Effective ways to improve your employee's customer engagement

Effective ways to improve your employee’s customer engagement

Building a strong team to run your organization requires more than simply outstanding hires. To achieve long-term success in field services, you must concentrate on techniques to raise employee engagement once you've assembled a fantastic team. Employees that are happy and motivated rely on their employer to give their work purpose. Also, a more engaged team has a better probability of producing results. Finding strategies to maintain and enhance employee engagement within your field service organization is crucial. Employee engagement is essentially determined by a person's dedication to their job and their emotional ties to their team and employer. Depending on how connected a person is to their profession, they might genuinely enjoy what they do and want to work for their business in the long run. On the other hand, they can have a bad opinion of their business and be prepared to leave. Improving employee engagement is a critical aspect of running a successful business. When employees are engaged and motivated, they are more likely to provide high-quality service to customers. Also, engaged workers are more likely to remain with your business over the long term, which lowers turnover costs and boosts your customers experience and increase productivity in general. In this blog post, we will explore some effective ways to improve employee engagement to benefit customer service. Provide ongoing training Providing ongoing training for your employees is essential to ensure they have the skills and knowledge required to deliver exceptional customer service. Regular training sessions can also help to keep employees engaged and motivated. Recognize and reward exceptional performance Recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance is an effective way to improve employee engagement. Employees who feel that their hard work and contributions are recognized and appreciated are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This is achievable through a variety of programs, including bonuses, employee of the month awards, or promotions.  Foster a culture of collaboration  Fostering a culture of collaboration is essential for improving employee engagement levels. Encouraging employees to work together and share ideas can help to create a sense of community and belonging. This can also be achieved through team-building activities, collaborative projects, or regular team meetings. Set clear expectations It is essential to establish clear expectations for your employees regarding customer service. This means outlining what is expected of them in terms of behavior, attitude, and performance. Employees should understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and the impact it has on the success of the business. Foster a positive work environment The work environment can have a significant impact on employee engagement. Creating a positive work environment can help to boost morale and encourage employees to go the extra mile for customers. This can be achieved through a range of initiatives, such as team building activities, social events, and regular recognition of employee achievements. Provide a supportive work-life balance Providing a supportive work-life balance is crucial for improving employee engagement levels. Employees who feel that they have a healthy work-life balance are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This can be achieved through initiatives such as flexible working hours, remote working, or time off for personal commitments. Offer competitive compensation Offering competitive compensation is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. Paying employees fairly for their work can help to ensure they feel valued and appreciated, which can improve engagement and motivation levels. Provide opportunities for career development Providing opportunities for career development is an essential factor in employee engagement. Employees who feel that they have a clear career path within the company are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Offering training and development programs, as well as career advancement opportunities, can help to keep employees engaged and invested in the success of the business, making it  stand out from the rest. Encourage employee feedback Encouraging employee feedback is an effective way to improve engagement levels. Employees who feel that their opinions are heard and valued are more likely to be motivated and engaged. Implementing regular feedback mechanisms, such as employee surveys or suggestion boxes can help to improve communication and engagement levels.  Lead by example Finally, Setting an example for others is crucial when it comes to engagement of employees. Managers and leaders who demonstrate a commitment to engagement and motivation are more likely to inspire their employees to do the same. This can be achieved through regular communication, recognition of employee achievements, and leading by example.  Improving employee engagement is critical for delivering exceptional customer service, you can improve engagement levels and create a culture of high-quality customer service in your organization.
5 Ways to Increase Your Income by Effectively Upselling Home Services

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.
How to Better Organize Your Company's Finances

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

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.
man doing a home repair service by measuring the floor

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.
repair man fulfilling a maintenance contract

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! 
business owner negotiating with woman to make a 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!
man accepting a remote payment for an invoice

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.
man turning a free estimate into a paid invoice

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.