Electrician’s software could be the magic ingredient you have been looking for if the problems below sound familiar:
- Is your head bursting because you are trying to keep too much detail in there?
- Do you make mistakes when you forget something occasionally?
- Are you looking for ways to grow your electrical business without losing control?
If you plan to grow beyond a one man with a van and an invoice pad, you will need software, so it makes sense to have it from the beginning. If you buy specialist electrician software now, it will provide an uncrackable six-inch reinforced concrete base to build your operation on.
Growing Your Electrician’s Business
It would be handy if you could be in your office answering the phone at the same time as crawling through a hot roof space wiring lights for a bathroom: You could clone yourself.
However, your clone would still take 25 years to reach adulthood, and even then it will have a mind of its own and might want its own life.
Capture More Leads
Problem: You need a knowledgeable person to answer the phone and give quotes there and then rather than just taking messages and arranging for you to phone back.
Solution: Adult family members will need to fill in until your cloned self/slave is ready to do your bidding.
Train your significant other in your business. Take your partner out on jobs with you for a few months to build a minimum level of expertise. Upload a list of standard jobs and their prices into your software so your assistant can give rough quotes instantly.
Problem: Monitoring social media takes time that you don’t have.
Solution: Your office helper can use social listening apps or software on their mobile phone to look out for potential leads and monitor local Facebook groups for anyone who is looking for an electrician.
It might only be a detail to one of your team, but it could be crucial to a customer having a good day. Everything needs to go right, every time, every day.
When a customer asks for a quote, you are almost there. But you still have plenty of chances to get it wrong:
Problem: Inaccurate quotes that make you a loss or are too high for the customer to accept
Solution: Know your costs and have them with you on your phone or tablet. Your electricians’ software should let you upload prices for cable and other components as well as your hourly rate.
Problem: Delaying quotes until the end of the day: When you ring back you are starting the sales process all over again when you had almost won the work on your site visit.
Solution: Use your trade app to prepare the quote on your site visit. Send it to the customer’s printer and go over it with her. Your enthusiasm will win you more jobs.
You need cash coming in to pay your bills. Late payments can send you into the red.
Problem: You didn’t notice payments had not arrived because you only check all your invoices every few weeks.
Solution: Use an electrician’s app that automatically alerts you when a payment is overdue. You can then follow up with a quick phone call or send out a reminder for particularly tricky customers.
Updating Your Accounts
If you are still updating your accounts paid and due by going through two hundred pieces of paper by hand, you naturally put off the tedious process because it takes a weekend to get everything right.
Problem: It takes too long to update your accounts by hand, even if you do use an accounts software package.
Solution: Use an app that syncs your accounts every time you mark an invoice as ‘Paid’.
Any mistake could destroy your reputation, and a local electrician with no rep has no work. You cannot afford mistakes, either yours or an employee’s.
Unhappy customers never keep their grievances to themselves, so you need to get them to talk to you instead of their friends.
Problem: You don’t know you have an unhappy customer: This is a big one and is one you can avoid easily.
Solution: Phone the customer. Not tomorrow, not this evening, but within ten minutes of your team marking the job as complete in their phone app. If there is a problem, make it a top priority to get around there within a few minutes and clear it up. You leave a customer who raves about you rather than raving at you. You turn a social media disaster into a referral opportunity.
But the key is to know when the job is complete, and that’s why everyone who works for you must use the same electrician’s app.
Growing your electrical business means taking on other electricians, and an employee will worry less about your reputation than you do. Accept that and communicate with customers directly to ensure they are ecstatic about the service you provide.
Long Story Short
Electrician software is essential to getting the details right and avoiding mistakes. The right software will include quoting, invoicing and time-on-site components as well as integrating with your accounts software.