Do you run a fire safety business? Are there any tasks that you find yourself doing repeatedly, on a weekly or even daily basis? No doubt you spend a lot of time keeping on top of assets and service schedules and of course, other admins tasks like making invoices. Do you ever find yourself thinking “there must be a quicker way of doing this?” Well, the good news, more often than not, there is something you can do, to stop spending so much time on repetitive tasks.
Tasks like generating or consolidating invoices are unavoidable, but just because they require your attention on a regular basis, it doesn’t have to be something tedious. Today we’re going to take a look at invoicing approaches that can help your fire safety and alarm business:
Before moving forward, one thing to keep in mind from a wider business perspective, is to consider the customer’s point of view. Convenience is the name of the game. If you make things as easy possible for your customer, they will love your business for it. Just like you, they want repetitive, process-related tasks like making payments to be as easy and as quick and painless as possible. Your entire business stands to benefit from taking convenience for yourself and for your customer, seriously. This is where a consolidated approach to invoicing comes in. Why invoice one customer for 50 different jobs when you could send a single breakdown instead?
1. GROUPING INVOICES
In an ideal world, invoicing would be the easiest and most “rewarding” part of the job for you, and a quick and painless experience for the customer.
No one wants to feel frustrated when it comes to money. You’ve done the work, they’re happy with it and they want to give you their hard-earned money. It’s only right that you should be paid easily and on time. But if it were as simple as that, every time, you probably wouldn’t be here reading an article like this, would you?
The fire safety industry, just like all field service industries, can be a notoriously tricky place to be when it comes to dealing with non-paying customers or indeed when debt-chasing. Whilst there is a lot you can do before this point to reduce risk, with things like automated payment reminders and integrations with a paperless finance software, if you can put together a very straightforward solution to invoicing so that it’s simple, clear and precise, then the struggles you experience will be greatly reduced. There’s no worse time to make things inconvenient for your customer than at the payment stage. Let’s say it again:
Convenience for your customer is paramount
As a fire safety and security business, you’re almost definitely doing a whole load of planned preventative maintenance work for your clients? In many of these cases, this means a huge number of individual jobs to complete. Perhaps you’re checking and testing alarms or other safety equipment and it’s hugely important to get this one accurately, and that you’re paid properly for it.
When checks are done routinely, it means working on many days, weeks or even months, which could mean multiple almost identical invoices will be running through your system every day. While manual making them and ticking off each as you go is not the worst way to operate. It’s certainly not the most convenient way to do it.
If you’re the customer, in this scenario, is definitely irritating to receive multiple notifications. And as someone trying to run a busy business, it is tedious to have admin tasks alerting you every second, especially if there is no great rush to get paid. Fortunately, if you’re using some advanced invoicing tools available within your job management software, you can reduce this pain significantly by collating individual invoices into a group invoice that your customer can then pay in one go. Whether it’s monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or however often you want, it means that instead of sending constant reminders for each and every job, you can group together invoices in a way that’s less disruptive. It’s still very easy to present the details that the customer needs in order to make sure they’re paying the right amount, without all the effort. It’s very important that the invoice is still broken down so that the customer is still able to see every individual cost that they’re being asked for.
All of this also makes sense for you from a bookkeeping perspective, since it helps better maintain oversight. Once happy, thanks so other simple and effective integrating such as a secure payment portal, a customer can click on through and Mak a bulk payment with all the safety and security they need!
2. INVOICE AUTOMATION
If you run a fire safety and security business, you shouldn’t have to deal with slow payments slowing up cashflow and choking your business. Your methods of collecting payment should still prize customer experience above all else.
If you can make it a more simple process to invoice your customer, then everyone stands to benefit. Not all of your staff actually need to know the price of the job, so if your software can lend a helping hand when it comes to checking prices, and confirming the correct costs to create and invoice, that could really benefit you.
Your own convenience is paramount
Chasing debt or amending an incorrect invoice is hardly your favourite part of the job, is it? A software that allows for automatic work processes is the smart solution, because it does all the repetitive work in the background, leaving admin staff and Operations Managers to do more complex work. With an Automatic workflow, you can send accurate invoices and attach to customer profiles and job types.
You can fully automate the process of creating and issuing invoices. Self-service emails can automatically invoice customers with minimal interaction on your behalf. However, if you want to manually check job or invoice details before automatically sending, you can do so. Whatever approach is best for you, you will still benefit from saving time. Field and trades job management software like Workever take care of tedious work for you in a variety of ways.
3. SERVICE CONTRACTS
Contract invoicing is another great admin-saving method to help fire safety and security businesses grow. Service contracts can help your invoicing process by being integrated with your invoices at every step. You can create customer service agreements, automatically schedule visits and flexibly invoice customers on your own terms. Everybody wants to make sure your agreement will be carried out as the contract details. So give a little comfort to your customers with an easy to send pdf copy of their contract. That way you both have the same information all the time.
Once you agree with your customer on exactly what you’re doing and when, you can integrate a service plan to automatically create and assign jobs to your workers. And if you have a service contract as well, you can attach the plan to the contract – easy! Field service job management software lets you bill your customers as fits your business, whether that’s ad-hoc, or on a set schedule with a pre-determined price per job. Don’t change your business practices, just make them more efficient!
We understand fieldwork for fire safety and security businesses. We’ve helped more than 1,000 customers create 200,000+ service contracts. With Workever, you can do it better by organising and improving your businesses.
We began this article by discussing the various frustrations that can come from the repetitive daily admin tasks that a fire safety business might encounter. With the aim of making life convenient for you and your customer, we suggested some ways you can approach your handling of invoices, both creating and issuing. With job management software’s invoice, customer portal and service contract facility, it’s another step forward in ensuring that your invoices get paid accurately and on time! Bonus: try internal and service reminders to keep on top of the day-to-day and to ensure you always request payment from your customer… which certainly helps!