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Callahan’s Corner: 4 Ways to Use Package Jobs in Your Business.

Video Transcript:
The different ways packages can be used in Service Autopilot some of the pros and cons and how do we actually set up packages. What I’m going to do is show you basically four ways that I recommend using packages in Service Autopilot for maximum results of buying time back and creating efficiency when routing jobs and be able to minimize that non-billable drive time so we’re gonna create a predictable way to build package jobs in Service Autopilot. If you’re joining me live here on the version here then I’m broadcasting tonight feel free to put comment in and say hello and let me know if you can hear the audio and in addition if you have any comments or questions drop them in the comment box here I’ll answer them live on Callahan’s Corner of you ask the questions and we have some live on Facebook or if it’s recorded drop the notes in there and we’ll also go into that as well. What I’m going to do is pop in and break the screen down as we normally do here and show you the four different ways to use packages in Service Autopilot for optimal results in there if you are watching live in the livestream just drop a comment in there let us know that you can hear the audio it looks like we’re good but you never know with these things going live especially in the middle of the . The first thing is we’re in Service Autopilot so the first service I’m gonna go into bed and maintenance so the first thing you want to do is actually build out a service I’m not going to get into building the actual pricing matrix out but I’m going to show you the basics of setting up the service so we can pull it into the actual master package so I’m gonna label this one here with 99 in front of it just so we can go into I’m gonna go and create a four-step bed maintenance package so obvious you’re gonna have more than stuff but the theory of this is gonna show you the process of building this out so I’m gonna do in bed maintenance I’m gonna do holiday lights shrimp burning and plateau steak setup and removal offer anybody in the snow removal industry at the end here as well so these are how we set each one of these up for best practice in my opinion so I’m gonna putin here just monthly that maintenance and just copy it down for speeding efficiency here so we’re going invoice description and that is everything we need here and estimates we would go in and plug in the estimate description and then we’d put the rate matrix in based on square footage of beds obviously in this example I’m not going to go in and set that up the idea is we want to set up monthly bed the maintenance. Now if you really want to go in and out detailed in you can actually break it out per month in the bed maintenance example I would not suggest that but in holiday lights and shrub pruning we are gonna have some definity of the services itself so we’re gonna go in and hit save and the next step is we’re gonna go into the gear icon and drive in under master package and it’s not a master custom package it’s actually going to be a master package so what we’re going to do is go in and add a package job and we’re going to name it and I’m gonna put it in the description obviously for time out just paste knees down renewal is probably gonna be January 1st of each year as traditionally what we set so the following year here January 1st and we’re gonna go in and name it bed maintenance spring bed maintenance late spring bed maintenance summer obviously this fictitious you’d be going probably monthly or bi-weekly or weekly depending on your location but I’m just gonna call it late summer and fall so this is the idea that we’re gonna pull it in and then we’re going to go in and pull up that service of bed maintenance now depending on the budgeted time in the frequency you may want a different service for each one of these and that’s what we’re gonna do with the holiday lights and the shrub trimming but for this example here it would be just as efficient to use the same exact service but once you have your services setup here the next thing is the start and end date so this is our bed maintenance spring so maybe that is gonna go from March 1st through March 31st late spring, and you would probably be doing this on monthly basis but you get the idea for the example, so I’m gonna go May 1st the end of May and then we are going in the summer so I’ll take 6/1 – July31st these are the start and end dates so this is when it’s apply it you can actually the soonest in latest you should be able to do this this is your ideal range the obvious this is a fictitious example with the dates and timing we’d be doing it a little bit more but this is going to give the idea of what this could look like. Now when you’re going in doing this the one thing you want to be aware of is minimum days in between now really probably not so dangerous for bed maintenance but maybe your spraying some chemicals there’s different things revolving in here so minimum days is the minimum days so you don’t overlap so if you did this application here at 6:31 you could potentially be sending the crew out the following day so maybe you wanted at least 10 days between each round you plug that in default budget hour to default rate I would leave that blank and allow the matrices on the service to dictate that to leave that blank but that’s the idea we’re gonna hit save now we have bed maintenance setup. Next thing is holiday light so we’re gonna go in and first thing again we need to add the packages so traditionally in holiday lights there’s two maybe three different ways that we can set this up so we want to go into our services and drive in the initial setup so we’re gonna go in and I’m gonna put the 99 in front of it so I can actually find it again by gonna put this is holiday light setup here now where it’s interesting and if you’re watching this in your doing holiday lights you may have an initial setup where you’re either incurring the cost or you’re leasing out the actual equipment itself the materials the lights the steaks everything else you’re sticking in there so you may have two different setups holiday light set up new and holiday set up existing on the life of those lights usually lasts around three years and if you’re cycling back so for job costing you may want to have two separate packages or two separate sets of services one for existing and one the initial setup because the initial setup especially if you’re doing recent garlands and things like that the initial setup time for the first time you’re out there that you do the job is going to be significantly longer than coming back to sequential years so for production and job cost you may want to have several different services as a protip her as we’re setting these up in the two day deep dives there’s definitely some granularity that we set this up for Service Autopilot users but if you’re doing it your selfI wanted to share that tip so we’ve got everything in here now obviously we goto reap matrix and set this up and that would probably be how they like to setup c9 based on the linear feet so I’m gonna get the setup I’m gonna save a new service mode is gonna be per unit and when I go in and reset this up now we’re gonna have at a bare minimal holiday like takedown now if you’re storing the materials or the product yourself which you probably are you can include thatall in the takedown so whether you have a if your shop or maybe a empty trailer or something you keep all these units in with bins and labeling them there’s some time there they’re maybe doing it separately so if there’s two different sets of crews doing the takedown and storage you may actually have three different jobs in your actual package job and that would be the way we would do that so I’m going to plug this in and just do a basic example. Next thing coming up is shrub pruning and plows taking as well as some examples for that so we’ve got everything we need here per unit and I’m just gonna plug this estimate in and we are gonna save that so once that kind of comes in we’re gonna go back to the gear icon and go back to master packages and master package so what we’re gonna do is go in and add our package for holiday lights and we’re gonna probably end up renewing this not at the end of the year but maybe August 1st of the following year because that’s traditionally when we may start selling holiday lights so what we’re gonna do here is click holiday light setup and we’re going to go in and grab that holiday light setup and our start time here depending if people maybe prepay but we don’t turn them out with an earlier it could be maybe as early as October 1st and the latest maybe right before Christmas so we’re gonna go in and put it maybe around the 19th or 18th depending how it’s following on that season so that’s the ideal range the latest we can go now we’re gonna go and put our holiday light take down our holiday light pink down is going to be the same thing but the different service now if you are going to put storage as a separate process I would put a third unit on here to actually cover your take down so you’re gonna go in here we’re gonna go in and say as early as January say first and the latest we want it done is by the end of January so I’m going to go in and do the 31st and this actually going into next year it needs to be the 21st that’s one thing to pay attention to that’s a common mistake even when we’re doing it sometimes you gotta pay attention to limit dates and how they’re gonna fall minimum days in between budget hours default rate wouldn’t be applicable so we’re going to save that up now we have a holiday light set up how did it like take down a potentially holiday lights storage package job.The next one is shrimp pruning so depending where you’re at in the United States, Canada or even some other people in Australia and England that we’re working with we’re gonna have some different options here so I’m going to show you a real basic package here and we’re going to go in and build out our services so we’re going to just view our two prunings and obviously the southern stage and may be doing this a lot more in your package job would also be probably going in to do an ornamental pruning and crape myrtle pruning depending where you’re at in the country as well so being in upstate New York usually I’ll do two pruning rounds the third one sometimes high-end commercial residential is a touch-up. I’m just gonna go in and build this out the basic example but obviously in your market if you do more you can follow this so shrub pruning round number one and this is a good one you get into the rate matrix may be doing different estimating before you schedule a new package the small medium and large shrubs hedgerows with without a hedgerow but the idea is I’m going into our main services how to set this up so once you have this setup we’re going to do the first round or save and new then we’re going to go in and build out our second round for pruning as well this is exactly what we did it Callahan’s Lawn Care our HOAs had a third round that went in for just some general touch up as well but this will give you the idea so now we’ve built out our two services and we’re going to save it so we’re going to go in and if you’re doing commercial residential it’s not a bad idea to have two packages as well something that was advantageous for us to see a commercial versus residential sales pipeline and workflow. So we’re gonna go back into master packages and we’re going to go in and build out shrub pruning package I’m going to go in and start that so traditionally in our market upstate New York that’s going to be usually be done between June 1 actually want to renew it on January 1 this is number one and shrub pruning package round number two now we’re going to actually pull up our services for each one so shrub pruning 1 and shrub pruning two and we’re gonna put the start time so traditionally in my market that would be June first and it would be done by traditionally you’d want it done before the fourth of July especially or high-end residential so I would say second to give you some leeway now we’re gonna go back in and traditionally this would start right around August 1st and roll up through the end of August so it was interesting we had enough commercial and residential work that that gap between 7/2 & 8/1 would be the gap that we could do the residential so the commercial would come first we’d fill in with all the residential and then we’d go into round number 2 for commercial and round number 2 is done with commercial be back in our residential it’s the difference of two different packages and that’s the the benefit of it and same thing minimum days in the crew training default budgeted rate really don’t apply here so that’s how you set up your proving package. The last one here is a bonus for our northern folks doing snow removal one of the biggest things in my company that we found as an issue was how do we go out and steak driveways or parking lots and actually keep track of putting them up and taking them down and doing plow repairs so traditionally what we would do is we would build out our services put him up and take him down I’ve already had this building out but there’s a snow staking and lawn repair so what I did previously is I set up a pre-season removal and then so pre season staking between 11/1 and 11/15 because our contract started out at 15th and then we do a postseason removal in the lawn repair 4/1 to and this should be probably about 4/15 here so the idea is once you set this up you can have a package to set them up and then something that fall to remove and repair that plow damaged so comments or questions drop them below but thats the four main things that we probably would suggest on a bare minimum setting packages so you’ve got bed maintenance holiday likes shrimp burning and snow plow stake removal and set up for you to set up that route density and run things through there so comments or questions drop them below but Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer live here on Facebook so we don’t pick the topics usually you guys submit them and no matter how advanced or how basic the questions are were answering  live here to give back to the Service Autopilot community and help you have a better season this year coming up.

LIVE with Angela Brown for the top 6 tips for 2020!

Callahan’s Corner: Monthly Installment Contracts and Scheduling Service.

Video Transcript:

How to handle installment billings in particular contracts… so what I’m gonna be doing is I just gotta hop on the other screen here and pull up the actual questions so I can put some context in it and so basically new to trying to set up get it all set up is Service Autopilot If you’re unaware of what that is they run a lawn and pool service they send bills out the first of the month or bill one month in advance so that’s one thing we want to keep in mind here is why we go to set this up should I have set up contracts for their total monthly amount rather than breaking down the price on a weekly basis and trying to get this all squared away before April 1 so I can invoice through Service Autopilot instead of QuickBooks please let me know your thoughts and directions PS we don’t have signed contracts not sure if that matters, thanks. Lindsay great question here so if you’re joining me live or in the recorded version I would love to have any comments or questions so we can answer them but first thing to do is shrink down the screen here and actually bring up Service Autopilot so you can actually see what I’m doing here so first thing is we’re gonna go into Service Autopilot there’s some foundational things we want to keep in mind from Lindsay’s question first one is if she has a monthly installment contract that includes probably one or several services underneath the monthly price, now once she has that she said she doesn’t have signed contracts and she may want to bill a month in advance so all these things are very doable underneath the system we just need to break them down in a systematic way. When a lot of people fly up to New York for our 2-day deep dive where we sit knee to knee and build out and set up Service Autopilot for them in two days a lot of times folks come into the deep dive thinking that they have all the data points so one thing that Scott Howard and I are the head trainer at SA Scott Howard he does Scott squared on the essays page when Scott and I are doing these regional training events a lot of times we’ll talk about good data in good data out and the ability to have database hygiene. I’m gonna kind of break this down on a high level but actually go in and set this up for you for Lindsey and anybody else watching as well so the idea here is we’re gonna going and I’m gonna go in and put our test client and pull that up so what we’re looking at here is we want to go down and scroll down to the contract now before we have the contract or set this up we need some data here that is going to be very important you know that we need to know what services are in the contract the prices for each service that would add up to the total installment contract amount and the budgeted time and hopefully the cost before profit . What we’re gonna do is go in and set up this contract here and I’m gonna name the contract just test contract actually know what we’re gonna go with Lindsey pool and lawn contract you maybe do these separately we’re gonna do a start gate so if I was to guess from Lindsey’s email we’re gonna go in and say it is in April first start date and let’s just say based on the season that she’s potentially in not too sure but let’s call it October 31st so that’s the start and end of the service range now the next thing we do is want to put a line item here and this is the line item that’s gonna show up on the contract right here so what we’re gonna do is going and paste missing for just speed I’m gonna say lawn and pool contract monthly installment so now when we hit the plus sign we can go in and have that and that’ll also automatically default on the installment billing I can have multiple and then sort up-and-down how you want them to be in there next thing you need a default service so in this test account I highly doubt I have anything from pool service but let’s take a look we’re gonna call it commercial maintenance so this could include maybe the commercial maintenance of the law and the pool at a commercial facility but the idea is that the default service that’s associated with. Now the next thing I want to do is go in and set our installment billing so April let’s just say it’s a thousand dollar contract every month so we can go in and actually auto-fill it here for speed if you want auto-fill and just going to delete the months that are not applicable now we’ve set up our monthly installment of $1,000 a month and it’s gonna crude our pool and landscape maintenance so what we’re gonna do then is go in and set the bill months so Lindsey your particular thing if you want to go the bill of one month in advance I’d say build the first of the month we want to build one month in advance so technically you’re probably one month behind right now you’d want to head trigger this in March but you could potentially set this up to go before the end of the month so based on the timing but that’s how we’ve set up one bill month in advance here. April’s invoice would be created in March on the specified date here and it’s that spell generate a little question so how are they gonna pay let’s just say it is a commercial client they’re gonna pay in credit check and we can auto generate its active and include sub properties sounder the leader client when you have master and sub properties this is how you would tie in those additional sub-properties into this so the final step here is we want to go under actions and add a contract item so I’m gonna go in and we had pool tile work obviously not exactly the pool maintenance what we use it for the example and we’re gonna go in and add another contract item for landscape maintenance now there’s some options here so pool work we’re gonna call pool tile work just for example sake but let’s say we’re only covering 15 visits or X amount of hours for the pool service so if I wanted to go in I could say it includes 15 pool cleanings and we would want to alert if it’s greater than or equal to 15 a person in the business so and now we know the accounting role hey we need to be aware that we’re over 15 visits or if it’s an hourly job you can go in and out the number of hours here and alert somebody that the hours are about to exceed that number and do we bill over that yes at the quantities over or if the hours are over so we can go in and set the additional billing up and above the installment contract landscape maintenance we’ll put that in there so the idea is we want both services or all the services included in the thousand dollars a month installment. I want to say what’s up to Scott Furman can I watch this later busy working in New York State where deemed essentials? Yeah Scott absolutely thish will be here for you … I want to say congratulations to everybody in the lawn care cleaning industry that had been deemed essential if not NALP is fighting for a lot of landscaping companies and I know Issa is also fighting for the cleaning industry depending on where you’re at so be safe out there and you can definitely watch this later so Scott congrats brother. So once we’ve got this contracting here we want to go in and add the job so this is the part Lindsay where most people drop the ball in my opinion but you’re gonna be following this video so you’ll be good we want to add that recurring job and if it’s a one-time job we can include a one-time job but the idea is we want to go in and select the contract and the schedule so I’m gonna go into custom schedule and let’s say we’re doing the pool cleaning every week on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday you can select that but what if we had a service that was a little funkier it didn’t fall into the master package options here of weekly or bi-weekly you can actually go in through custom schedule and say every three weeks or every two days or every so many months so that’s gonna give you that granularity there and once you figure out what you want I’m gonna say it’s every week on a Thursday getting ready for the weekend and I’m gonna end after 15 visits and I can show it on the calendar and see how far does that take us out well 15 visits probably isn’t going to cover that summer season but it gives you the idea so that’s gonna give you that granularity there but for examples sake that’ll work. We’re gonna put in our pool service now this is where it gets interesting we’re gonna go in and assign the resource so I’m gonna be the pool boy for the day here and the quantity is going to be one because we’re doing one pool cleaning every week we go out. Now where most people miss is they do not put the rate in budgeted hours this is essential for good data in good data out long as it’s connected to this contract up here it will not build that out so what we’re gonna do is put a rate of let’s say 50 dollars per cleaning and it’s a one-hour cleaning for one person so that is gonna give us the good data for the reporting and production rates that you need we’re going to put that in and then we’re gonna go in and hit save. Now we can join and add the additional job we’re going to add a recurring job and let’s say this commercial property wants the lawn and landscape maintained on Mondays that’s where it falls into our schedule so I’m going to select part of the pool and lawn contract and we’re to scheduleit weekly on Monday. Once again we’re gonna grab our landscape maintenance initial start date is going to be let’s just say April 5th and it’s gonna start recurring April 5th or 6th so that’s the start date when we start recurring every weekly Monday we’re gonna sign screw, once again we want a budgeted timeso one of the biggest questions Mike should the prices and budgeted time equal the total of the total contract? Yes after you added this stuff up time so many visits for landscape maintenance and all the pool services you should get a total rate budget of time that equals basically a hundred percent so fictitiously I’m just gonna throw it 75 bucks in here and 1.25 hours now we goin and we hit save. Now the next question you’re probably gonna have is okay if we’re working on the pool that includes maintenance and we’re working on the lawn and that’s called landscape maintenance what happens if the pool pump breaks and we need to make a service call or what if we have some crepe myrtles or something like that a southern state that need to be pruned up and outside of the the contract or even storm damaged with palm trees you can go in and add a one time or any type of job here but basically it would not be part of the contract and then you put your whatever that is so you would just put in here the service sign it to a resource and put your rate and budgeted time in here and you can build this at the end the end of the day end of the weekend of the month depending how the default buildings set up in your Service Autopilot to bill out up and above the contract. Right now they’re gonna come out as two separate invoices with v3 invoicing you can merge them together but QuickBooks if you’re using it SA recommendation from my understanding with new v3 formats we do not want to merge them that’s going to cause some serious issues so best practice to stay safe is keep your additional billing separate than your monthly installment billing. Any comments or questions while I am live I’m happy to answer them or on the recorded version the next 24 to 48 hours but if you’re looking to set up an installment setup we want to go under contracts add a contract set up the installment billing whether it’s billed the month in its in of the month in advance the day and we want to associate the service underneath that with any additional restraints on hours or trips then we going to build the one time -recurring service associated to the contract and we want to rate in budget hours for production and job costing, comments questions throughout below Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer live right here on Facebook See you again tomorrow

3 Meetings you need to have for a remote or in office staff.

Video Transcript:

A lot of these things have not changed from pre COVID19 days but a lot of people now are working in remote offices and the game has changed it doesn’t feel comfortable so the thing that I’m Talking about today is the three things you need to be doing in your office whether you have a remote office staff now or an in-person office staff and I can speak to this very candidly because being an absentee owner at Callahan’s Lawn Care my lawn care company and now having a remote company that’s completely remote with all remote workers at Simple Growth there’s certain keys to success that we’ve learned along the way some that we were lucky enough to get others honestly we fail that miserably and we had to refine and define a system for success and accountability throughout the staff so whether you’re team is working remotely right now this is new for you or you’re looking to create a remote office with a virtual assistant such as pink collars or your kind of back in the normaland you haven’t had social distance in with your office as well these are the three main things that we need to be talking about on a consistent and regular basis. The first one is a weekly rhythm meeting in the first weekly rhythm is going to be a daily meeting a potentially every morning so our first weekly meeting rhythm is daily so it’s the key stakeholders so your office staff your production managers maybe your head crew leaders whatever those are we need to have a key stakeholder meeting we call it a Monday huddle it’s a standing meeting and you want to have some fun with it so but basically it’s gonna be the top three things that are driving the business we need to talk about those in the quick meeting so if there’s three or four people it’s three to maybe five minutes each person kind of presenting what’s going on from the previous day what’s going on today and what’s going on for the week we need to have that communication so the first one is a daily key holder stakeholders meeting one company that I saw have some fun with this was actually Infusionsoft based in Arizona but if you were late for this the key stakeholders meeting they actually made you wear a pink or rainbow tutu during the meeting so it’s important to be on time to be prepared on so they had a little fun with that so a cool little idea you may want to borrow but the first of the three key things need to be doing for remote or in person office is the key stakeholders meeting every morning very quickly before the team starts the day so we’re talking about what happened yesterday what’s going on today and what’s going on for the weeks we have clarity of what’s going on. The next one is going to be your production staff so this is something it’s Simple Growth every Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. I meet with my production staff people building and training and supporting the automations and we literally have three main things that are driving customer success in what we deem is success we have each person talked about their big three where is it going so where they’ve been where they’re at and where we’re going and what are those three things that are driving success and we have especially with the remote office it forces us to communicate on any issues or possible things that could be positive that we can capitalize on so you’re gonna have your first meeting for weekly stakeholders each each day so your key stakeholders each morning before everybody gets there the next second meeting is your production staff once again quick 15 minute standing meeting whether it’s remote or in person so our standing meetings are obviously remote but we’ve capped them around 10 to 15 minutes they’re in and out boom boom boom we get we know what’s going on and we’re tackling it for the week so we’ve got our daily meeting for the stakeholders we’ve got our production staff meeting. The third one is gonna be administrative and financial so those are gonna be the folks doing your billing or job costing the office corestaff and we’re gonna meet with those traditionally in my company on Tuesdays At 9:00 a.m. so I get Christine and Tami how to go to meeting or zoom just like this and we talk about it and there’s literally three to four things each one of them report out on that they’re responsible for that are driving success for the company moving forward. Tami is talking about budget verse actual payroll overtime things around payroll over time that she’s handling she’s also talking about past due accounts so how many people are first warning second warning are being paused and a couple of the other key ingredients that we look at far isn’t billing is there any questions we tackle those billing questions but they haven’t been resolved the week on meaning so all the key stakeholders are rounding billing and office procedures far as a customer service in the accountant in myself are all on that call so we can address them in real time quickly so all the key decision-makers are there and we just pumped through that questions checklist because when you work remotely sometimes there’s different times of flex work that aren’t allowing instant communication so it’s important to get your team together on this virtual stand-up meeting or in person to address any billing issues every six or seven days we do that on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. now Christine in the office is our customer success coach so she’s dealing with answering the phones and all the things that come in triaging it to quality control or support something we did at the lawn care company but the idea is now Christine is gonna report out on customer count how many new leads came in how many people converted into clients how many cancellations and then her and Tami are comparing notes on accounts receivable paused and warnings so now all the knowledge is disseminated throughout the organization so that is going to be your key three. There’s a fourth I’m gonna throw in there which is which is interesting as well um but we would goin so daily we have key stakeholders meetings before the jobs for the day start second is going to be production and managers once a week for about 15 minutes and then the second or the third is actually going to be your office staff your admin our customer support as well as financial now as the company evolves and gets large and you have a leadership team what I’m gonna recommend at least the way we do it is every Monday Wednesday and Friday at eleveno’clock we have a standing one-hour meeting via go-to meeting your zoom and we go in and have an agenda for Monday Wednesday and Friday so that is driving a set topic that is gonna start going into our quarterly goals and our annual goals so if you’re looking at EOS for that book Jena Whitman traction they talk about having these quarterly rocks these goals are for driving through so with these three meetings Monday Wednesday and Friday with the leadership team have distinct topics that need to be handled now we can talk about fires and things that popped up but the idea is we have a set topic and agenda that needs to be accomplished each week every Monday Wednesday and Friday and we’re driving towards those quarterly goals. Comments or questions drop below but this new kind of remote workforce is going on I thought it would be advantageous to break down the meetings in the meeting rhythms that we’ve used in both my companies for pretty good success. Quick recap daily key stakeholders meetings we do them at 8:00 a.m. but basically any time before the crews get out so we’re gonna go out and have our stakeholders meeting probably lawn care home clean it’s probably 6:30 7:00 a.m. in the morning but that’s just a quick standing meeting with the key stakeholders or remote the next one is once a week we go through our production manners quick 15-minute meeting on Mondays we’re talking about last weekthis week and what’s going on are the followings rejecting the next one’s on Tuesdays where I meet with my office and financial people so I’ve got my accounts receivable billing and I have my customer success coach then handles customer intake and manages any complaints or estimate requests so we written those stats as well and far as new client acquisition new leads closing ratios any cancellation so we got a clearer picture where we’re at where we’re going and where we’ve been so financial and customer set and then the third one or actually the fourth one is when your company gets a little bit larger and you have a leadership team we break out a Monday Wednesday and Friday key stakeholders meeting or leadership team basically that includes the stakeholders but that’s gonna be our core team leadership team Monday Wednesday and Friday with defined topics and scheduling of those meetings so we know what we’re doing already and we have some things of each persons responsible to bring to that meeting and that’s gonna help us drive those quarterly goals which drive our yearly goals which hopefully pull right into your BHAG are big hairy audacious goal we’re gonna go out and crush and dominate. Comments or questions drop them below but I thought it was really important to break down weekly rhythm meeting for key stakeholders your office financial and production managers and then once your company gets large enough you have a leadership team Monday Wednesday Friday we have those leadership meetings if you don’t have a leadership team yet it’s probably cooled in an hour a week for each day Monday Wednesday and Friday and if you are the leadership team just by yourself block the timeout for strategic planning and start building those things that you’d be building with a leadership team on because right now we’re probably wearing a lot of hats a lot of companies but as you build that leadership team now you’ve got a weekly rhythm that you’re used to and it’s not awkward trying to plug that in your schedule so a lot of value there so comments questions dropping below live or recorded and hopefully this was helpful

Callahan’s Corner: High & Low Price Ranges in Service Autopilot (Close sales over the phone)

One simple way to communicate value to your clients during Covid -19

Video Transcript:

Things are crazy right now with this Covid19, something obviously to be taken very seriously we need as a business owners and employees need to go out and be able to protect our brand and our business as well as our team and our staff . One of the biggest things right now is essential businesses and what does that mean where does my business fall a lot of things going on so I’m gonna hit this from the lawn care in cleaning industries perspective and it’s somewhat the same unfortunately our friends of the cleaning industry are taking a wider or heavier hit right now they are mostly deemed essential but on the flip side of that most people do not want these cleaners going inside their house with social distancing so the main problem there is people are canceling services or suspending services with these folks because they don’t want the cleaners in the house. Now there’s another I guess another approach or I guess another issue there is some cleaning folks are willingly suspending their services based on the number of cancellations or their fear for the health of their staff. Now in the lawn care industry something very similar is the on the flip side of that is a lot of lawn care companies not being essential depending where you’re at especially in New York State where you actually have to submit an electronic basically permission to get approved as essential so you actually have documentation and the sheriff in NewYork has doubled or tripled their presence when I understand to actually enforce the essential work force so a lot of things going on here but what the video is just to put some context here on it is whether you’ve been deemed essential or not whether you’ve elected to work or not the key here is we need to double down on our content and it’s one relatively simple play. Now I know a lot of people don’t like to get in front of the video camera and talk but we can do it in written text as well but what I’m suggesting as the business owner is what you really need to do is highlight what you do as a professional when you provide these services and literally not just on a high level I’m talking details so I’m gonna give you a perfect example the home cleaning company that cleans my home here has suspended services so Sunday that I went out and I was following the same process and procedure as close as I could to do our weekly cleaning in the house so I started literally from the top of the house and was working down it was in the master bathroom and I was literally going from right to left from top to bottom and doing the general maintenance clean that the cleaner would do and I Will tell you working closely being in the cleaning industry now there are things that the general public a doesn’t realize you do and B they don’t understand the process and procedure that you do each and every time so whether it’s lawn care or home cleaning what I’m suggesting right now is grab a pen grab some paper or make a little mind dump in a Google Doc but literally list from when you pull up to the driveway or the curb list all the things that you are doing systematically with basic instructions and if the homeowner can’t afford to have you they elect not to have you or you’ve suspended your services or the government said you know what you’re not essential this is the first step of many steps gonna breakdown but as a homeowner conceptually going in to clean the house yesterday step by step the way the cleaner was doing it there was a reassurance of perceived value and value that they give. If the homeowners going in and they’re just going through willy-nilly and cleaning the house or cutting the lawn or doing the landscape maintenance they’re not going to follow the steps as a professional but what we can do is help them and provide value and reassure them that we’re here to help them even if we can’t physically help them at their home or commercial property. What I’m highly suggesting doing is make a mind dump sequentially of everything you do for the service and send it to them you may even want to build some kind of automation around it so if you did a weekly cleaning or a weekly mowing on Monday the day before maybe you’re sending a brief automation highlighting the steps of the service so they know each and every time hey this is one we would have been there and these are the steps that we’d be talking now if you do have some time on your hands and not a lot of us do but if you do the interesting thing would be is if you could take this and start building some of your own internal training if you haven’t so you’re killing two birds with one stone so we’ve got our internal document for training and our external how to do as a professional document for our clients right now but if I had seen something like that that would have been a huge huge value game for me knowing the steps to take to properly clean the home on a weekly maintenance same thing as a landscape maintenance on the outside but it was something that resonated with me this weekend so I thought I’d share it. So I would suggest today if you have some time outline the service that you’re providing or would have been providing and whether you’re still doing it you’re not doing it reinforce the value and how you’re buying time back for them and if they need to do it themselves or even if you’re still doing you show them exactly what the steps that are to be taking to reassure the value and why it’s important and why they need to continue to have that service. Comments or questions drop below but the thought today just one simple way is continue your communication it needs to be addressed how we’re handling this how we’re creating social distancing for our crews and our crews and our the general public or our clients and then potentially sending a one-page hit list of all the steps for that service that should be being performed if you’re not doing it if you are performing it list all the steps you’re talking to reinforce the value so they continue to use your services and they see the value in it. Comments or questions drop them below but I just think this is just something important that we need to be out there and continually communicating. If you haven’t done it yet a lot of companies that we’ve been working with have taken it upon themselves after our video last week to make a personal video from the owner something like this and literally address your client base and talk about what’s going on and put a face to it and put some emotion to it so there’s an emotional connection that’s gonna help you retain these clients and when they talk to their families and friend over social media or over the phone they are gonna be more apt to go out and reach out to a client or a company that’s doing this kind of communicate and standing behind it helping their client base. Comments or questions drop them below hopefully it was helpful tip today is make a list of the service you’re providing send it out to the client with detailed instructions how to do it create that perceived value and reinforce what you’re doing and if you for some reason have elected to pull out of that or can’t do it yourself the client now has step-by-step instructions how to actually do the service themselves as a professional so when it’s time for you to come back in and restart that service they’re still thinking of you and you’re top of mind they’re not gonna go shop you for another competitor. So hopefully it was helpful and drop some comments down below are you going to go out and send this list to your clients how to do the service themselves or reinforce what you’re doing to create that higher perceived value I’d love to see if anybody is up gonna take this on their homework checklist for today or to-do list and and get this out and be a quickstart and get that out there so take a look at it later today we’re gonna be doing Callahan’s Corner as well with high low price ranging how to build that out and service autopilot as well

Callahan’s Corner: Creating fertilization estimates In Service Autopilot

Corona virus Covid 19 and your business [what should you do] Black Swan Event in progress.

Video Transcript:

What is the right time to start marketing and how frequent should I advertise in the spring.

Video Transcript:

Hey Mike Callahan here wanted to make a quick video a lot of questions right now in this spring time how many times should I be sending out my marketing documents and when should I start. Well each part of the country is obviously different with the seasonality but I’ve got some quick rule of thumb here things that have worked well in my business as far as when to start your marketing campaign in the spring for a lawn care company as well as how frequent and I’m gonna break this down and obviously the frequency is gonna depend on your budget so I’m gonna give you a couple different best practices as we scaled our marketing budget in my company. First thing when should I start marketing, well ideally if you can you want to go out probably three to four weeks before the first weed pops up and the grass start turning green and the birds start chirping reason is we want to start brand awareness we want to be in front of the people in different types of marketing copy which I’m gonna get into in a minute but about a month to a month and a half before the first weeds pop and the grass starts growing if you have the budget for it and the reason is we want brand awareness because people are going to need to see your ad two three four times before they start to actually engage with it and recognize it. If you have the budget I’m rocketing between a month – a month and a half before the season starts and we’re gonna be dropping to the same exact address and addresses the potential clients every week for potentially nine weeks. Now if you have a marketing budget for nine to twelve weeks that’s probably the best results that we’ve seen and we’re gonna be starting out a month to a month and a half for those first weeds pop and the grass is there that’s spring urgency know if you don’t have the budget to go out 9 to 12 weeks consecutively for the same people what I’m recommending is figure out when the weeds first start to pop or the grass starts to turn green and there’s that absolute chaos when your phone just absolutely blow up overnight and it’s impossible to even answer the phone as quick as it’s ringing so figure out what that looks like this season if it hasn’t happened if it has happened jump on it now but you want to drop those marketing copies whether it’s hard copy print or Facebook right when those first weeds pop and that pain points there and people are looking for that that band-aid you’ve got it so ideally if you’ve got the marketing budget for 9 to 12 weeks I recommend about a month to month and a half for the season warms up and start dropping it on them. Now obviously there’s a little bit different in the Northeast versus some of the other markets in the country so you know you got to use the judgment in your market but if we can go out amongst three different types of marketing campaigns it doesn’t matter for its Flyers Facebook whatever that is what we found is the alternating medium that we use it in in the copy so the first one is long copy text that Dan Kennedy styles if you’ve ever heard of Dan Kennedy recommend Googling tht gentlemen he is the founder of written marketing copy but his long text speaks to a buying way a buying habit away people to buy they’re there educating them through that long copy the other one is going to be ballpark pricing and the biggest objection is well if I put ballpark pricing on a flyer my competitors are going to know what I’m charging let’s be honest everybody watching this video if you’re not living under a rock you have a ballpark idea what your competitors are charging so I’m gonna address that upfront don’t worry about your competitors that are taking money out of your pocket let’s worry about your potential customers that are going to be put money in your pocket so we’ve got long copy text is the first one second one the following week is going to be some copy with ballpark pricing on it and addressing what the price of your services are what’s included what’s in overcoming some of the sales and price objections the third type of copy is going to be differentiation with a satisfaction guarantee and addressing the ugliness of our industry the perceived misconceptions are actually really true conceptions if we don’t return phone calls some people don’t have insurance they don’t show up when they’re gonna show up all the different things that our industry has a black eye for we want to address those upfront and be absolutely different so if you’re going out to blow up that spring rush right now a month to a month and a half in between if you’re in the upstate NewYork or Northeast area that St. Patty’s Day week is usually the best week to get going and that gives you that play all the way up through Memorial Day we’re gonna hit them every week. Southern market Southwest markets are obviously a little bit different than already starting to get going but the idea is if you have the budget 9 to 12 weeks consistently to the same exact people if you don’t have the budget we want to start one of the first weeds pop and the grass is starting to grow three different targets and types of marketing copy whether it’s printed or if it’s on Facebook or online media you’re gonna run these all at the same time in an ad set so you have three different ads under one budget basically with oneaudience it’s geo-targeting year your service area but they are going to be your Dan Kennedy a long style copy they’re gonna be your prices on the flyer ballpark with what’s included what’s not included and then the third one is going to be differentiation and addressing the ugliness of the Chuck the truck mentality of lawn care and why you’re different and how you guarantee you’re working you stand behind it so those three different types of marketing copier and apply to three different types of buyers and then you definitely need in my opinion a systematic way to follow up and each and every estimate for twenty days we call this process Twenty Days to Close and we eventually automated it but we want to be able to follow up by the each and every estimate in this process here and as we’re following up on each and every estimate we want to be able to do it through phone calls emails and tax once again you’re starting to see there’s three different mediums that we’re following up on so if they’re only following up the email or taxed or phone call you’re not doing it so five or more touches closes 80% of the sales so we need to come to the table with multiple different mediums to follow up on these estimates. We’re dropping our marketing when that first weed pops the grass pops whatever that is if our budget is not gonna allow us to go out a little bit farther if our budget allows it let’s go out about a month to a month and a half and just every week hiit the same exact people with nine to twelve rotating versions of the marketing copy this frequency is gonna drive brand awareness and then when the pain hits they’re gonna call you because you’re right there in your top of frame of mine if there’s an early adopter that early adopter is gonna get you jump on your competition. If you’re in the Northeast where we do have some snow it’s not uncommon and I have seen it between forty to a hundred thousand dollars in a marketing budget literally wasted in a weekend you drop all your marketing you drop forty thousand dollars or in some cases I’ve seen a hundred thousand dollars in one massive marketing drop for every door direct mailing for postcards and the next day it snows and it’s completely wasted so what I’m recommending is no matter where you are in the country don’t fall victim to some of the things that I’ve seen in mymark and other Northeast markets is if you put all your eggs in one basket and go for one big blast of marketing across your whole entire area that’s like Russian Roulette don’t do it because the problem is whether it’s raining or it’s snowing it’s just not sunny out psychologically these buyers might not be ready so we need to spread out the risk and go and market over a wider timespan so I’d rather see you hit 10,000 people four times then 40,000 people once so figure out what your budget is and hammer down on it consistently at least three to five times, in my market we were going between nine and twelve times and that’s what’s gonna drive that consistency and get that phone to ring and the biggest mistake after that is a not answering the phone and B not having automated or at least a process with accountability to follow up on each and every estimate because the biggest thing I hear on these Facebook groups is oh I can’t I can’t grow my business because I’ve got low ball or competition and I’m The cheapest guys and they’re winning all the work I’ll be honest to do yes that happens but I think what the biggest problem is and I thought that in the early days and I couldn’t get out of my own way is the people that were winning the lion’s share of the word weren’t the cheapest in town they were actually probably the most expensive after we figured out what they were charging through some competitive analysis but what they were doing and they were doing consistently is following up on each estimate five or more times so if you’re not doing that which I’m guessing a lot of people are not because I wasn’t in the early days you’re leaving eighty percent of the sales of your market on the table so if your competitor down the street is crushing you and you think it’s do the low prices think again my guess is if they’re successful they’ve been around for awhile they’re following up consist of each and every estimate so marketing timing yes in frequency after you make that investment answer your phones which seems completely obvious return the estimate requests off your website statistically right now eighty-five percent of all forms or estimate requests filled out on a website in the service industry right now are not being answered so it’s not only enough to go out and do that but we also need to go out and take care of that . Any comments questions drop below we’ll talk to you soon

[Wiki] and why it’s the key to your freedom from your business.

Video Transcript:
Hey Mike Callahan with a quick video had a lot of questions last week talking about the wiki or what is a wiki so this is pretty much platform-independent so a lot of different software companies have this or CRMs customer relationship management software. A wiki is a place where you store all the knowledge in your head and be able to share with everyone in your organization so this is something we started using back in the day on a product called know-it-all software and eventually recreated that into Service Autopilot  where we now operate our business but this video is really applicable that any software company because most software companies that we use in our service industries have this feature whether it’s called a wiki or something else but the wiki basically is what I would suggest doing is taking all the things in your head and all the questions predominantly all the questions that your staff is asking you and you have to answer on a daily or weekly basis and what you do is you document all the things in your head and put them in the wiki and now what happens is when your crew leader calls you and says hey where’s the mechanics you’re referring them back to the wiki well did you check the wiki or when your secretary calls you your admin and says hey they’re asking certain details about maybe routing number for the bank deposits or certain things like that. We want to take all those things that me hold hostage in our head and document them inside the wiki and hopefully include PDFs or basically long copy as well as videos and have those all in there and giving your team the ability to that knowledge database takes that knowledge silo and disseminates it across the organization and that is one of the keys to freedom in the business. What we did at Callahan’s Lawn Care is it took several years but every question that we got we would stick in the wiki and documented and I Had a pretty good idea of what was inside the wiki and what wasn’t in the wiki so if I knew ninety percent chance it was in there I would refer the person back in my business to the wiki so no matter whether it was an admin or someone in the field no matter who it was we sent them to the wiki well liked you check the wiki and if they came back and said it wasn’t in the wiki then I would go back and confirm it wasn’t in there and put that on my list of things to do for the week. The idea is we want to create a place that saves all the general knowledge in your business and put it in there and when this gets really interesting is once you have pretty much all the answers in there and you’re starting to update about regular basis as the business grows if you want to go on vacation or if you want to sell your business the ability for your team to be reliant on the knowledge inside the software is an extremely powerful tool it will help take that value when you go to sell your business or retire and exponentially raise it because now most companies when you go to sell it or when the business could owner leaves for vacation there’s an issue so when you go to sell your business traditionally at six twelve maybe twenty four months not the business owner has to stick around to transition the business but one of the key parts of the transition is getting all the stuff how the business owners had that they traditionally don’t want to share but if you’re ever looking to exit or retire taking the knowledge out of your head and putting that wiki as an instrumental move because at that point you’re not needed when that business transition is sold or even better if you want to leave for to three weeks on vacation and you don’t constantly picking up your cell phone answering questions of where do we pick up more fertilizer or what’s the call what’s the contact person and phone number person for irrigation parts or so on and so on we want to document everything in there no matter how base it is if someone is asking you that question at least once or twice a year put it in the wiki and I recommend take making subheaders in that wiki so Sales, Marketing, HR, Finances and then maybe some external ones far as Equipment and Asset Management and different things would be applicable for parts and things like that but by creating sub headers and creating a very standardized naming convention they’re easily sortable. If you’re going in 10. Marketing whatever that is 20. Sales 50. Internal-HR so where is an HR thing that always came up at Callahan’s if one of the main people my office is out is where’s the direct deposit form where do I find the link for that where do I find the tax information packet that they have to sign out so everything whether it’s online or physically in your office should be documented to that wiki and now we’re going to make the people in your business reliable to the wiki and not us as the business owner that’s when we start to buy that freedom on that we hear about it if you believe in that Michael Gerber -working on it not in it,  this is one of the main keys of freedom to work on the business and notin it because if we’re constantly fighting fires and putting them out each and every day and answering questions there’s no way that we can concentrate for 30 minutes let alone four or five hours out of the business and actually starting to grow a system and process. The challenge or at least the question today is what is a wiki in any software platform if your if your software platform doesn’t have a wiki in my opinion you can buy a third party one but it’s probably time to shop for a new software platform is any reputable software company that I’ve used for the service industry over the last 27 years has had a wiki in it but we want to take that wiki we store all our knowledge all the video links everything in there real based example is when we go to winterize the fertilizing tanks in upstate New York before we automated in repetitive tasks we would have the manufacturer’s video the training text the time and deadlines that needed to be done and pictures with the manufacturer’s video and a shopping list of materials so no longer was if it’s time to winterize the spray tanks what do I need to do and when’s it due by the software had it documented so I can take the individual responsible for that and point them to that knowledge database. Challenge today drop some comments if you’re using the wiki and any software platform you is using but the challenge today and write some comments hold yourself accountable are you gonna start taking the things in your head as a business owner or business manager and document them in a central knowledge base like a wiki so now everything that’s in your head is accessible to the organization if you ever got hurt feel sick or you wanted to leave on vacation it’s there and then when you go to sell your business or retire the transition of the knowledge is already in place and the business isn’t revolving around you as a single point of failure. Challenge today is let’s go out let’s start building some features and knowledge in the database of your wiki and start buying that time back to be able to work on it not in it as Michael Gerber says. If you’re watching this live today I’m gonna be back on the today implementer event for Simple Growth starting back up at 9:00 a.m. today and if you haven’t moved on that you’re using Service Autopilot we’re gonna have the ability for people to join a recorded version of that as well starting probably Wednesday of this week so I spent the night burning the midnight oil getting all those videos cleaned up and embedded and they’re ready to go for day one we’re hopping into day two today but main point of video is what is a wiki it’s a knowledge database or silo that we’re taking what’s in your head and putting into a software in a very easily searchable manner we like to use naming conventions so 10. Marketing 20. Sales maybe 50. internal / HR you kind of get the idea create a naming convention and plug each knowledge thing underneath that header and something as simple it’s just where is your mechanic if that’s not a question you put that in the wiki where’s the direct deposit forms put that in the wiki whatever the questions are that are starting to suck your time away as a business owner and get you away from strategic leadership and growing and scaling your business you want to stick that in there and as we continue to hire a staff it gets uncomfortable because people don’t want to give away what their job is people want to hold that tight and hold it hostage but if you’re looking to grow and scale your business because in my opinion if you’re not growing you’re dying as a business everybody’s position right now is going to be replaced by someone else because our goal as a business owners continue to evolve and create a better lifestyle and more ROI return on investment on those people and your in your staff so as we bring somebody in if they’re good cultural fit my idea is we want to sit them down get them to buy into the idea that they’re not going to be in that position forever there’s an upward mobility and movement in order to make that upward mobility and movement happen they need to continue to document their job as it evolves so the next person in can walk in and jump in two feet in and within a week or so be up and running and that next person can jump into their new position but if we don’t doubt and document all the knowledge and workflow in the wiki that’s in that person’s head not alone just the owners we have a hard time scaling and growing a business because to evolve to the next position they have to retreat basically train the replacement and after they train them they’re gonna get sucked into the fire fighting as a business owner is just the same because they’re answering all the questions where things are and how they happen so not only as a business owner you want to utilize the wiki but you’re also wanting your team to buy into the methodology of we need to document each position because as we grow and scale the business we need to have people to continue to evolve and as you evolve you’ll want to get sucked back into the question answering in the firefighting of the position you’re left so it’s a two-fold approach business owner first team whole approach is definitely the way to go. Comments or questions drop them below if you are joining us on day number two the two day live streaming implementer event feel free and if you haven’t joined us yet if you look on the Simple Growths Facebook page you could definitely get in on day number two and get the video of day number one so we’ll see you there later today.