Contractor Corner

Do you want to make more money? Then check out your AP accounts: do you know where your money is being spent?  Kind of important to know. You may be making money hand over fist, but if you have more going out you’re still failing in business.  So do you know what is being paid out of your accounts payable?

Spend it to make it

There is an adage in business that says you have to spend money to make it.  On many levels that’s true.  You can’t make money unless you spend some marketing of yourself and your business.  You can’t make money if you don’t spend it on the equipment and supplies you need for jobs.  You certainly can’t make it if you don’t have a means to get yourself to jobs.  The problem occurs when you are spending more than you are making, or have no idea what you’re spending.

Budget

Like your home, your business should have a budget.  Like your home, your business should follow that budget.  Knowing what you are spending now can help you know if you need to look for less costly options for the things you need for your business.

For instance, do you need to have the best and fastest internet or could just a touch slower and less expensive do the same job and save you money?  If your utilities are suddenly much higher can you shop around for better rates?  Better yet do those higher utility bills tell you that you need to turn off the lights or turn down the air conditioning (or heat, depending on the season).  Using a fan or wearing a sweater to keep them lower (just like at home) can add more to your bottom line.

Quality over price

A few areas to place quality over price would be the supplies and tools you need to use on site.  Don’t endanger your customers to save a buck.  If they know they are getting the best they will refer you and you WILL see more business.

Knowing your AP accounts well will help you make more money, so go look… NOW!

If you need help with your AP tracking and collections, give us a call today! (813) 438-3666 or check out our Contractor Services page!!

Want To Make More Money? Stay On Top Of Your AP Accounts! Do you want to make more money? Then check out your AP accounts: do you know where your money is being spent? Kind of important to know. You may be making money hand over fist, but if you have more going out you’re still failing in business. So do you know what is being paid out of your accounts payable?

Big companies, online businesses and other types of businesses use mastermind communities or mastermind groups to challenge and improve their business. Service businesses should do the same.

What is a mastermind community?

A mastermind community is a group of people with common goals who meet regularly to share, learn and challenge each other. Whether they meet in person, on the phone, via Skype, chatrooms, meeting software, etc., members are highly motivated. Meetings consist of the sharing of ideas, questions, triumphs and downfalls. Members ask for and provide feedback to each other. They hold each other accountable for goals and gain knowledge and wisdom from each others’ experiences.

Most meetings are held in a specific formal format

At the beginning of each meeting members talk briefly about goals set at the last meeting. Afterwards a predetermined person shares details about issues, complications, questions and concerns about his or her own situation. The rest of the members can respond by offering suggestions or comments based on their expert knowledge or their experience. At the end each member talks briefly about any goals they want to accomplish by the next meeting and the person to share specifics is chosen.

The best part about mastermind groups is that each person gets a chance to get their questions and issues answered and addressed. They also can and do learn new ideas and solutions they may not have thought of on their own. They are also a fantastic way to hold members accountable for the goals they set.

As a service contractor it may be a bit of a challenge to find a group specifically for contractors, but even one for general businesses can be a boon for ideas that could work for any type of business. It could help you think outside the box. If you think it would help, then create one for contractors!

Here are two that I am associated with:

Service Round Table – www.serviceroundtable.com
CEO Warriors – www.ceowarrior.com

Why Service Businesses Really Need To Be Part of a Mastermind Community | Big companies, online businesses and other types of businesses use mastermind communities or mastermind groups to challenge and improve their business. Service businesses should do the same.

You have the best pricing plan for your contracting business, or so you thought.  But do you really?  Flat rate pricing is truly a game changer for contracting.

Happy customers

So what if your customers could choose a price that fits their budget and fixes their problems?  Do you think they’d be happy?  Happy enough to sing your praises and get you more customers for your contracting business?  That’s the beauty of flat rate pricing.  Now you probably charge for parts and an hourly rate for labor.  Sure that’s standard for the industry, but is it your best choice?  How many jobs have gone by the wayside because they just can’t afford that kind of price.

Your customers can choose the price

The beauty of flat rate pricing is that your customers can choose a price that fits their budget.  Knowing that they won’t be facing a bill that keeps going up will make it easier for them to choose your services.

Should something more need to be done, then you can present that as an additional job, but not one that will add to their current bill.  What you “lose” in hours billed will more than be made up with additional jobs for your contracting business.

So how does it work?

Well you set a price for all your typical jobs, taking into consideration the time it will take and the parts needed.  Then you tell your customers that call what the job will cost.  Not an estimate but bottom line.  They can be assured that it will only cost that.  You can add that should the job be more complicated than you expect there will be future flat rate jobs necessary.

What it means for you is more work and a better bottom line.  Oh and happy clients!

Need some help working out your flat rate pricing options? We recommend Profit Rhino!

Profit Rhino - Why Having Flat Rate Pricing Is A Game Changer | You have the best pricing plan for your contracting business, or so you thought. But do you really? Flat rate pricing is truly a game changer for contracting.

As with any business, keeping your finances for your contracting business straight is important.  But it’s incredibly important for a contractor to keep their finances and credit in great shape.  Here’s why.

Equipment purchases

First, you need to keep things in order to be able to spend when you need to spend.  As a contractor you need to be able to make large purchases for equipment and keep it in good working order.  Those purchases are assets to your business that need to make income for your business.  Managing these expenses will mean your business doesn’t become overextended and has the things needed to complete the jobs you’re hired to do.

Operating cash

You also need to have operating cash available to purchase things like supplies for your business, pay for the upkeep of your equipment, pay your employees and other operating expenses.  Without the ability to do that, you won’t be able to complete the jobs you get.  Knowing what those expenses are is also part of having finances in order.  If you know what you’re spending you can also look into lowering those expenses when possible.

Plan for tax payments

You also need to know what is coming in and going out so you can plan for tax payments.  Knowing what you may have to spend on taxes in the future will tell you if you can spend on capital expenditures or save to be able to cover higher taxes in the future.

Keep your contracting business’ finances in order and keep your business running smoothly and effectively and rake in the profits!

If you would like to find out more about how we can help keep your contracting business finances in order, check out our services page today!

Keeping Your Finances In Order Is VITAL For Your Contracting Business | As with any business, keeping your finances for your contracting business straight is important. But it’s incredibly important for a contractor to keep their finances and credit in great shape. Here’s why.

As a business owner, managing your dispatching and scheduling can fall to the bottom of your “to dos” list, but it shouldn’t. Making sure that these vital customer service communications are professional and efficient for your customers is vital to the health of your business!

You probably have an answering service that takes messages and either texts or emails you information regarding customer repair appointments. Great.. but do they actually listen to your customer problem with a confident and caring approach?

Taking information to relay a message is just a piece of the WOW experience you want to provide your customers. But there are seven principles to great customer service …

  1. Having a positive attitude.
  2. Showing confidence that the skills and services provided by your company are what can solve the customer’s request.
  3. Listening to the customer’s needs and communicating to understand vs just replying to the customer.
  4. Caring about the customer’s situation and showing empathy.
  5. Saying “Yes” to the customer about helping them solve their problem
  6. Asking them to set up an appointment and scheduling them for a trained and certified technician to fix their repair request.
  7. Lastly, building value with that customer on what skills, experience, special certifications, etc they are getting when working with your company.

Don’t just settle for an Answering Service… provide your customers with the service that they want and need. Offer the WOW experience of customer service, scheduling, and dispatching for your customers.

You’ve heard all the jokes about Yelp and other online review sites, but are online reviews on those sites really that vital to expanding your business? The short answer is yes. Online reviews are an extension of word of mouth referrals.

Recommendations of others

Online reviews are where your prospective customers will go to see if they want to do business with you. Just like using them for looking up reviews on products, people use them to get reviews on businesses are well. Having great online reviews will increase your business, sales and customer base. The recommendations of others, no matter if they are friends, family or online anonymous strangers, will make prospects more likely to do business with you.

Better serve your customers

Those reviews will also help you better serve your customers. Good reviews are wanted, but negative ones, or even neutral ones, can help you see where you can improve your business and service. Fixing what is wrong, and responding to those reviews with how you fixed it will show everyone that you are responsive to the needs of your customers.

Improve your rankings on search engines

Online reviews also improve your rankings on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! and will mean more online visibility. It will also improve your SEO through keywords used in the reviews. That means that your customers and clients are doing the job of marketing for you. And believe me, one review left will mean more will leave them as well.

So encourage your customers to review you! Put links to the review sites on your website. Don’t be afraid of them. Use them to your advantage and watch your business grow!

Recommendations

We love the company Review Buzz for helping to increase and monitor your reviews. If you would like to find out more about this vital service check out www.reviewbuzz.com today!

Contractor Marketing - Why Having Online Reviews Is Vital To Your Sales Efforts | You've heard all the jokes about Yelp and other online review sites, but are online reviews on those sites really that vital to expanding your business? The short answer is yes. Online reviews are an extension of word of mouth referrals.