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Business Software: Make Trade Business Management Easier

While it’s absolutely possible to run your business completely off of pen, paper, and maybe a little excel, utilizing a business management software will make your life so much easier! Business management softwares essentially takes every type of administrative task that your business needs in order to function, and brings it together in one centralized location. This way, you’ll be able to handle tasks like managing your inventory, scheduling new jobs, tracking your employees’ time, and much more from wherever your day may take you!

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Field Service Management Software

Field Service Management Software is a form of business management software that’s been specifically designed to fit the needs of trade service businesses. Many of these services offer integrations for credit card processing, customer management features, clock-in/clock-out notifications, and other extras that help you to stay in the know about everything that’s happening in your business.

 

Before you start looking for an online business software, it’s important that you’ve defined any pain points or weaknesses that your business may have in regards to operations and workflow. Do you need help streamlining booking new jobs? Could your accounting methods be more efficient? How are you currently managing your techs’ schedules so that no work falls through the cracks? How are you minimizing the time between invoice and payment? Are you communicating with your customers in a way that gives them visibility and reassurance?

 

Once you’ve identified what needs to be fixed and what could be more efficient, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for when comparing options. Not all field service management softwares are created equal, and many have big differences in areas like pricing, workflow design, customer support, and integrations.

For example, FieldPulse’s software is designed to fit the needs of small-to-medium sized businesses and adapt to their unique workflows, whereas ServiceTitan caters to larger businesses and requires you to adapt your workflow to their software, not the other way around. FieldEdge requires that you have a full-time office admin in order to use their software, and Service Titan requires that you have a minimum of three technicians on staff.

 

Some softwares (like FieldPulse) also offer one standard price that comes with everything you could need, whereas other softwares like Service Fusion have tiered pricing models for different levels of functionality. Another factor to consider is that not all software services give you the option to talk to someone on their support team should you have a question or product issue. So, if having an actual human there to answer your questions is important to you, be sure to check if the softwares you’re comparing offers that level of support.

 

You should also check if the software you’re considering offers free implementation support, or if it’s tacked on as an additional cost. Another factor to consider is the overall cost of the software. To put it bluntly, can you really afford it?

 

Lastly, it’s very important to keep in mind that the software you end up choosing should be easy to use for anyone on your team, no matter their position. Make sure that the software you pick can be easily understood by your technicians so that they can spend less time on trying to figure out where to fill out job information and more time doing the actual job.

Many trade service businesses will usually start off with using services like Cash App and PayPal. Yes these services are “free” which may make them seem like the best option, but in reality they make it a lot easier to lose money with issues like payments not going through, customers not paying correctly, or account freezes. Square is also a fair option and is far more secure than the other two, but that security comes with high transaction rates. Look for an integrated payments system instead to save money and headaches.

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Accounting Software

While it may seem boring and mundane, keeping on top of your business’s accounting is essential to running your business like a well-oiled machine. The last thing anyone wants is to have an unexpected bill or massive discrepancy in their reporting come up, so we’d recommend that you utilize accounting software to keep everything organized and in one place.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is an excellent option as far as accounting softwares is concerned. It offers a full suite of accounting, budgeting, inventory, tax filing, and expense tools that will help you stay up to date on how healthy your business is financially. They also offer great reporting options to make generating cash flow, balance, and profit/loss reports a breeze.

CRM

Having a customer relationship management (CRM) software system can be a huge asset to your business. A CRM software will help you to keep a centralized database of all your customer’s information in a way that’s easily accessible. You’ll be able to keep detailed, customizable records that can store comments about the customer, track that customer’s job update, and even associate certain customer profiles with one another.

 

Most field service management software has a built-in CRM and sales component, but there are several features you should look for when comparing options. You’ll want profiles that contain multiple points of contact, as well as links to that customer’s signed documents, previous job history, invoices, and estimates. And ideally, you should be able to segment your customer base into lists which will help you to refine your sales process and identify upsell opportunities.

 

By using a CRM system, your whole team will have access to all the information they could need about a particular customer, which will enable them to provide a high-quality service experience that in turn helps to build long lasting relationships with your customers.

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Call Management System

If you haven’t already looked into setting up a call management software, we highly recommend that you do. Having just one office phone for customers to reach you at isn’t sustainable for busy seasons, and also opens you up to losing new business by not always answering your phone. If you’ve tried to get around this by using your personal number, we can guarantee that you’ll quickly get annoyed by having your phone buzzing at all hours of the day. You could buy your entire team work phones, however this can quickly get expensive.

 

To give you an example of a great call management system, we’re going to walk you through some of the benefits of FieldPulse’s call management software, Engage.

 

Engage is a great alternative to buying your entire team phones as it can be installed on any phone. With Engage, any one of your team members will be able to answer calls, voicemails, and text messages on the company line while still keeping their personal number separate, and most importantly, private. By using managed lines, your team can work together to respond to your customers and instantly gain a single view of past conversations between your customers and your techs and jump into text conversations with customers when needed.

 

Best of all, Engage fully integrates with FieldPulse so that you can quickly access your customer list. When your customers call or text you, their contact information, previous jobs, and invoices will all be available to you.

While it’s not essential that you adapt a business management software in your early days of business, it will absolutely give you a leg up on managing the endless amount of tasks that come with running a business. If you’re interested in exploring what FieldPulse’s FSM software has to offer set up a free live product demo!

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