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 jobEstimate 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 everythingTake shipping and delivery into considerationTake 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 mileageMaintenance to living expensesInsurance and licensing expensesAdvertising 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! 
plumber is losing housewife as a customer

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. 
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!
auto-generated reports for small businesses

How InvoiceASAP’s Auto-Generated Reports Help You Manage Your Field Service Business

When you choose InvoiceASAP for your business, you get more than just invoicing; you get vital tools that are necessary to manage a successful business. Creating an account with InvoiceASAP gives you access to real-time auto-generated reports that are easy to access, easy to understand, and provide critical KPI's (Key Performance Indicators).  These auto-generated reports allow you to track and engage with your most valuable customers, manage outstanding invoices, and understand which products or services are performing the best. They can also help you manage employee performance, restock inventory, and make critical business decisions. All of our reports are managed through designated administrator privileges, enabling you to control who can and can't view and use of the information. Your administrator, which depending on the size of your business, could be you, will be able to easily grant or restrict access to your company's auto-generated reports.  Valuable Auto-Generated InvoiceASAP Reports You Need to Start Using Today InvoiceASAP's auto-generated reports make managing your business easier than ever, and when it comes to an understanding of how well your business is running, knowing real-time information can help you make crucial decisions that can increase your bottom line. Here are some of the valuable reporting tools InvoiceASAP offers for your business: Top Consumer Sales Reports The Top Customer Sales Reports will show you which customers are your best customers now, and which ones are the most valuable to your business long-term.  The best type of customer for most businesses is a returning customer. You need to be able to identify who these returning customers are and build a strong relationship with them so you can keep them coming back. Customer loyalty can drive the success of your business.  Along with the Top Customer Sales Report is your A/Receivable Report, where you will also see unpaid customer metrics, so you can see what customers may have outstanding invoices and how much revenue you have tied up. Knowing who has outstanding invoices, and being able to connect with them through the InvoiceASAP app quickly, makes it easier to get paid for the products or services you provide. Top Item Sales Reports Do you know what your best selling products or services are? Or how well each of your products or services are selling, and how much you are making from them? If you don't already know this information backward and forward, you should. And this report makes it easy to have the information accessible at any time. With a Top Items Sales Report, you can see total sales, average cost, and the number sold regarding your products or services. This critical information can help you make strategic decisions about your products and services. The more you know about the turnover of your products or the services costing you the most money to deliver, the better grounded your decisions will be concerning a given product or service going forward.  Payment Reports Keeping track of how your business is accepting payments is essential for understanding your customer and your business.  Are you taking payments by check? Credit card? Cash? Know how your customers are paying and how much you are bringing in through each method of payment.  Knowing how your customers prefer to pay empowers you to make payment easier. Now, with InvoiceASAP, your customers can make a payment with fees as low as 1%.  User Reports With User Reports, you can monitor and manage the people who are working for you. Manage user and employee performance and activity in real-time. This insight allows you to track and enhance productivity going forward.  User Reports can be especially useful if you are managing a mobile team who must go out into the field to provide services. These reports allow you to see employees with the top sales, and those who have outstanding invoices. Inventory Reports   Your Inventory Reports are vital. These real-time reports generate how much product you have left to sell, so you know when you need to restock.  Not knowing how much inventory you have in stock places your company in a vulnerable position. If your inventory is too low, you run the risk of selling out. When you sell out of inventory, customers can't make purchases, and this can significantly impact your bottom line.  If you are an InvoiceASAP user and are not already taking advantage of these valuable resources, we encourage you to start using them to manage your business.  If you don't already have an account with InvoiceASAP, be sure to sign up for free so you, too, can take advantage of the many services we offer.  Take a look at some of the other valuable auto-generated reports available through InvoiceASAP:  Invoice ReportsPayment ReportsCustomer ReportsUser ReportsEstimate Reports Sales ReportsItem ReportsProfitability ReportsTax Reports Auto-Generated Reports Benefit Your Business and Your Customers Upgrade your business management with auto-generated reports. Merchants will have quick access to vital data related to sales, customers, profitability, inventory, and employees using the InvoiceASAP dashboard.  There is no more need to work with complicated accounting software or complicated, messy spreadsheets. Now, you can have all of your valuable information auto-generated in a centralized location.   From your dashboard, managers can easily track customer and employee performance, employees can better manage their relationships with their customers through easy access to A/R Reporting, and your accountants can easily access and manage Tax Reports for your business.  Your customers also benefit from auto-generated reports provided by InvoiceASAP. These reports help strengthen customer relationships through better communication and increased efficiency. Easily manage your Customer Relationships and view Customer History, so you can quickly identify and anticipate each customer's needs. All of this increases customer experience and satisfaction. Learn more about how InvoiceASAP's auto-generated reports can help you manage your business by creating a free account.