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How Software Protects the Health of Your Business

Originally published
Originally published: 3/1/2024

“The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation.” I have seen this caption on the walls of countless plumbing, HVAC, and electric service provider shops. The caption is profound because it demonstrates how essential trades are. All tradespeople contribute to the health of a nation. As a Software Coach, when service providers want to take their business to the “next” level and reach for that “star” in the sky that equates to a high level of performance, my role is to help them embrace and leverage software solutions. If “The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation,” then software is a way to “Protect the Health of your Business.”  

The most important thing software can do is to measure, track, and report on the health of your business. Software solutions can and should measure a company’s vital statistics, just like a doctor’s office or hospital. Vital statistics are measured as a part of our body’s essential functions and help physicians make informed medical decisions. Your software should be able to measure your business's basic functions and health. Those vitals, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), help service providers make informed business decisions. These decisions dictate whether we are operating at a high level of performance or not.  

Caretakers measure your blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate as key health indicators. Service Providers should measure things like Conversion Rates, Sales, and dozens of other business KPIs. For example, if your doctor measures your cholesterol and it indicates you are at risk of heart disease, you might make a diet plan that reduces your cholesterol. If you measure your Conversion Rates and Average Sales for your technicians, you might create a dispatch plan to get the right tech to the right job to maximize revenue. 

When leveraging software to extend the health of your business, consider the following four benefits.

Build Accountability:  Software solutions help to “manage by the numbers.” Track that data and track it well. If you aren’t measuring Conversion Rates and Average Sales, are you dispatching for dollars? If you aren’t measuring Return on Investment for marketing campaigns, are you spending your marketing dollars wisely? Measuring performance will naturally progress into accountability. Using software to create a budget is a great way to hold yourself accountable and create goals.   

Maximize Growth Potential: Here is a  specific example. Reputation Management and direct integrations for reviews with software can help a business maximize its marketing funnels. Get those reviews up, get those phones ringing, and BAM … now you’re posting ads for new hires, desperately trying to get a new truck wrapped, and doing your best to keep your cancellation rates down. That is just one of many examples where software can help scale your business.  

Drive Profitability: What KPIs can software measure to help a business remain profitable? There are many methods, beginning with job costing. It is one specific example. Are you charging more than you spend on a job and making sufficient profit to sustain the business long-term? Measuring margins is a basic function of your business, and software can help. Take it a step further; software can help you respond to cost increases with price adjustments before it’s too late and the business is operating in the red. 

Manage Relationships: Customer Relationship Management software, CRM, is essential. There are other relationships to manage, such as with vendors, employees and subcontractors. In some cases, you can use a single software solution. In others, you may need multiple software solutions. Software can tell you when it’s time for that checkup for a customer, maintenance for a truck, or when it’s time for a one-on-one with an employee.   

There are many reasons why leveraging software can be healthy for your business and why it helps service providers respond to business needs instead of just reacting to them. Of course, you must know how to use the software to reach its full potential and leverage technology. Support for the software goes a long way. Lean on your coaches and support staff to help you get the most out of your software solutions. In addition, remember you can’t run the software without the hardware to match. Technology and software go hand in hand. Nexstar Network founder Frank Blau says, “Fall in love with your numbers.” Consider software solutions to get those numbers, leverage them, and fall in love with them. 

Ryan Nelsch is a Software Coach with Nexstar Network and ServiceTitan Certified Coach with more than  15 years of industry experience. Ryan has experience as a Call Center Manager and General Manager for multiple Service Providers in the Denver area.  

*Graphic Credit: Kim Harbinson

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