There are a number of ways that service businesses can grow. For one, they can get an injection of cash from a lender or investor. Or, they can save time, save costs, and land more bookings. With the right technology, they can do it all.
1. Online Booking
Offer customers the ability to book services online can provide a major boost to a company’s bottom line. For one, it can facilitate accessing a whole new market, consisting of customers that prefer the convenience of online booking.
Not only that, but it saves a lot of overhead in the booking process when customers self-book. If you don’t require a call center or admin staff to help close those bookings, each job is more profitable.
‘Access from Anywhere Scheduling’
In addition to the savings of time, jobs that are self-booked using service business software can be easily accessed by all members of the team, from anywhere. Office employees, as well as teams in the field, can view the schedule of bookings for the day and well into the future.
2. Payments, Invoicing, Accounting, Payroll
Technology can also help with the movement of funds within a business. It’s good for customer convenience to accept payments in the field. And it can also reduce the amount of time it takes to get paid, which is good for cash flow.
Digital invoices are also a big help, especially when you can track everything with accounting software. When the invoicing and payments process is frictionless, it can help to facilitate growth.
3. Ad Retargeting
Advertising, whether it’s traditional like radio or newspaper, or digital like Google Adwords or Facebook, can be expensive. And oftentimes, it’s difficult to know what to invest in. But there’s one type of advertising that’s been proven to offer a great return on investment: ad retargeting.
Ad retargeting is when you feed ads only to people who have already visited your website and are carrying a pixel (a small chunk of code). There are many ways to purchase retargeted ads and one of the easiest is with Facebook.
The Facebook Pixel
The Facebook Pixel is a code snippet that you include in the code of your website. Visitors to your site will be added to a custom Facebook audience that you can use for your ad campaigns. This way, you’re only paying to show ads to people who have already visited your site — and are way more likely to book a service than the general public. Ads will perform better as a result.
The only challenge, then, is how to attract new, relevant visitors to your website who will pick up the pixel along the way.
4. Email Automation
When you acquire a new customer, it’s a good idea to get their email address, so you can contact them directly. Everything from appointment confirmations, offers, requests for feedback and more can be communicated to your customers through email.
When you have some email automation in place, you can do a lot more in less time. Appointment confirmations and follow-up emails can be sent based on the time of the appointment.
With email tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Infusionsoft, you can send timely offers to customers as well. For example, a cleaning business could send a reminder email for another cleaning to a customer a month or two after their first booking.
5. Discount Codes and Introductory Offers
It’s not a new technology, by any means. Using discount codes and time-sensitive introductory offers is a great way to convert new business. Best of all, if the codes are claimed online, you have a complete record of the performance of a campaign or code.
The more new customers you can attract, the better your potential for long-term revenues. You may make smaller margins on a first appointment, but the lifetime value of your customer could be worth it over time. As your understanding of your numbers gains clarity, so too can the level of sophistication with your campaigns.
6. Analyze Data and Get Better at Identifying Opportunities for Change
The biggest advantage of technology is that it gives you easy access to data. Whether it’s specifically service business management software, an email tool, a discount code plugin, or even your accounting software of choice, there are key metrics you can analyze to identify areas of improvement.
You can track everything from the time it takes to close a new booking, to the number of bookings per rep or field team, to the average dollar sale amount, to the performance of individual emails or offers, and a lot more. Studying these numbers and understanding their importance can help you identify what is and isn’t working.
Armed with that knowledge, you can make changes to facilitate growth. Knowing your data also helps you to identify the top performers in your company, which can help with identifying your future leadership within your ranks.
Getting Comfortable with Technology
As your comfort level with technology increases, you can start to identify new ways to use it to your advantage. Identifying trends in the smart home market, using tools like chatbots or virtual assistants, and gaining an in-depth knowledge of SEO practices are three more ways you can get an advantage using technology.