Running a home maintenance business is often regarded as a primarily hands-on operation with no need for ‘fancy’ or complicated technology, particularly if the business in question is relatively small. However, the reality is that just about any businesses, even practical contractors, can use technology to their advantage. In many ways, it is small businesses that stand to benefit the most as they are often working to strict budgets by one or two people wearing multiple hats.
It can be daunting to venture into the world of technology, but even the least experienced will find digital platforms, apps and services for business which are intuitive and efficient to use. If you are still resisting technology in your home cleaning business, this guide will outline some of the key reasons why you might want to reconsider.
Scheduling and productivity
Whether you’re a solo operation or you are managing a team of cleaners, a centralized online calendar and scheduling system can ensure all of your jobs are easy to book and edit from anywhere. In addition to the practical job of cleaning houses, you also have the other daily, weekly, monthly and annual responsibilities of a business owner to keep on top of. To help you prioritize and organize your diary, you can take advantage of one of the many apps
which will manage your tasks and communicate with your staff while they are out on a job.
Streamlining invoicing, payment processing and accounting
If you are manually creating and sending invoices to clients, you are wasting time and resources on a task that can be achieved in a quicker and more professional way using accounting software. You can digitize your payroll, track expenses and send invoices securely and accurately with just a few taps of your finger. This will also make submitting your tax returns much easier so you can spend more time actually running your business.
Enhancing your marketing
Digital marketing is one of the biggest benefits of embracing technology in business. The majority of your customers are using the internet on a regular basis either for social networking, shopping, research, or to find services just like yours. If you don’t have an online presence, you will be missing out on business. The first step is to ensure you have a user- friendly website which is your digital shop window. It should introduce your business and the services you can provide and give visitors a way to contact you.
The aim is to increase the number of people visiting your website and therefore the number of people placing inquiries. SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of making changes to your website, and the content you publish there, to increase the likelihood that your website will feature at the top of the first page in Google’s search results. Creating unique and useful content on topics related to home cleaning via a blog where you can share cleaning tips or tricks will show visitors that you are knowledgeable and could boost your SEO rankings. Social media platforms and email newsletters can also help to increase your visibility and give you another avenue of communication with existing and potential customers. Once you have your website and social media up and running, technology can help with the next stage too. There are lots of tools and software programs that will help you assess how effective your digital marketing efforts have been and how you can improve going forward.
Getting the best business services
There are plenty of low-cost apps and software programs that enable you to communicate with customers and employees from wherever you are, but technology has also opened up a host of other money-saving opportunities for small businesses. When it comes to finding services and suppliers for your business, you do not want to be spending hours making phone calls, comparing costs and getting bamboozled by jargon.
Luckily, there are plenty of online platforms that enable you to find and compare essential business services so you can get the right product at the best price as efficiently as possible from getting the best price on your cleaning products to finding the best credit card for expenses. For example, insurance for contractors is crucial when working in homes to protect you and the customer should something go wrong, e.g., you accidentally break an antique or a cleaning product leaves a stain. Thanks to online comparison services, you can find the right level of contractors' insurance with minimal time, effort and expense.
Working on the go
Cloud storage enables you and any employees you have to work and/or communicate from anywhere in the world. Whether it’s updating a schedule, booking a new appointment with a client, collaborating on a marketing document or reading emails, you can now do it all from a cellphone or tablet wherever you are connected to the internet. A tablet is also a great investment for house cleaning businesses who are going out to provide quotes for potential customers. You can save some of your most impressive before and after shots and scroll through them then and there to showcase the quality of your work.
Beating the competition
Technology has made it possible for small businesses to compete with the big boys, despite the fact they have a much smaller budget for marketing. If your website looks professional, is easy to use and you can get it to appear high in the search engine results, you can compete with the best of them. In addition, with marketing automation tools and social media apps, you can make your business appear much bigger than it really is.
While your business files should be digitized and stored securely via an online cloud storage system, if you do choose to embrace technology for your cleaning business, you need to be aware of the new risks it can bring. It’s well known that technology such as security cameras, access controls and alarms can protect physical business premises from intruders, but you may not be aware that businesses with computer systems and an online presence could be at risk of cybercrime. Hackers are attempting to access the data of businesses and their customers with a range of cyberattacks from email phishing scams to infecting computer systems with malware. However, with the right cybersecurity and regular updates you can protect your business’s data far more securely than you can if you are keeping it in a paper filing system. Click here for IT security tips for small businesses.