Running a service-based business has a lot of advantages. You can help customers in your community, offer residential or commercial services, and you can choose to specialize in a certain area of business.
Plumbers can choose to offer sewer repairs, electricians can choose to work just on new homes being built.
Trades are in high-demand, and the growth in these fields continues to grow as the population continues to grow. The environment is perfect to start a service business, but running that business efficiently is difficult.
A major downfall in many businesses is efficiency.
How does a service business stay efficient in the early stages of business?
Start with Technology
Technology is the first step in the efficiency process. When you’re starting and running a business, there are a lot of logistics to handle. Invoices, payments, scheduling – a lot. Back office service software is a great place to start because it’s geared towards service businesses.
Skyboss is just one example of a back-office system, and a few of the areas it helps in are:
- Client tracking
- Task management
- Work orders
There are a lot of solutions that can help you run an efficient operation. You’ll also find several other areas that need help, such as:
- Telephone: Google Voice or Grasshopper are great solutions.
- Financial Management: Wave Accounting, Clear Books and several other solutions exist.
- Credit Processing: Square is a great mobile credit card option.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a great list of resources available for startups to look over.
Learn to Stay No
Saying “yes” to everyone, spreading yourself too thin and missing deadlines, is a recipe for business disaster. You need to know when to say “no.” If you’re filled to the brim with clients and can’t possibly handle another, don’t “try to fit it in.”
A few key indicators that it’s time to say no are:
- You’re extending your hours too often
- You’re messing up on customer work
- Your schedule is filled
- You’re missing deadlines
An option is to either extend your schedule out further, create a threshold on when to stop taking on new work, say no to work or hire someone else.
One of the hardest tasks for a business owner is to know when to hire someone else. Bringing on someone else means that you’ll need a new approach to payroll, must meet certain laws and regulations.
It’s difficult to grow a business, and for some owners, they never want to move past a one-man operation.
And I am here to tell you that you have a right to remain a one-man operation. You don’t need to expand your business further if that’s not something you want to do.
You can choose to hire virtual assistants to take care of menial tasks, you can hire someone to handle all of your phone calls and scheduling.
Businesses do this all the time.
Finding ways to improve your efficiency as a service business will allow you to scale your one-man operation into higher profits, but eventually, you’ll hit a ceiling where you can’t be any more efficient. When you hit this point, you either have to raise rates or hire someone else to increase profits.