Business software today does more than just automate the various recurring tasks that come with managing a workforce. These platforms can show small business owners how to better market their business. By 2023, it’s projected to be worth more than $600 billion. Because the industry is always introducing new technology, it can be hard to get a firm handle on the basics. Small businesses sometimes struggle to make sense of how they fit into the complicated world of new technology.
2019 is as good a time as ever for small business owners to start getting familiar with new technology. There are more options with greater functionalities at more reasonable price points than ever before. As the competition in industries, such as HVAC, retail, and utilities, becomes more aware of how these solutions can help their businesses, the case for seriously considering them only gets stronger. Below are several frequently asked questions about business and home service software—with a focus on their value for small businesses.
How Many Different Types of Business Software Are There?
There are hundreds of different kinds of business software today. In fact, the peer review site Capterra lists over 700 categories of business software. These range from popular, relatively well-known varieties like accounts payable and customer relationship manager (CRM) software to lesser-known stuff like cemetery and church management software. Because the industry has grown so rapidly in recent years, startups have begun targeting individual, niche industries with platforms developed specifically for them. Small business owners don’t need to get too deep into the weeds with everything out there, though. The major types of business software they should be aware of include home service software, workforce management, dispatch service, and work order software. If you’re a small HVAC company, for example, you should be looking for dispatch service or home service software.
How Much Will Business Software Cost Me?
The cost of business software varies depending on several key factors. These factors include the number of employees in your business, the features you’re looking for, and the level of client support you may want. Let’s take-home service software as an example. Basic, single-user subscriptions to home service platforms can run as little as $30 a month or less. Subscriptions with premium-level features that support many users can cost companies around $200 a month or more. It’s also important to remember, though, that these platforms have little to no upfront costs. That’s a huge shift from the previous IT models that require major hardware and the installation costs that come with it.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for software as a service. It is used to describe the new payment model hundreds of business software providers are now embracing. In SaaS, users pay for software on a subscription basis. Past alternatives included buying on-premise IT infrastructure and software that’s installed on company hardware. SaaS programs are accessed through the internet, and as a result, do not require data servers or installation processes.
How Will Business Software Make My Business More Money?
This question gets to the heart of why business software has become so popular. Whether you’re using home service, workforce management, work order management, or some other variety of business software, you’ll have a lot of the same features. Features include personnel tracking, smart routing, analytics reporting, automatic billing and invoicing, scheduling, and in some cases a built-in CRM. While each of these functionalities impacts different aspects of your operation, they’re all essentially doing two things.
First, they’re maximizing your team’s efficiency, and secondly, they’re identifying opportunities for growth. Smart routing, automatic billing, and automatic scheduling all make your operation more efficient. With these capabilities, you free up time during each workday to get more done. The more efficient a business operations run, the greater their profits. A CRM generally works toward the second goal, giving companies descriptive profiles of clients and prospects. This data helps small businesses grow their customer base while strengthening relationships.
Learn how to choose the right Home Service Software for your small business.
How Can Business Software Help Me Manage My Team?
Another exciting question. Platforms like FSM and workforce management software give business owners more power and less stress. They do this by allowing them to track team members in the field, assign them work orders and other tasks, and then, crunch data to produce performance statistics. Let’s start with personnel tracking. Team members for small businesses in service industries are often in the field, and with home service software, supervisors can keep track of their employees using vehicle monitoring devices and other technology that connects to detailed mapping.
This functionality allows you to see your entire team at all times helping you make more informed decisions about whom to assign to certain work orders. In addition, business software often includes automatic scheduling. These features match work orders and service requests with your employees based on availability, skill-sets, and other relevant factors. By managing the workflow and automatically distributing tasks, service-business software saves business owners a ton of time every day.
Last, there’s analytics reporting. Service-business owners want to know how their operations are performing in the field. In the past, though, they often had little more than anecdotal feedback from employees and customers. But with analytics reporting, small business owners can gain insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) like first-time-fix rate, average time spent on work orders, and daily drive time. These are powerful metrics that help businesses spot inefficiencies, set new benchmarks, and work toward optimizing their workdays.
Small business owners in the service industries looking for a powerful new software solution should explore WHERK. The new platform was designed and developed specifically for HVAC companies, plumbers, technicians, and other small-business professionals. WHERK includes a full arsenal of practical, easy-to-implement features, including vehicle tracking, dashboard reporting, a customer manager, and automatic billing and invoicing. Visit the WHERK website to learn more.