to use competitors’ pricing to create your estimates, finalizing a job quote is a bit more complicated than you may have thought. What to Factor Into Your Quote Putting together your pricing for a home repair service is like perfecting a family recipe. There are multiple ingredients and steps to remember, they won’t always be used equally, it takes practice to perfect, and you will continually improve based on past mistakes. After discussing the details of the job with your client, you’ll want to start with two basics -- working out the cost for labor and materials. To work out the cost of labor you should: Estimate the total number of hours needed to complete the job Estimate the total number of employees it will take to complete the job To estimate the cost for materials you should: Write out the costs for everything Take shipping and delivery into consideration Take custom-made prices into consideration Now that you have a base number for your project-specific costs, you’ll want to factor in your overhead costs. When doing home repairs you’ll want to include: Expenses from vehicle mileage Maintenance to living expenses Insurance and licensing expenses Advertising expenses Most importantly, don’t forget to also determine a percentage in upcharges for your profit margin! Leave Room for Unexpected or Extra Expenses As a small home repair business taking on a variety of services, you likely already know those surprise problems can pop up on any job. Be transparent with your customers about the potential for unexpected, additional expenses should an issue arise while the repair job is in progress. Before you begin the job, communicate why there could be a final price increase if more labor is required or additional materials are needed. This wiggle room within your estimate can be a huge safety net to maintain your profit margin while maintaining customer satisfaction (no one likes hidden or surprise charges). Use Past Data and Other Resources Your past estimates and invoices are your friends when starting a new quote. Use reports from similar jobs that were of comparable size as a guide. Learn from your job history and make changes over time as you become even more of an expert on pricing. You can also utilize resources to help you write estimates, like a mobile invoicing app and accounting software. With this tool at your fingertips, you’d be able to look up past estimates, write new detailed quotes, and quickly convert them into client invoices after you’ve completed the job. Always think “work smarter, not harder” when growing your business, and a mobile invoice app can be a valuable tool to help you develop personalized pricing that best works for your business. Start taking advantage of InvoiceASAP’s easy-to-use invoicing tools and auto-generated reports to help you price your home repair services by signing up for a FREE account today.
How to Retain Customers and Boost Revenue with Maintenance Contracts You’ve already put in the work to attract customers, develop a relationship with your new clients, and complete maintenance jobs. So, what’s the best way to sustain your revenue and strengthen your business? Encourage your current customers to keep coming back to you for additional needs and services. Retaining clients is incredibly cost-efficient because you’ll spend less money on marketing efforts and instead focus on building long-standing relationships. According to the Harvard Business Review, finding new customers can be up to 25% more expensive for your small business than working with existing clients on new jobs. What’s more, similar research shows that increasing your retention rate by just 5% can improve your overall profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. Think it’s too good to be true? Here’s why your existing clients can be the best move to boost revenue. What is a Maintenance Contract? We’re sure you have at least a cursory understanding, but in the interest of crystal clarity: a maintenance contract is an automatically recurring agreement between your small business and a customer who pays a regular pre-set rate, tied to a schedule (usually monthly or quarterly) for a defined set of services. Often, these contracts include preventative care and routine checks a few times a year. After you work with a new client -- maybe you’re installing a new unit or completing an emergency repair -- consider pitching the idea of an ongoing contract. Set up precisely what the agreement will offer, how many times a year you’ll provide maintenance as part of the pre-set fee, and reassure your client they’ll be prioritized should more work need to be done that falls outside of the standard maintenance service. With established maintenance contracts, you can build these client relationships by offering discounted services on additional future maintenance, repairs, or new parts. Maintenance Contracts Boost Consistent Revenue As a small business owner, you have overhead costs, whether or not you get new client jobs. It can be daunting to know bills are due before you’ve secured new work. In the best case scenario, you will have steady customers that rely on you for repeat service. In this scenario, you’re securing regular income for your small business that provides stability in the off-season. Meanwhile, your customers feel secure in knowing you’re helping prevent a future headache by looking out for their well-being year-round and saving them money. That feeling of security you can provide to your customers helps make your business more “sticky” resulting in an ideal win-win situation that can guarantee future income. This is the key to establishing financial security for your small business. A Mobile Invoicing App Automates Recurring Billing for Maintenance Contracts Having maintenance contracts with multiple clients means keeping up with those quarterly or bi-annual inspections and regular invoicing. The key to managing these contracts, and getting paid quickly, is to stay organized and on schedule. So, how do you manage all that client information and routine service detail? A mobile invoicing app, like InvoiceASAP, can help you keep track of all the details, jobs, and locations, while automating billing and QuickBooks or Xero accounting syncs. Utilizing maintenance contracts, and managing them with InvoiceASAP, will help you secure stable revenue year-round, grow your personalized customer relationships, and increase your profits to improve your company long term. Start managing your maintenance contracts today by signing up for a FREE account with InvoiceASAP–Running your business has never been so easy!
You May Lose Customers If You Do Any Of These 6 Things Managing a successful small business means the effort to gain new customers never stops. However, once you’ve earned the attention of potential clients, what should you avoid doing to ensure that they continue to come back to your business for future services? Here are six things you shouldn’t do if you want to keep a valuable client. Overprice Your Services When it comes to pricing your work, you want to stay in that sweet spot where your charges are profitable but still competitive. Understanding the minimum, you could charge while still turning a profit is just as important as knowing the maximum amount people will pay for your service. In other words, how high will be considered too high? If your customers feel they got ripped off compared to pricing at similar businesses in your area, you will likely lose any future business with that client. Arrive Too Late or Too Early Best practices for customer retention should always include double-checking the date and time of your scheduled services with your customers. Showing up on time and setting a clear window for how long you’ll be at a client’s home or business will help you gain trust. Sometimes life happens – morning jobs get complicated, or traffic is unpredictable, and techs in the field could be running late. You should have an open line of communication with your customers and the techs in case any scenario should cause you to be late. Showing up to a job too early can be a problem, as your client will be preparing for a tech to arrive at a specific time. If you arrive too early, the client may be caught unprepared or not even at the job site. Leave Out Details When Communicating Whether in person, over the phone, or through email, you never want to leave details concerning the job. Being vague or leaving out specific issues can give the client the impression that you don’t have an attention to detail or that you can’t be trusted. To build trust with your client, be sure to include them in your plans and leave no guesswork, providing detailed information. Forgetting to Be Specific With Your Estimates and Invoices Attention to detail should also be carried over when you’re writing up estimates and invoices. Itemizing and allocating costs for separate categories or specific needs will help the client better understand your reasoning for the total charge. The transparency you create by doing this is invaluable for customer satisfaction and retention. Have a Complicated or Limited Payment System With contactless and digital payments becoming more popular, customers want to have options when paying their invoices. Thanks to online payment portals, portable card scanners, mobile payment technology, and mobile invoice app software, setting up a variety of payment options has never been easier. Some customers feel more secure knowing that a credit card policy protects them, and others will want to use whichever payment method they think is the most hassle-free. Regardless, giving your client payment choices will improve their overall satisfaction and ultimately help get that money in your pocket faster. Fail to Communicate Regularly Communication, again? Yes! It is that important! If you are sensing an overall theme here, it’s because communication is such an essential part of every step when working with a client. It must be a massive part of your customer retention plan after a job has ended. You’ve likely collected email addresses and phone numbers from past clients and anyone who’s reached out about potential work. Keep this information organized and regularly follow-up with customers about future needs. You also want to be sure that your contact information is readily available. Organized information makes it easy for clients to reach out to you about work inquiries, strengthens your brand’s reputation, and helps foster a relationship with your local community. When you sign up for a FREE InvoiceASAP account, you can avoid many of these major small business mistakes. Our invoicing and accounting platform allows you to create professional invoices, keep detailed records and notes of every client while helping you manage jobs, locations, and team members working in the field.
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!