Building a field service business can be relatively easy or almost impossible depending on how you go about it. Managing your finances, family, customers and employees can be overwhelming, so here’s a few tips to help your business grow and succeed.
Put systems in place to help with getting to jobs on time, ready and with the right tools. Make invoicing and quoting as easy as possible and use an accounting tool like Xero or Quickbooks Online to help manage your accounts. No matter what, the systems you use must be able to grow with your business or they’ll be useless as soon as you start expanding. Putting adaptable systems in place at the start will mean you wont have to start implementing them while you’re juggling paper records and doing jobs at the same time. All this backend stuff is difficult and often boring, but invaluable to have while you’re building your business and gathering customers.
Keep customers happy. Pissed off customers aren’t going to recommend you to other people and can actually harm you with bad reviews. Try to get as much customer feedback as possible when you start out and make sure you address complaints as quickly as possible. In particular, make sure your employees are on-time, polite and know what they’re doing – late arrivals, rudeness and shoddy work are the easiest things for customers will notice, but if you and you’re employees areproperly prepared you’ll never have to deal will customers wanting their money back. Run through customer interactions with new recruits before sending them off on their own and spend one day a month training all your employees so they have the skills needed to help expand your business into new areas.
Build company loyalty. When growing your business, lots of employees leaving and new ones being hired means you have to do a hell of a lot of orientation training. The more invested your employees are in your company succeeding, the harder they’ll work to improve its reputation. Resolve disputes when you can, pay them on time and get rid troublemakers before they drive off your hard workers. Running regular training sessions that add to their skillsets will also improve loyalty along with giving you more services to offer to customers.
Don’t wait for the customer to come to you. When you start out, the only people who know your company exists are your family and friends. To grow, you’ll need more than that. Make sure your first customers come away happy – they’re the ones who will be suggesting your business to others in the first few months. Build a website that outlines the services and as you grow, expand those services or place emphasis on ones that will give you better business – yearly maintenance of installed appliances for example.
Cash is king, so get paid on time. It doesn’t matter how much work you’ve done if your next mortgage payment is due tomorrow and you haven’t even sent an invoice yet. Use your systems and customer relation skills to reduce the time between invoicing and receiving payment. Remember the sooner you invoice, the sooner the money will come through, so make sure you invoice each job after its done and not all of them over the weekend. Your customers will appreciate not having to wait as well.
What was the best thing you did to grow your field service business? Leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.
Scheduleflow is an Australia-based small business automation software solution for field service businesses, serving customers in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. To find out more, click here.