Is It Time to Start Using Software in Your Business?


Tim McGuire
VP of Content and Community
July 2, 2019
minutes to read

In a recent blog, we discussed evaluating field service management software and how to find the right option for your business. But before you even make it to the point of evaluation, you must answer an important question: Is it time to start using software in my business? 

For some this is an easy decision. However, for home service businesses with little (or no) software experience, taking the plunge can seem daunting. That’s why you need to look seriously at the way you run things, find your pain points, and identify the areas in which you can improve and grow. 

Here’s how to know if the time is right. 

Why now?

There are certain statements that a business owner who is ready for software says often. If any or all of the statements below sound like you, the choice is clear — and the time is right. 

“I want to make life easier for my staff.” 

  • Software will increase efficiency, thus allowing your team to get more done. 
  • Since all of your service technicians will have access to the software on their devices, you can hire more techs without having to hire more office staff.

“I’d like to provide a better customer experience.”

  • Have you had any missed appointments? Reliable software helps ensure these are a thing of the past.
  • You’ll get the right tech to the job, and solve the problem in one trip.
  • You are better able to schedule around customer constraints — i.e., it’s more likely you’ll be able to be there when the customer is available.
  • Your ability to communicate with customers before, during and after the job will dramatically improve.

“I’m looking to increase revenue opportunities.”

  • Better tracking of customer information, such as equipment, allows for better marketing and upsell opportunities.
  • Having a pricebook and presentation capabilities means you’ll be able to offer a number of different options to the customer.
  • Many businesses don’t sell service agreements because of tracking difficulty. But depending on your software choice, selling and maintaining these may now be a simple undertaking. 

“I need better analytics — and maybe better decision-making.”

  • Having the right numbers allows you to make better, more informed decisions — as long as the numbers are accurate. You no longer will be making decisions based on your gut.

By the way, if you are still using paper rather than software, you are not alone! But that could be another reason why now is the time to switch to software. In looking at our current Pointman customers, we found that nearly 50% made the switch to our software from paper — in other words, more than half were not yet using any type of software, and could see that paper was not giving them everything they needed. 

Once you’ve made the decision that the time is right to make a change, you can move on to the next step: actually making your software decision. We’ll discuss that move in an upcoming blog. 

As you work through this process, remember that we are here to discuss your goals, your options and your apprehensions. Our members had many of the pain points you have right now — check out some testimonials to hear why Pointman was the best business growth solution for them.

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

Pass Along these Points
Do you want to see why Pointman is the solution for many of the most successful contractors in the industry today?
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Do you want to see why Pointman is the solution for many of the most successful contractors in the industry today?
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