We want to help you
Covid-19 is a one off event in life, you cannot have planned for it, and it will deliver huge challenge’s to even the best resourced Businesses. But, there are practical steps you can take to minimise the impact on your business, and we thought that we would put a common sense list together to help you. These are not the practical on-site steps, such as 2 Meter distancing, but more Business action points, to ensure your business is in the best possible place to ride out the rough times ahead.
Why listen to Us ?
What makes us a little unique is that we have access to lots of data, independent of Press and agenda driven Companies. This means we can give you an independent view of the true state of the industry. We can see that some of our Customers are actually increasing their sales conversions, whilst others are already struggling to convert quotes to a sale. Commercial and Domestic maintenance is still moving, although with a noticeable drop in activity, but the residential sector has slowed dramatically. This doesn’t mean that there is no work out there, there’s probably more than you think. Now is the time to look at your business to see where you can make real differences.
How can I minimise the impact of the Virus on my Business?
Having analysed thousands of Customers we put together a list of things that you can do to pro-actively do for your business to protect against the fall out of the Coronavirus as much as possible.
We’ve been through a recession once, and it wasn’t great, I suspect many of you have also done the same. It’s not all doom and gloom though, our data shows there’s still plenty of work out there, but you need to be Professional and Price Smart to ensure that you maximise the more limited opportunities out there.
In the last few years the construction industry has been booming, with work being reasonably plentiful and Profit Margins have been good, It’s been reasonably easy to pick up work and it’s easy in these times to run with a bit of extra padding on a Business around the sides. You now need to trim down and focus on what needs to be done.
What are the main points?
- You need to be aware that things have changed, there will be less work, more competition, margins will be tighter and people will have less money… BUT people will still need work doing and quoting for, the quicker you can get into a new mind set, the more chance you have of thriving
- You need to be Professional and Quick to respond to Enquiries, Jobs and Customers, your pricing needs to be right
- – Price the job too low and you will be paying for the clients work to be done for them. Explain to the customer if someone has priced too cheap they will be charging extras or the quality of the work and materials will be poor.
- – Price the job too high and you might not win the job, the market has changed over-night. You might not be able to make the margins you once used to. We are seeing the larger profit margins shrinking already, but the margins are still good on Enquiries that have converted to sales.
So what practical steps can you take?
1) Leads: Treat ANY enquiry Fast and professionally, get the information requested back to the Customer as fast as possible. It will look better than everyone else. These things make a difference
2) Pricing: Ensure that the price that you give them is one where you make money, but are not pricing to high to put yourself out of running for the Job.
3) Extras: Ensure any Extras are carefully noted down, agreed with the customer in advance and then invoiced them once completed, do not save them until the end of the job!
4) Invoicing: Invoice Regularly and receive payments regularly, if the customer doesn’t pay in a timely manner you do need to stop working
5) Credit Control: Chase up outstanding Invoices, be firm and have a credit control process in place of letters if they are not paying, then proceed to court if they won’t pay, the threat will usually make them pay before you get there, people will want to hold onto their money at the moment, but not go to court.
5) Agreements: Get clear terms and conditions laid out to ensure in the event of non-payment you have as much in your favour as possible
6) Material Ordering : Shop around for your materials, this saves thousands a year, we have a lot of data proving if you stay with one company you don’t get the best price. We are not tied into any merchants so are not motivated to steer you in any direction, use our independent price comparison to save thousands of pounds a year of materials with a single click.
Keep the commutations lines open with your customer at all times, they might start to hint that they have no money or recently lost their job, in which case ask them if they are able to pay the next instalment.
Don’t be afraid to raise small claims against customers that have work done, with a clear and precise quote and extra laid out with an audit trail of communication, the Customer will often pay before Court, they just prefer the money in their bank account than yours. Everyone will be like this in times of uncertainty.
Why did we write this?
We have written this as a quick common sense guide for things that you can do right now. It’s what we are seeing from our Customers, we speak to them all the time, but we wanted you to know we have software that will help with all of these things as well, it’s hard to do all the above, there’s just not enough hours in the day.
Our software will help you with each one of these items, allowing you to register jobs in the system the moment they come in, giving you a timeline to be able to get those quotes back to them in good time, knowing that the price is correct. Giving them all the detail will show the customer you have worked on the job correctly, but also even more importantly it protects you from losing money on extras, the quote is clear. If it’s an extra, create a new quote, get the customer to ok it through our system and create an audit trail. Use the invoicing function to get invoices out as and when you need too, smaller more regular invoices on a job are more likely to get paid that large invoices sent every 3 months. Use the single click price compare function to get prices from ANY merchant, not just the ones that come in our system, use those prices to make more margin OR pass those savings onto the quote, ensuring you have a keenly priced quote without losing your profit margins.
If you’re using all these features, you can’t do any more. If you’re not then, the person you are up against might well be, their price could be lower and they could win the job from you.
Last thing is to remember we are here to help you, reach out to us, sure we know software, but we know building pretty well too. We want you to not just survive but thrive!
All the best
The easyestimate.co.uk team!
Remember: If you don’t do all of these things, your competition probably will be!