You’ve been running your small business non-stop and finally you’re in a spot where you can take a breath. You have a regular clientele, you’ve achieved that magical status of having a healthy cash flow, and maybe you’ve even hired great staff. It’s time to take a step back and look at how you can start scaling your business in a smart way.
Scaling your business means optimizing your business so you can get as much value as possible out of the resources you have. It also means rethinking some of your existing processes to improve your productivity. If you no longer have to work 15-hour days putting out small fires, it’s time to shift your focus from the day-to-day grind and start thinking about your operational strategies.
- Organize your customers in a CRM system
The larger your company gets, the harder it’ll be to keep track of every customer’s needs. This is where a CRM system, short for customer relationship management, can be enormously helpful.
CRM systems allow you to ditch the address book and organize all of your customers in one place. You can keep track of current jobs, invoices, past calls, and more. As a result, you can serve them more effectively.
Another benefit of a CRM is that it makes your team more effective. Your sales team can use client information to determine which products to pitch. The service team can review job details so they can do the work correctly. Your administrative team can keep track of which invoices have been paid, which are outstanding, and which need to be sent out.
- Always follow up on quotes
People get busy. This doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in the job they requested a quote for. They may need a gentle nudge or reminder. Simply following up can line up work for the next month.
Take this seriously by dedicating time to follow up with your prospects, so you don’t leave any quotes collecting dust.
Whether you’re advertising or networking, it takes effort to get leads. Make sure your efforts aren’t wasted. You can demonstrate great customer service, generate more business, and recoup your advertising investment by simply following up on your quotes.
- Meticulously track your time
Every organization is filled with tasks that drain productive hours. Tracking time can help you identify those unproductive tasks and find opportunities to optimize your business. You can’t fix something if you don’t notice the problem. This is why employee time tracking is important.
Of course, you don’t want to also waste time tracking time. This is where software solutions are useful. Fifteen to twenty minutes spent recording job times each day is up to two hours of lost productivity a week. Time that could be spent doing the work is spent recording other work.
- Create and send professional invoices
If you’ve been sending informal emails or texts asking for the balance owing, it’s time to switch over to professional invoices. An invoice documents the completed job, the price for each service or product, and other necessary information like payment date, late fees, and payment methods all on one document.
You’re a professional, so your communications with customers should be professional as well. So what do you need to include in a professional invoice?
- Invoice number: Easy reference for you and the customer
- Individual line items: Questions about the invoice equals a delay in payment. Provide detailed information about the total cost to avoid any confusion
- Dates: Include the date of issue and the date when payment is due
- Total amount owed: Don’t forget to include applicable taxes and discounts
- Payment instructions: Leave no room for confusion here
- Make it as easy as possible for customers to pay
Most late payments are not late for malicious reasons. They’re late because the client simply forgot. They saw the invoice, made a mental note to write a check…and then promptly filed that mental note away to some dark, dusty corner of their mind.
Have you considered how ePayments can help your cashflow and improve the customer experience? You can set up easy, automatic payments once you receive authorization from a client, effectively reducing the amount of nagging. It’s even convenient for one-time payments. Instead of your invoice getting lost in a busy inbox, your client can open the email, click Pay Now, and be done with it. You get paid, and they can move on.
Looking for bottom-line proof? Jobber customers who offer online payments get paid two times faster than cash, and nearly three times faster than check!
The bigger your company gets, the smoother its operations will need to be. Introducing efficient processes and helpful tools will allow your company to scale up and stay successful.