What software are you using to invoice your clients?
In today's blog post, we're going to discuss just that.
And in today's post, we're going to talk about estimates, work orders and Invoices.
And why we use JOBBER to accomplish this in my home service business.
If you're looking for great software to run your service business on, there's a ton of great options out there, and JOBBER is one of them.
Whether your just looking for basic invoicing software, or a full-on comprehensive estimate, booking, scheduling, work order, invoicing, billing, and money collecting software.
But in the post. I want to discuss the difference between an estimate, work order, and invoice, and why all 3 are completely different things.
This was a question that I had when I first started my business several years ago.
See, when I first started, I was a notepad and pen from the dollar store. That got old really quick. So then I called up my local print shop and paid them to create paper carbon copy invoices, where you peel off the yellow copy and give the white copy to your customers.
Very soon that became a hassle because I wasn't tracking my numbers. Then I fell behind because I didn't have time to manually and redundantly type all of the work orders into spreadsheet software. It was a mess.
So I downloaded a cheap invoicing app from the app store on my tablet and used that for a year.
And things got even worse because I still wasn't tracking my business.
I finally got QuickBooks and things got a lot better because now I was able to actually invoice clients and track the numbers in my business.
What I required was a full-stack solution. But here's the funny part. At the time, I didn't even know that software existed that would allow me to start seeing all of the blind spots that were in my business. Actually I didn't even know the right questions to ask.
I was embarrassed because I realized that I was a late bloomer. I knew some friends that were in the green industry that we're able to create marketing budgets and forecast projections and make smart decisions in their businesses because they were tracking their metrics and data. They would talk about things like KPI's.
I felt silly because I thought that they were staying up all night and working harder than I was in order to accumulate all of this data.
But what I learned is that they were just tracking the data day-by-day and then using super cool easy to use advanced software programs to come to these conclusions.
They were leveraging software to do the heavy lifting for them. So I drove in and tried a few different CRM "customer relationship management” programs. And there's quite a few of them out there.
Some of these programs are simple and easy to use and lack features while others are incredibly complex and have so many features that are overwhelming.
Usually, very large companies with multiple operations require these types of full-stack programs.
Although QuickBooks work great for tracking finances and billing, it was horrible 4 running a service business in 2020. What I mean is that today's successful small businesses that interact with a lot of clients on a b2c basis require a new marketing approach that includes a high touch or multi-touch process.
This requires an automated communication software that's incredibly user-friendly and that anybody can learn how to use on the go.
This is exactly what JOBBER provides.
When you want to send your prospective client a detailed quote proposing an offer to provide your services. JOBBER allows you to do this easily directly from your browser or by downloading the app from the app store onto your mobile device.
I really like how you can attach important documents like your proof of insurance and licensing along with the quote so your customers can see that their working with a legitimate outfit.
Your customers also have the option to formally accept your proposal and verify their approval remotely with a digital signature. All they have to do is open your estimate from within their email and then sign with their fingertips.
Then you'll automatically get notified that your customer wants to proceed with the work.
Work orders are an important step in the process of creating organized communication. See, once the customer accepts your proposal. You then follow up by emailing, texting or calling them, and giving them options for a date to start the work.
(Providing you didn't already agree on a start date previously)
Once both parties agree. You then convert the estimate over to a work order. A work order is basically what it says. "In order to do work". A work order looks almost identical to a quote.
It has line items, materials, description of work, a project outline, property address, and a person or crew that gets assigned to it.
Except, depending on whos eyeballs are viewing it, it may or may not include prices.
There's you have it. A work order can be printed alongside other work orders and clipped to a clipboard. Or it can be assigned to a crew as "pending work" directly to your employee's smartphones from within the JOBBER app.
It gets better.
Once the crew (or you) receives a work order.
They can head to work with a directive in place. Once they arrive.
They can clock in or clock out in the app, depending on if they're subcontractors or employees, or maybe you're a self-employed solopreneur. Which is great.
Once the work is completed. All they "or you" have to do is mark the job as "completed" and with the click of a button.
Now the work order is ready to be converted into an invoice.
Jobbers invoicing system is super simple.
Right from within the JOBBER app, you can send your customer an invoice directly attached to an email and send it off, directly from within the app. There's also an option to CC yourself or someone on your team to be notified when the invoice has been sent.
Inside of the invoice there also an option for your customers to pay their bill with a credit card immediately with a credit or debit card right from within the invoice. All they have to do is click a button to make a secure payment and a receipt auto-generates.
On your end. You connect your bank account to JOBBER and the money auto deposits into your account within a few days.
Your clients can also access a payment portal and go online to see transaction history and other billing stuff.
This and much more are all options that help you inexpensively Automate your home services business. For real.
For instance, you can generate tags that allow you to store data on where your leads are coming from. Like Google, Facebook, Yelp, word of mouth, walk up, referrals, and stuff like that.
Tracking customer data and running quarterly reports is critical in order to make important decisions about the future of your Marketing in your business.
Storing data on the demographics and financial transactions of your customer history allows you to see where your business is in real-time and then you can use it as a vital stats snapshot against the reflection of where your business was six or 12 months ago.
Once you get into the habit and start collecting several years worth of data. This makes your business tremendously more valuable in the eyes of you the business owner, but potentially to the eyes of a prospective buyer in the future.
So if you ever plan on selling your business or even a piece of your business, then collecting data and running analytics reports is vitally important 2 the health of your small business.
Having a good CRM software like jobber allows you to do this.
I just want to say thank you for taking the time to read about my experience with using Jobber as the CRM for my business. It is important to me that I share this information with people running businesses that are like mine. Jobber has been a big part of helping keep my business organized, efficient, and it really gives my business a clean look so that the customer feels good and confident in hiring me. I hope that this blog has helped you and is going to move your business to the next level.
Jobber is a good fit for any service at any size. Whether you are just starting out, and need a basic billing software, or you are a 20-year veteran that requires a full stack comprehensive solution, Jobber has it covered. Jobber also takes feedback seriously from all of the customers to improve their program, so that the program is pretty much built by our experiences in the service businesses. #BUILTBYYOU
Here's another great article by Keith Kalfas about the importance of needing a CRM in your small business.
and... If you want to learn about how to market your business. Then you have to check out Keith's article called. "The Marketing Progressions Pyramid"
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