Monthly Archives: February 2012

Automatic Billing: The Headache Saver

As a small business, one of the most important things you can do to stay ahead is to keep your finances organized.  Streamline your billing and payment processes with the right software to save you time, make your job easier, and ensure that calculations are accurate and invoices are being delivered on time.  A service management software that provides your company with automatic billing and integrates with QuickBooks is an easy, assured way to keep your finances in order, all while taking the headache out of tracking your finances.  What can automatic billing do for your company?  Here are three things that automatic billing can do to help your business, and save you the headache:

  1.  Finish your job with the press of a button.  Automatic billing gives your technicians the freedom and convenience of billing your customers directly on site, with the press of a button, from a mobile device.  The technician just has to enter the job details, and an invoice can be generated, and emailed to the client right on the spot.  No need to wait until you are back at the office; saving you time, and ensuring you will get paid more quickly.
  2. Custom Invoices.  An automatic billing application that comes as part of a service management solution like Service Proz allows you to create and send custom invoices containing the information you want your customer to see.  It can also include your jargon, your logo, and your business details.  The invoices can then be printed on site, emailed, or sent in the mail, whatever way you choose to invoice your customers.
  3. Integration with QuickBooks.  Your invoices and payments will be sent directly to QuickBooks, so that you can balance your books and all your billing information will be stored in one place.  It eliminates extra steps you might take in tracking your billing information, helping with your accounting, filing taxes, and more.

Automatic billing simplifies your job, saving you time, human errors and other complications that come with keeping track of business finances.  It can cut down the time that it takes customers to pay you.  Once you make the commitment to add automatic billing to your business processes, you will wonder what you ever did without it.

Visit Service Proz’s YouTube channel HERE to see how their billing applications work.

Friday Fun Facts for Cleaning Companies

You are looking to start a cleaning company, or you are an established cleaning company looking for more business.  Curious as to what the odds are of getting residential cleaning jobs in the U.S?  The following facts are courtesy of


Research shows that the majority of residential cleaning service customers make more than $75,000 annually.

These households are all potential or current customers of a residential cleaning service business.  Are you targeting the right demographics?  

Some people in the cleaning service business worry that there is too much competition to get enough clients.

That means…

There are PLENTY of potential residential cleaning customers to go around! 

With the right combination of high quality, attentive staff, good marketing, an engaging website, and a commitment to customer service, your cleaning company can be generating substantial revenues!  Keep this in mind as you start or grow your cleaning company.  You have lots of potential

Have a happy Friday, from Service Proz!

Bring In More Customers With Videos on Your Site

You’ve GOT to be different!

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again.  The home service business industry is competitive.  As a customer, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate.   A few years ago, you might have been able to differentiate yourself by just having a website.  Today, it’s not that easy.  Now, websites all start to look the same.  Competitors feed off each other, so colors, design, and messaging tend to be similar.  But you have worked hard for your business.  You want a consumer to be wowed by your business before you even provide them with a service.  You want them to pick up the phone and choose to call your business for service.

So What?

A great differentiator that you can use to set your website, AND your company apart from the crowd is using videos.  Showing an example of what your business can do establishes trust in a consumer’s mind.  It is a more concrete and imaginative way to demonstrate your capabilities and differentiation than words.  This is the perfect opportunity to give your customers, or potential customers, a taste of how your business works, and why they should choose you.

What To Show and Where?

There are three different videos that would be beneficial to host on your site, and on your YouTube channel.

1.  An “About Our Business” video, or short commercial looks great on the home page of your website.  It makes your website personal, it gives your customers a great understanding of what your business can do, and demonstrates that you truly care about your business.

2.   A “How Our Business Works” video can work very well on your Services pages.  It can also function as a great way to capture website visitors’ information.  Have them fill out a contact form in exchange for viewing the video.

3.  A “Testimonial” video goes well on your home page or on your testimonials page.  This is another great way to establish brand trust with your potential customers.  Hearing praises about your business from an actual person is a strong reassurance to your potential customer that they are picking the right business for their needs.

Now What?

Wondering where to start with adding videos to your website to help differentiate your business from the rest?  Here are a few steps you can take to create and post videos to generate a bigger interest in your business and give you a great competitive edge.

1.  Decide what types of videos you would like to create and promote on your website or YouTube channel, or both!

2.  Contact a media company like Twisted Media to see what sort of videos you can create with the budget that you have.

3.  Create your videos!

4.  Post your videos in the appropriate areas – don’t forget to start a YouTube channel if you don’t have one.

5.  Use social media to promote your new videos.

Looking for an Example?

Chicago based carpet cleaning company Unique Upholstery, Carpet and Rug Cleaning Inc. does a great job utilizing videos to promote their services.  Check out their website here for some examples.

Do you use videos to promote your home service business?

Love Your Business this Valentine’s Day

Service Proz is offering 50% off a year’s subscription to their all-in-one service management solution.  Are you tired of scheduling your employees by hand,  using Excel to keep track of your inventory, and using paper systems to keep track of your customers and billing?  Transform your business this Valentine’s day with Service Proz’s complete service management solution, including drag and drop scheduling, routing, automatic billing with QuickBooks integration, inventory management, a CRM, and more!  But hurry, this offer ends February 14th at 5:00 P.M. PST.  Call (877) 880-8979 today or email to sign up and transform your business!

Experience the Power of Printing from Anywhere, Anytime

Imagine being able to print something from anywhere, whenever you need to.  If a customer wants a printed invoice at the end of a job, voila!  You can use your mobile device to print to a portable printer in your truck, and hand them a copy.  If your office needs that same invoice (so they can sign off on it) before you leave your job site, you can print to the office printer as well.  It is instant gratification in its simplest form, giving you the power to keep detailed records, stay on top of your business, and provide that little extra customer service for your clients at the same time.

Companies like Google and HP are offering printing in the cloud; just another one of the many benefits of cloud computing.  This functionality allows you to print to a printer of your choice from any device that offers email services.  Printers that offer cloud printing services come with a specific email address.  As long as you have this email address, you can print to the printer from anywhere, at any time, without being directly connected to the printer.  While this may seem counterproductive to the “green” movement, businesses have to face that fact, that at this time, it is not possible to be entirely paperless.  E-print can help give your customers peace of mind, allow your technicians to capture signatures and approvals in real time, and allows your business to keep detailed records for auditors and tax purposes.

Cloud printing, or e-printing, is just another fascinating new technology that can improve your business processes.  Combined with a robust service management solution, you can keep your business organized all while wowing your customer.  Learn about printing in the cloud today, and think about its potential for your business.

To learn more, visit the below links:

Google Cloud Printing

HP ePrint

Have you had experience with cloud printing?  How has it helped your business?

Make Your Business Unforgettable with Innovation

A 21st century business has a lot to compete with.  We are headed on the fast track to flying cars and robot maids.  Long gone are the days when people went to the corner hardware store, used the only barbers in town, and were loyal customers for life.  We live in a world of innovation, and in order to compete, you must use innovation to your advantage as well.  Here are three innovative ways for making your business unforgettable to your customers, ensuring that they will continue to be drawn to your services and return often to buy more.

Have A Creative (and DIFFERENT) Web Presence:

It is easy to fall into the trap of creating a website that looks like your competitors’ sites.  It is the safe, professional route to take.  But you are making a fatal error by doing this.  There is no differentiation.  You don’t just want to look like your competitors; you want to BLOW them out of the water.  Use bright colors, capture people’s attention with fun activities, wording, videos and other engaging tools.  Take for example.  They have an AMAZING site.  Not only does it entirely reflect what they do, with no room for confusion, but they engage with their website visitors with fun interactive tools like a bubble popping game (who doesn’t like clicking things!) and a spoof video.  The website captures the idea that MaidPro LOVES what they do, and they do it well.  It is an unforgettable site, and leaves a lasting impression that visitors are unlikely to forget.

Set Yourself Apart with a New Reputation:

People stereotype.  It’s what they do.  And that comes from experiences that people have in their life, particularly their experiences in the retail world.  Gem Plumbing used these stereotypes to their advantage.  Knowing that people get frustrated with the fact that plumbers tend to track mud and dirt into their homes, and are usually known more for their “plumber’s cracks” than for their service, Gem decided to change the way people view plumbers.  By implementing the business policy that all of their plumbing technicians were required to wear company uniforms and booties on site, they fundamentally changed people’s views of what to expect from a plumber’s visit.  Come up with a creative way to change your industry, and use it as your unique selling point.  If people know their service will be different and better if they call you, your business is sure to become unforgettable.

It’s MORE Than Just a Name:

A name is more than just what you register your business with.  It is your brand, your identity, and your first impression.  It comes with an image.  You need to make sure that your business name is memorable, identifiable, and creative.  Think about the Geek Squad from Best Buy.  This service business provides IT services to homes and businesses throughout the U.S.  Their brand is memorable because they used a creative, fun name as the jumping off point for the rest of their image; from their brightly marked technician Beatles to their employees’ uniforms.

The home service business industry is incredibly competitive.  It is important to stand out from the crowd.  It is the first way to wow your potential customers.  Setting yourself apart from your competition doesn’t just show that you do things differently, it also demonstrates the passion you have your for your business.  Start brainstorming…

Using the 4 P’s at Your Home Service Business

A few months back, we wrote a short blog about “3 Reasons Why Your Services is Your Product.” In that blog, we outlined why home services businesses that don’t sell a physical product should still consider your “service” as a “product”. At the end of that blog we mentioned a marketing technique called The Marketing Mix and in this blog we will expand on a famous classification of this tool named “The 4Ps of Marketing.” We recognize that many small business owners will not have attended business school so here’s our useful overview that you can put into practice and make your life easier when taking your services to market.

To many marketers, the four “P” words (commonly, and more aptly, known as the 4Ps) are the golden fundamentals of all marketing. The 4Ps are the starting point to success in marketing your business and your services. For small business owners that often only think of marketing as something only big firms with big budgets do, the 4Ps may seem a bit of a mystery, but by following the simple framework you can transform your thinking and take your services to market more effectively. And more effective marketing creates more demand, leading to increased revenues.

Developed in the 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy, a marketing professor at Michigan State University, the 4Ps stand for product, place, promotion, and price; the four key elements of marketing any product or service.

Product: Be clear about exactly what you are selling to your customers. You may not have a tangible product to sell but know if you are selling “home cleaning services”, “landscaping services” or “pest control services.” The more precise you are with telling people what service you are selling, the greater the chance you’ll end up targeting the right people: those people who want to buy your services.
Place: Where will you be selling your services? Will it be online via sites such as Angie’s List, on your company’s website, via the telephone, or using some or all of these techniques? Here you are deciding on how people will be able to buy from you. By making it simple, you can encourage more people to buy without needing to ask many questions because questions create confusion, and confusion drives potential customers away.
Promotion: How will you promote your business and services? Will you advertise in local newspapers, or display your logo on your field service representatives’ vehicles? Even the subtle use of your logo on a business card or estimate is an example of Promotion. Think carefully about where and how you want your future customers to find out about you.
Price: Decide on how you will charge for your services. Is it by the job, by the hour, by the square foot, or by some other measurement? How will you incorporate your running costs and overheads? Whatever approach suits your business should be clear and transparent to your customer, and price with no hidden charges. And remember to add some margin too because you still need to make a profit.

In recent times, marketers have expanded this framework into the 7Ps however we will keep it straightforward will stick with this
shorter model. But what do you think of this model, and what are your experiences of adopting this?