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.
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!
Person Working at desk with Mac Computer

4 Important Questions to Answer Before Purchasing Accounting Software

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