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What can I do now to help my field service business?

17th Apr 2020

During times of uncertainty, it can be difficult to know what you can do to help your business. However, there is some good news. Although everything feels out of control, there are some steps you can take now to help your business weather the storm.

Keep reading to discover some immediate actions you can take to help your field service business.

User holding credit card, making an online purchase with a laptop.

1: Make sure you are getting paid in a timely manner

Now more than ever, it is vital that you get cash flowing into your business. This means ensuring you are paid on time for goods and services delivered to your customers. Invoice promptly with clear payment terms as soon as a job is complete in the field through simPRO Mobile. Chase any outstanding invoices now, instead of waiting until the end of the month. You can also:

Consider prompt payment discounts

If a customer pays you quickly, offering them a ‘thank you’ discount will encourage them to do it again. It will also help your customer feel appreciated and increase the likelihood of them returning.

Automated payment reminders and good credit control procedures

Using notifications through simPRO you can send a reminder directly to your customer via email or SMS taking pressure off your credit control team who could be on the phone chasing outstanding invoices. This is the perfect time to look at your credit control procedures and tighten up any workflows that may have slipped in the last few months.

Close up of user's hands operating a laptop.

2: Clear dialogue with your customers

It may be that your customers are in the same position as you and are worried about their cash flow. Because of this, they may be putting off paying your invoice to the last minute. Speak with customers who are overdue and arrange a payment plan that will work for you both.

You may also have future bookings that are three, six or nine months down the line. It is worth connecting with those customers now, be it residential or commercial, to reassure them you are still planning on meeting those commitments. If you think you may not be able to, then this is the perfect time to speak to your customers to rearrange and reach a compromise that is mutually beneficial.

Need some more hints and tips on what to communicate to your customers? Read our blog here.

Warehouse shelves filled with cardboard boxes and inventory.

3: Check your stock levels

Complete a stock take to evaluate your current position. Completing a stock take can help reduce unnecessary costs during the quiet period. For example: do you need to keep certain items on automatic re-order? Can you stop certain items in the mid term to free up some cash? What are your highest turnover parts and products? And, can you get those cheaper elsewhere? These are all questions you may want to ask yourself to help with cash flow down the line.

Photo of user operating a laptop, analysing reports and data.

4: Reporting

Above, we spoke about short-term ideas to help with cash flow, but it is also important to look at this long-term. Reports can help you gather all the data you need to make informed business decisions be it financial, resources, up and coming committed jobs and stock. Some handy simPRO reports that will help you now, and after, the COVID-19 outbreak include:

  • Profit and Loss Summary Report - This report will show you which areas of your business are performing well and which aren’t. It will show the total costs per Cost Centre with Overheads giving you the Gross\Net Profit or Loss to date.
  • Job WIP Report - This snapshot report displays jobs in progress including current costs up to your chosen date. You can then compare this to what you have invoiced showing your current cash position.
  • Uninvoiced Jobs Report - This report will show you all jobs that still need to be invoiced, whether its a partial balance or full amount owing, giving you an idea of what is still to flow into the business and when.

You can also take advantage of simPRO’s BI Reporting to extract specific data from your simPRO build to create customised reports, dashboards and data visualisations.

Hands crossed over a laptop.

5: Speak to the experts

There are independent organisations which can help guide you through this crisis. Reach out to discuss your options with them. You may also want to speak to your accountant or financial advisor for further support. Associations are also there to help. They will have specific advice for your sector on how to support your staff and your business during the crisis.

What can I do in the mid to long term?

First off, start looking at what financial support you are entitled to from the Government. Your financial advisor or accountant can help with that as it may take time to get the ball rolling. Here are some tips to help when looking to the future.

Looking for more COVID-19 resources? Visit our COVID-19 Crisis Management Hub for blogs, mental health information and upcoming events..

Don’t forget we are here to help, if you are looking for further training or information on additional functionality within simPRO please get in touch. Contact simPRO.

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