Bottom line profits … where did they go?

Video Transcription

Hey Mike Callahan here wanted to make a quick video about bottom-line profits. Whether the industry lawn care or home cleaning this video is applicable but industry stats for the lawn care industry is traditionally a four to six net percent profit margin paper-thin margins are very dangerous. What we’re seeing is a lot of clients that we’ve been talking to and working with is that they’re really close to that 15 to 20 percent holy grail of profit margin in landscape maintenance but where the bottom-line profits are getting left on the cutting room floor is the inability to address I call the imaginary estimate checklist so if you’re using an example of landscaping and mulch installation how we’re gonna break that down is first the depth of mulch so is it 1 inch 2 inch or 3 inch we’d have a separate production estimating process so we’re going on in multiplying behind the scenes in a price matrix the actual quantity needed based on the depth and the budgeted hours and cost and basing the product if there’s different types of product or using we have that built out behind the scenes. In addition we’re gonna go in and handle bed edging so maybe it is a per linear foot for hand edging or per linear foot for power edging we have two different production rates and we want to be able to count for that and create profitability. The next thing we’re doing is maybe going in for hand weeding of a bed that’s already been maintained or a bed that has not been maintained we have different production rates so instead of saying well it’s all gonna come out in the wash it doesn’t matter we just need to get a price out quickly well in my opinion that’s really a cheap excuse we need to spend the time upfront and define the estimating process for predictable profits and results and then the final part is what about the drive time mobilization so if you’re wondering why at the end of the year your profit margins are wendling down to single digits my guess is you are possibly not accounting for all the things you need to in your estimate and going in and accounting for each imaginary step in having a process like an on-site estimate form is going to be the key to success for creating bottom line profits that are double-digit and more and predictable that can be reported on, very similar in the home cleaning industry a lot of times where we’re working with folks in home cleaning and very political the lawn care as well is the dry time between the homes or commercial properties is not being accounted for and it’s very tough whether you’re paying in a piece rate pay system or hourly that those cleaners need to have some budgeted time for mobilization especially if you’re in an urban or city area where you need a place to actually park the cleaning vehicles that takes some time. So we’re looking at how do we just define a process of an imaginary checklist that the estimator or the office can use to create predictable production rate based estimating and the big ones are we need to define in them like a mulch example the different depths and how long that’ll take and the quantities needed the different products so if there’s arange you want to define each product with its cost the bed edging while you’re doing it by hand or by poweredge two different production times gonna be double the production with the power edger now there’s gonna be some additional cost for that machine and it needs we figured in there as well drivetime and mobilization so whether you’ve got the materials at your shop or you’re going to a nursery those things need to be accounted for but if it’s your ship don’t say oh well we got something in the yard and they just load it with our skid or our tractor that those times need to be taken care of in yard expense or yard time now maybe that’s already configured in your general administrative cost and it’s covered there and you don’t want to double dip but if you haven’t that should be applied for a time in that estimate behind the scenes and maybe removing or disposing debris as well. The idea in the video today is don’t just assume that everything is going to work out in the wash at the end of the day and we can throw a price on it and each job like you know this job needs a lot more weeding but the other ones didn’t so it’s all gonna come out in the wash predominately what you’re doing you’re setting yourself up for failure in that that happened in the early days in my businesses I thought it would all just kind of workout on average but it doesn’t in traditionally you do if you end up bidding that way and you win the least profitable jobs that way and traditionally the jobs that you aren’t suited to do you end up as well so it’s a compounding effect. The advice today is go out take the time to find each steps of the job create a production based estimating system on it based on square footage linear feet if you don’t know what that is yet that’s okay base it on your experience how many minutes or hours you think it’s gonna take but have a non-emotional way of plugging in the minutes or hours and when you pull up the estimate to calculate the price budgeted time and cost before profit. Hopefully things here in upstate New York open up I’m rocking some COVID hair with going on about ten weeks so you know hopefully things loosen up here in New York like they are in the rest of the country but if you are in New York or any the areas that are pretty much locked down still stay strong you know thankfully the service industry lawn care home cleaning are deemed essential and folks are out there making the money and helping their consumers have great-looking landscaping or clean homes as well. Comments or questions drop below hopefully it was helpful don’t erode your bottom line profits take the time to create a standardized estimating system based on a production of units or minutes of hours based on your experience if you don’t have a production rate based estimating system defined and built out quite yet

How to decide pay and salaries throughout the year especially in a business that is growing.

Video Transcription

Hey Mike Callahan, had a question submitted how to go out and determine the salary of an involving lawn care or home cleaning company. Basically the question is really revolving around probably two parts in my opinion at least in my experience in my business. The first part of it is how do you actually go out and continue to grow your bench and stay within your budget and actually figure out how much you should be paying the individuals on your existing team when you replace them and then the second part of the question Ithink we should look at is how do we go out and figure these salaries and compensation for new team members as the company continues to grow and evolve and scale. It wasn’t uncommon in my business several years to actually double in size each year so those are things that I think really need to be taken into account well in advance of the upcoming season. Traditionally what we’re gonna do is in a service business if you’re looking at I would go out and create a bhag a big hairy audacious goal I mean this is gonna sound a little crazy first I’ll hang in there with me but the idea is that big hairy audacious goal is gonna be 10 to 15 years we’re gonna break that down into yearly goals and growth goals and then as we get into let’s just say going into 2020 if we had done this in say November or December or we’re going into 2021 and we’re doing this in the beginning of Q4 going into next year what we want to do is create an organizational chart of the existing business as it is no names on it strictly positions and responsibilities so first thing is we go in and we create our goals for 10 to 15 years we’d back those into yearly goals and as we’re going into next year’s goal we create an organizational chart hopefully already have them if you don’t we’re gonna create one with the existing positions and responsibilities only do not put names on it. Now once you have that we need to go in and project what our future growth looks like for the next 12 months on that organizational chart and it is all the roles and responsibilities so as the business is evolving the business owner maybe the bookkeeper they may be the estimator they may be the general manager in the morning get the crews out. Each business is different as we scale certain people in the organization way but maybe wearing multiple hats so the point of the organizational chart without any names in it with responsibilities we wanted to find all the roles and the responsibilities then we go to grow out the management team for crews so if we have five mowing crews and we’re looking at seven next year and we’ve got those responsibilities we’re gonna go in and potentially plug in the names of the existing people that are handling each role and responsibilities in the business and like I said somepeople’s names may be on multiple roles now looking at the roles are you taking one individual so maybe one individual is running the shop they’re doing the maintenance they’re gassing the equipment they’re doing quality control and training and maybe more so obviously at that point you’re gonna realize that person is probably overburdened with too much work and then the compensation for that individual needs to be aligned to that so that’s for the first part of the compensation. Now that we have all the roles defined and who’s sitting in them in the existing business if we’ve got say maybe four more positions on two two-man crews and we got gentleman and lady that need to be put on those crews we need to go and figure out the existing wages on our team so in the office and in the field now you’re fixed general administrative cost for the office is going to be fixed projected into next year long as nothing changes so that’s the place I would tackle first figure out your fixed cost if you make one saleor a million sales it doesn’t matter your general administrative costs your in labor producing labor is gonna be the same. I think this is where it dives into the question that was being asked is now that we have our organizational chart in our existing people with projected raises are plugged in there we’re gonna put those on a thing that I call a average wage sheet now if you’ve seen any of my videos where we go in and do a budget overhead recovery it is the first sheet we go over it’s the average wage sheet we’re gonna break the average wage sheet downpour division of the business so a basic example of average wage sheet per division in a lawn care industry would be landscape maintenance, hardscaping and maybe irrigation fertilization weed control those are significantly different overhead models that are gonna have to be addressed as far as wages now we don’t care about the overall overhead of the business but the wages and compensation may be significantly different from a maintenance crew to a hard scape crew or fertilization crew so we want to break it down per division and at first we really don’t want to put their names on their we’re gonna put technician one crew leader one technician three and break it down per crew and break down the pay levels and then we can pencil in the projected employees for that year. Now that we’ve got say five mowing crews and we’re adding crew six and seven we have projected average wages that we’ve budgeted for now on the below that what we’re gonna do is average all of them to get an average wage across all of your crews so let’s say your average wage is fifteen dollars and thirty cents so then we know at that point no matter who’s out on those crews on average that’s what it’s costing us and some people have more seniority or experiences their pay is gonna be higher but we want to know on average what that’s gonna cost us then we’re gonna figure out our average overtime so our average overtime that we’re paying per season so maybe it’s 5% 5% of our payroll for that reason is gonna be over time so we’re gonna figure out our average wage with average overtime so maybe that bumps it up to about 18 bucks an hour so we know why on average now whoever’s in the field based on our seven crews that we’ve projected with future hires is going to be say $18 an hour whether it’s straight timer overtime it’s on average that’s what it’s gonna come out to be the piece below that that most people miss is labor burden now labor burden is going to be your FICA unemployment workmen’s comp holiday pay vacation pay any of those things like that the need to be plugged in in it’s usually if you call your payroll company you can find it as a percentage of the dollar so what you’re gonna do now is multiply your labor burden times your average wage across all your employees in each specific division so it needs to be done per division now this is probably a long answer to this question but there’s a reason why we’re doing this. Now we’ve got each division we’ve got an average wage with projected over time and labor burden. The gentleman or ladies question was how do I go out and predict payroll increases or replacing individuals throughout the season in a quickly growing business so this is how we tackle it non emotionally. Now we have a hard copy on an excel sheet or Google Doc and we know based on the projected two crews that we have a technician in there for say $14 an hour a crew lead at $18 an hour that is what we can pay for those individuals so the gentleman that was running Callahans when he would make those moves I said I don’t really care what you pay the individuals but on average that crew has to cover that average wage so the the delta of the 18 and maybe the $15 an hour guy when that comes out per hour that neat for that screw that has to be taken care of and if you’re gonna go fire let’s say Dave, Dave doesn’t show up he’s a no call no show we’ve gone through the process in the handbook and he is gonna be either coached up or coached out when we replace Dave you have exactly what Dave was making within the budget now if Dave was only making 13 bucks an hour and the applicant that we found was probably needed 16 or 17 then either when I was running the business or the gentleman who ran the business for me either had to take some money out of some other areas in the budgeted wage area or maybe it’s coming out of his pay but that is what you have to work with within your budget. The idea is we want to create a non-emotional budget that dials out your projected wages with overtime and labor burden and once you have that into place that’s your roadmap for success and that’s your hiring guide. I would always tell the manager the gentleman running business like hey if you need to give this guy an extra $2.00 hour it’s got to come out of somewhere because that is our budget and that’s where we’re at now obviously there may be some exceptions if we find an individual maybe in a management position or someone that you know usually takes three or four years and they walked into the door and they’re the perfect applicant but then when we go back to the average wage sheet we’re gonna add that number in there and see what does that projection of the extra two to three dollars an hour with overtime and labor burden do to our overall budget does it move that percentage of projected profit so much that it’s not worth getting that individual in there? Those are the non emotional decisions that you can make once you take it out of your head you project where you’re going in the next 10 to 15 years break it down to yearly goals and at a bare minimum you got at least projected budget for the year in advance and then that is your roadmap to a fast evolving company with non emotion you know your wages your average wages your projected overtime all budgeted in and you can track it weekly. If you haven’t seen our KPI she definitely something to check out but this is where we track all of that after it’s been documented in a standardized budget so average wages each person that goes in your putting their pay rate in we’re projecting how much overtime so we have average wage across each division with overtime and then labor burden and now we have a non-emotional roadmap to go out and hire to the budget what we’ve projected. Comments or questions drop them below but I want a big shout out to Megan definitely dropping a lot of knowledge on Megan at the PPP and accounting right now and everything that’s going I want to say what’s up with Bobby Follet direct competitor in my local market for years great guy Tony Douglas, Chase Holmes, Todd Goodrich another great guy in the Rochester upstate New York Keith, Taylor and everybody else watching and Charles Clark obviously as well what’s up buddy didn’t see up there. The goal is if you haven’t done it we’re going into the end of Q2 you’ve got six months left in this year get an average wage put together how many projected hours of production are you gonna have for the rest of the year create a budget and stick to it and create daily and weekly accountability and once you’re comfortable with it bring your team in and show the wins and losses and get them to tie into and buy into that accountability and budget. Comments or questions drop them below. I thought I’d make a quick video- how do you go out and set a budget and stick to it and have a basically a road map how to go out and hire new employees and stay within that budget because the worst thing you want to do is go into season grow more than you projected and start hiring up and outside of that budget so we need to track it and stay true to whatever we put down on that paper and if we can’t stay true to it i need to run the numbers before we do that to make sure that it’s not eroding our bottom-line profit most lawncare and landscaping companies net margin nationally I believe is about four to six percent net in my opinion it’s not worth putting a crew out for less than ten percent net profit so from what I’ve seen most people we work with Simple Growth most companies start out fifteen to twenty percent projected net and it is these mid-season shifts unpivoting that we are desperate for an employee and we pay way outside of what it’s been budgeted and we project everything in there but it’s that non-billable drive time and accountability that we don’t track so we just think it’s gonna come out in the wash and it doesn’t. Hopefully that was helpful but go out figure out where you want to be in the next ten to fifteen years back it up to yearly goals and then create the projection of a an organizational chart with no names which is important because we’re not building the position around Bill, Joe or Bob or Susie we’re building it around the position and then we’re gonna train to the skill set so if we hired and built a position around someone that’s gonna be really hard to replace that position. A lot of things that we’ve gone through in my company and learned the hard way so I thought I would share it but build the position to the position mark down the responsibilities don’t put names on it and then make it another version that organizational chart put the people’s names in there you’re projecting to have in there for the year and then take those people put them into an average wage sheet per division so basically landscape maintenance design build irrigation fertilization those are probably all different ones and well if you’re doing snow removal in the Northeast that’s definitely a different division because those pay rates can almost double some cases triple so that’s gonna be your financial basically roadmap to hiring and firing and what pay you have in the budget and if you don’t at least my opinion it’s eroded bottom-line profits a lot quicker so it’s a good non-emotional benchmark especially if you’re growing and scaling your business and you don’t want to do the business owner having to make all decisions and hire and fire you can give that document to whoever’s there and hold them accountable to it and now when we build that out hopefully the beginning of the year you brought that you may be your gentleman in when you build that out so they have ownership and they have ownership of the numbers or on that page it’s not you dictating to them what they can pay they have had a 50% input of what the average wage is gonna be foreach position. We’ll see again with Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer in live here on Facebook

Callahan’s Corner: Should you fire your client if they don’t use you for all your services? (Submitted Question)

Video Transcription

Mike Callahan here with Callahan’s Corner- Where you ask the questions we answer them live here on Facebook. Had submitted questions on one of the Facebook groups that we are in gentleman or lady wanted to know, its a lawn care example but it really applies to any industry, is should they fire their existing client because they’re not using all their services? What happened is the german pulled up to mow the lawn and a competitor was there mulching the grass and the business owner wants to know should they fire the client because they’re not using them to mulch the grass as well as mow the lawn. I’ll be honest my first needric reaction was like that’s kind of a crazy question but the more and more I got to think about it it’s a pretty legit question because what we’re trying to do in most businesses is try to expand our service offerings to excrete a higher lifetime value. Where I’m going to kind of add some context to this is that A- I don’t think you should fire the client but the second question I want to ask this individual did the consumer actually know you provide this service or did you ever even reach out to the consumer to provide the service yourself? One of the things that we’re all guilty of as is industry owners or business owners is we get so busy that we forget to actually tell our future consumer the services we actually offer. One of the biggest things we’re seeing right now in the spring-time especially a lot of people that we’ve been working without doing a systematic process of selling so they’re going out through three to four different communication based on the timing of the year and upselling their services such as mulch installation and what we’ve seen with several the people we’re working with they’re getting sixty to seventy sometimes eighty estimate request of the first three to four hours of going out and upselling. I wouldn’t fire the client but is it possible they didn’t know you offer that service or were you not top of frame of mind because you forgot to go out and upsell the service based on the time of the year and the urgency and I’d recommend a month to month and a half before that mulching season happens. As we’re goin into the winners or the summer season here and we’ve got grub control coming up are you proactively going out and upselling grub control or flea, ant or tick to your clients that may not have it if you do pest control. So don’t fire the customer take that into mind that maybe you didn’t communicate and you weren’t clear enough with them that you offer that service or it’s the appropriate time to have that service done. Another great personal example is just teared the personal residence I hadn’t asked him that first design build around my existing pool in the backyard and it was interesting so I went to the contractor I know him well work to him several times great guy but what Kyle did was really interesting so he brought the blueprint with the pictures and he showed us the design build for around the pool up next the house and in front of the house for the paver patio walkway coming in and redoing the landscape but I had never actually thought about building a secondary structure with a bar and a fireplace with an outdoor TV and a fire pit on the opposite side of the pool so he had phase one what I asked for and he gives some different options to upsell in down cell which was played perfectly Kyle obviously is an industryveteran at 25 30 years in the industry and highly sought-after nationally but it was interesting Kyle not only sold me and told me and quoted what I wanted from my request but he had phase number two and it was interesting and phase number two had a couple pictures of whatthat outdoor living area could look like with the the bar and basically the four pillars structure with the roof on it and that I believe sold my wife before she even saw the design. Good for Kyle we may not only be in for hardscape design at the home for this year but it’s very likely that Kyle sold an additional equally as much if not more hardscaping for next year as phase 2. If you’re not telling your clients about phase 2 and you’ve only gotten in for the lawn mowing of the fertilized but you do additional landscape maintenance don’t fire your client maybe the solution is to go out and communicate and get property specific pricing just like Kyle did on the design build. Kyle did a hell of a job and he’s not only sold himself phase 1 but now he’s also got another very large size job booked up for next year for phase two as well. The idea is we want to go out and sell as many of the services we offer to our existing client base but a lot of times they’re not thinking about it they’re that time top frame of mind, so we need to go out to educate and get property specific estimates when it’s appropriate before the need actually hits and obviously with COVID it may have been a friend or family member that may just need some extra cash and they’re doing it and that’s that’s okay too especially with these weird times we’re living in right now. The idea is go out educate and upsell and don’t fire your client because they didn’t hire you for an additional service you have and take a note out of Kyle’s notebook for design-build estimate yesterday put phase two in there because the consumers may not even be thinking about the additional upsell and value that they could have so until tomorrow Callahan’s Corner- you ask the questions we answer them live right here on Facebook.

Callahan’s Corner – Tracking Daily Numbers (are your #s good?)

Convert Contracts to Installment Plans – V3 Service Autopilot

Video Transcript

Mike Callahan back again with another installment of V3 updates for Service Autopilot. We’re breaking down all the new features of Service Autopilot and one of the last things we have left to actually go over is installment contracts or contracts themselves so they are going to shift from contracts into the V3 version and we’re going to show you how to actually convert those V2 contracts into the installment contracts in V3. First thing I’m going to do is open up my screen here and break it down so what we’re gonna do is actually take a look real quickly at version 2 and then how to convert that into version 3. The first thing we’re gonna do is go under contracts here and hit add a contract so as that opens up I’m going to scroll down and you can see right past the picture there in the bottom right hand corner I’m going to add a contract so this is version 2 now we’re gonna show you how to convert these contracts into V3 and you’re going to want to do this to avoid double billing and make sure the process is streamlined. I’m going to go over the V2 really high level and then how to take this contract we’re building and convert that into version 3 so what I’m gonna do is first thing I gotta do is go in and create a contact name so I’m going to just call this the test contract version so we know which one it is and in V2 if you still haven’t built these out obviously you want to put a start and end date so I’m just going to say that this contract starts February 1st and runs all the way through November 30th and the line item is what actually ends up on the invoice description so these are the invoice line items so I’m just gonna put test invoice line item just to show you proof of concept you get the green plus icon that’s going to drop it down obviously if there’s different ones you can manipulate them with the up and down arrows and the X deletes them. We’re gonna grab a default service so maybe it is now in this test account usually we use something under like landscape maintenance something like that but I’m just going to call it the default services the awesome service. Going in from February I’m gonna say it is a thousand dollar month contract we’re going to autofill that in here now obviously January is not appropriate so we’re gonna delete that out and I’m gonna go in to December delete that out make that a zero but for speed and efficiency in V2 we can autofill that now I’m gonna select the building date of the month I’m gonna say it’s the first and we’re gonna build one month in advance and payment type is going to be a credit card we’re going to auto generate included active and include any sub properties. Now in V2 what you’re gonna be doing is going in and adding contract items so I’m gonna put a couple items in here so you can see how this transfers over to the V3 version and once again this is important that we convert these V2 contracts into V3 otherwise we could have two new ones if you built a new one to V3 and left this you could create a double billing scenario so this video is going to show you how to convert subsequent videos going to show you how to actually build up brand new ones in V3 but I thought this was most important before we drove into actually how to build them we better convert them so we don’t double bill. Comments or questions feel free to drop them live here or in the recorded version. I’m going to go in and put in lawn care maintenance here and I’m gonna say it’s in here and we can do quantity and visit so now the overages will transfer over in V3 for what we’ve seen but if they need to be updated they need to be updated in V3. For this example I’m not going to have any quantity or overages and I’m gonna add one more service here and let’s call it shrub pruning probably have that in this instance so we’ve got long lawncare maintenance and shrub pruning that’s gonna account for $1,000 a month contract billing the first of the month and we’re gonna bill one month in advance so we can do our overages here but in this example I’m not going to but if you do they should transfer right over to V3. Once we have this contract in V2 the point of the video is how do we take this contract in V2 and automatically transfer it over to V3 well you can’t automatically do it but with a click of two or three buttons it can happen. This is the interesting part here so we want to go to accounting and scroll down to contracts so up to the header accounting contracts we are inj ust for clarity we are in version 2 V2 so we can see a new version of contracts is available try it out we don’t I repeat do not want to go there so for this example I’m only going to select one here and this is that awesome service here now if I wanted to convert all of them I can do them all at once for this example I’m going to go in and just grab our awesome service we just built out here and click on it and so actually this is just want to make sure grabbing the right one here it is so here is our test number one so we’re gonna go and pull that in and go interactions and convert installment plan so that is going to convert it and we’re gonna convert and that’s gonna suck that right off so you can see now it isn’t there so actually I did miss it so the contract conversion I’ll also pull that one in and hit actions convert installment plan so that now automatically swinging it over to V3. The next step that you want to take is go in a new version of the contract is available and we want to try it out so that’s going to swing you into V3 now the UI or the user interface is significantly different obviously I’m really like what SA has done here in the development team and support and everyone else who had a piece of this one heck of a job. Now we can see that it is in here and we can go in and take a look at that contract now in the version 3 area. It’s going to load in all the installments we didn’t have January everything as advertised is loaded in here now I’m not going to going this video how to build this out but that’s how we convert them but under advance actions we can go in and take a look at job notes attachments and view history here so that will allow us to go in and we can also go in and edit it that’s going to give you some granularity so start and end date bill in advance so everything is pretty similar it just looks a little bit cleaner and we’ve got the whole annual value. What is going to change in the next video when we talk about this is we can go in and add more granularity around these services and there are additional advanced options here as well but that is the process to take a V2 contract and convert it into now an installment plan in V3. Next video we’re going to be putting out is how to actually create the installment plan in V3 if you don’t have a contract in V2. Once again Service Autopilot here as a Certified Advisor to help you navigate the conversion from V2 to V3 so we’ll see you again on the next V3 video.

Callahan’s Corner: Product Matrix In Service Autopilot

Video Transcript

Welcome back to Callahan’s Corner where you ask the questions we answered live here on Facebook. One of the questions submitted in the last few days was: how to go in and use the pricing matrix on an actual product inside Service Autopilot? A lot of confusion on how the actual matrix breaks down on a product it kinda looks similar to a service but completely different on a product so as always at Callahan’s Corner, where you ask the questions we answer them live here on Facebook were going to dive into Service Autopilot and take a look at the product matrices in Service Autopilot. What we’re gonna do is take the screen here pull it out and minimize it down and we’re gonna look at products so the first place you go to find a product to Service Autopilot is we go to the gear icon and we’re going to type in products under scheduling we’re going to do products and we’ve got quite a few product here I’m gonna go into an example we’ve already built out so this is a landscape example but this would work for lawn care home cleaning or even pest control for that matter. What we’ve got as a 1 gallon, 2 gallon and 3 gallon boxwood shrub now we may go out and count how many of these shrubs we may need on a particular property so we’re gonna go into the boxwood one gallon shrub and the idea here is we’re gonna go in and create some general information here about the boxwood so is it taxable, what’s the invoice description – income account, cost of goods – cogs account and we can go in and do the estimate description the part we’re really looking at here is the price matrices so the biggest confusion here you can actually tie this into a custom field so in order to make a custom field I’m gonna skip around here for a quick second in the gear icon and I’m gonna go into custom fields. When we go into custom fields here the little puzzle icon under the gear icon I’m gonna actually search for the boxwood and show you exactly how we built this out so you can see it is associated to a customer and a number and when we actually go in to build that out we’ve got the name, description, associated to a customer it’s gonna give you a little more granularity and flexibility to it than just associating it to a property now obviously it wouldn’t be included to a employee here or a vendor so we’ve got the name and its associated to a customer and the value type is a number so we can do some math on that. Now the next step we want to do is actually go in and grab that invoice so as we’re going in going back in to products, scheduling products and going into one gallon boxwood. I want to say what’s up to Nikki Decazmaker and a few other people watching here so if you have any other questions regarding how to use Service Autopilot or a service business in general feel free to drop them here and we’ll answer them live on Facebook. The basic information is set here we want to leave the default rate and budgeted cost empty here in default budgeted hours because we’re actually to tackle that on the price matrices so we’ve got any calculation is based on this custom field and we pulled up the number of boxwoods. An idea here is maybe between 1 and 10 boxwoods we are charging $10 per shrub and then from 11 do you say maybe 20 we’re charging $9.00 per shrub and then from 21 to say 100 boxwoods one gallon weare charging seven dollars and this allows you like a normal price matrices based on volume to actually discount out the actual rate of the boxwood so from 1 to 10 it’s $10 per boxwood so $10 per unit if it’s 11 to 20 units it’s 9 dollars and then from 21 to 100 it’s $7 premium so this will allow you to actually build out a quantity discounts based on different products and materials that you’re using under products. A lot of confusion around this because honestly it is not straight forward unless you really dive into it but the idea here is if you want to give a quantity discount you can go from 1 to 10 is X amount of dollars 11 to 20 is 9 and 21 to 100 to 7 dollars so if you’re offering your customers or leaves a discount based on the quantity of product that they are using this is how you break it down and then you could tie it into a custom field and if you follow the Simple Growth methodology you can actually tie that into an on-site estimate form where you actually pull up your mobile phone plug in the total quantity that’s linked to the custom field of say one gallon boxwoods and then when we pull up that estimate it automatically generates that volume discount. If you have any questions or regret regarding Service Autopilot automations or anything Service Autopilot in general feel free to drop your questions here in the live or recorded version but Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer live right here in facebook. As a Certified Advisor once again we’re happy to pay it forward and break down and demystify Service Autopilot some of the easier topics and obviously some of the ones that are not straight forward where we’ve had to actually go in and test them ourselves and communicate with Service Autopilot development team to make sure we are providing the right accurate information for you each and every time you you log in to these Facebook live videos so we’ll see again tomorrow on Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer live right here in facebook.

Creating Prepayments in Service Autopilot V3

Video Transcript

Going to go over today in a how-to video is how to enter prepayments in Service Autopilot’s new UI – user interface version 3. One of the things that we really liked about this update here in the way it is is it gives you the ability to do a prepayment general across the board so if they have multiple services such as home cleaning and lawn care under the same contract or in different services we have the ability to make a general prepayment on all services or a prepayment on a specific service. First I’m going to do is bump off screen here to show you how this actually looks in
Service Autopilot’s new V3 and if you’re joining us late this is going to go over how to add a prepayment in for general services all the services in the system so no matter what the services say we put a hundred dollar deposit down it would be applied to the first service done or we can do a prepayment say for fertilization and weed control or potentially maybe a deep-clean but not your weekly recurring clean in a cleaning business. First we want to do is in V3 here we’re going into accounting and we’re going into payments so what we’re gonna do is go in now in upper right hand corner were going to go in and add a payment now when we go and add a payment we’re gonna go in and search for the particular client. I’m gonna pull up Kevin here as our automation test and we’re gonna select our payment method here and I’m gonna say its cash and Kevin is going to pay us $100 deposit payment. Now under advanced options we can go in and put what account its to and is it a prepayment and I’m going to say yes it is a prepayment. Once we have it like this we would hit save what we’ve done is created a prepayment for any service so no matter the service that comes up first that hundred dollars will be applied to the first service that’s done. The next thing that’s traditionally is asks was well what if I just want to do a prepayment for my fertilization and we control and I offer maybe a discount if they prepay for the whole season but I want that prepayment only applied to the fertilizing throughout the whole entire season as each round happens so that’s perfect once we’re back on this accounting screen you click on the date next to Kevin test account here 5/13 that’s gonna pull up the payment again that we have here but you notice it looks a little bit different so on the left hand side of the screen we have edit and payment so if we click into prepayment we can go in and dial down into the specific services in this example we talked about fertilization and weed control so that would be our fertilization weed control and we would hit save and that would be our prepayment for all those services in the fertilization and weed control package. So now each time we did that prepayment would be applied to the rounds in the package of fertilization and not any service that happened first so that is the workflow for prepayments, then under advanced actions we have the ability to delete. V3 I really liked it, I like that granularity to apply prepayment to say all the services ordinal into the specific services as shown. Comments or questions let us know on the live or recorded version. Simple Growth coming out and going in and showing you how to build out the new training for V3 and check the comments here in the bottom of the video I’ll be posting shortly a link to all of our V3 videos and this video actually concludes the final video for the overall workflow and then Kevin and myself on my team have been making the detailed videos so we’ve got well over a hundred how-to videos of how to use V3 but not only are we showing you how to use it but what we like to do with Simple Growth is show you how to use the software features and functions in an actual workflow so we’re dialing in and teaching you how to use all the new methods in a streamlined workflow to buy time back and create predictable results so we’ll see on the next training video

Callahan’s Corner – Custom fields that need to be created in your CRM for a cleaning business for success

Video Transcript

As always at Callahan’s Corner people are submitting questions based on their CRM (customer relationship management) software. This one’s particular to service autopilot and in the cleaning industry to be specific, individual owns a cleaning company and was wanting to know before they import their client and lead list what are the essential custom fields that they should be using. If anybody’s unfamiliar with custom field is many CRM (customer relationship management) software’s have custom fields now custom fields can be broken down in a variety of different formats so they can be text, number, property specific, drop-down list and dates just the name of few. A lot of platforms will limit the amount of custom fields it can use in your CRM so make sure that based on your CRM that there is not a limit you choose these wisely specifically to the question asked here on Callahan’s Corner was based on Service Autopilot. To my knowledge here we’ve got several thousand custom fields in one test instance and we haven’t had a cap so I’m assuming there probably is not a limit to custom fields but in a regular business and not a test instance I don’t think you probably would hit that point. To answer the question of what would be the most successful custom fields in the cleaning industry we need to start right from the foundational part so as we go out in the home to do an estimate or we have a phone intake form there’s certain things that we want to be able to track. The first is in the cleaning industry that I would recommend is how many people are living in the home number of pets how many living area is that the actual folks are living in the area that needs to be cleaned and talking about the area that needs to be cleaned we want the livable or cleaned square footage of the home so that is going into your pricing matrix. The number of pets is going to be a number how many living areas is going to be a number number of people living there is going to be a number and the custom field for home square footage or the cleaning area square footage that we’re taking care of would also be a number so those are the basics coming in to set up the foundational part of the estimate in intake to qualify them. If you’re in Debbie Sardone’s cleaning business fundamentals or other known as CBF Debbie talks about the dirt code obviously the number of people living there the cleaning area and the the other areas that go into the dirt codes of the people pets and cleaning areas and probably the number of bathrooms is another custom field you want to track and along with that the number of bedrooms so those are all going to be numbered custom fields we’re taking in and qualifying that person. The next thing that we’re going into is probably entry instructions or anything that’s special to the particular instructions that would be a text custom field that you would want. Next thing that we’re looking at is any property specific or job specific things we wanted merge in the mobile or on the printed work order now those things in the cleaning industry to my experience aren’t going to be certain things like are there hardwood floors and if there is hardwood floors are we treating it with a product like bona or an equivalent are we bringing in certain cleaning supplies for a top-to-bottom post construction or a move in move out that’s different than a normal cleaning we would want specific custom fields to track those as well. Now we’ve got the information based on the home or apartment we’re doing so number of people number of pets living areas number of bedrooms bathrooms and the square footage of the cleaning area we’re gonna have some text custom fields based on the different rooms and the notes that are based on each area that we clean so it’s clear for the cleaner or cleaners to know exactly what they need to do and what they don’t need to do so they’re not calling the office in eating out that bandwidth there now those would be the probably that the most significant ones that I would recommend off the bat. If you are coming from another CRM you definitely want to take a look at any other things you have that are custom or centric but in addition if you are specifically as a question to ask here in Callahan’s Corner that you’re coming from another CRM and coming into Service Autopilot not only can custom fields go into clients but we have the ability to go into vendors and employees as well just to name a few so those are extra custom fields that you may want to bring into Service Autopilot with your cleaning company based on vendors and employees as well so those are some things that I would highly recommend you may have some other ones far as dates so maybe you’re doing an automation nurtured based around client anniversary or client birthdays things like that may be applicable, do they have a dog in the house those are certain notes is there certain things that we need the cleaners to know are we using green clean products are we using other cleaning products now with Covid19 are we using certain disinfectants in that home there’s there’s certain instructions to disinfect the doorknobs and the other high touched areas versus the normal areas that we may not be disinfecting so those are all custom fields you may not have from the other CRM but as you’re moving into the new norm of cleaning now with Covid 19 those are things that you may want to be able to tackle as well. If you have any other questions around custom fields in your CRM specifically Service Autopilot i’m happy to answer those in the live or recorded version but once again Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer live right here on Facebook. We’ll see you again tomorrow afternoon

Scheduling Package Jobs In Service Autopilot V3

Video Transcript

Hey Mike Callahan back again with some more V3 version 3 training in Service Autopilot. So as a Certified Advisor we are taking on the task of helping the Service Autopilot users as well as Simple Growth clients on how to use V3. This video is gonna be going over how to schedule package jobs in Service Autopilot’s new version 3 package jobs just as a quick brief overview before we actually dive into this is a job that doesn’t necessarily have to be done today but maybe has to be done over the month so a prime example of this is fertilization and weed control in the lawn care industry you may have four or five rounds of fertilizing they need done between maybe April 1st and April 30th the first round but they don’t need to be done on a specific day so it allows us to basically bundle together a bunch of waiting list jobs and put them in a package. Another great example of this would be is landscape bed maintenance or shrub pruning packages or maybe you’re doing fall cleanups and multiple trips we can do packages that way. Without any further delay we’re gonna hop right into Service Autopilot and show you how this is done now if you are watching this live on Facebook just posted a link underneath the video how to get access to all our V3 trainings for free inside our learning hub and they will there’s probably over 100 videos built just be Simple Growth here. What we’re going to be doing is looking at V3 here and if you haven’t seen it this is the new look and feel of it if you go under the CRM and go into accounts or if it’s in V2 go hit clients it will suck this right back in for you as we go to the help icon here I’m going to go in and grab a client they already have in the V3 format and if we have that package job we’re gonna go in and schedule a job. Now very similar to V2 but we want to go in instead of a one time or one time waiting list job we’re gonna go into repeat so this is your repeating, recurring, weekly, bi-weekly mowing or cleaning but this is gonna be also for packages so we’re gonna say it repeats and I’m gonna put in my four-step fertilizing package here and pull that in now in this test account we don’t have matrices behind it but what I’m gonna do is put in the rate let’s just say $65 across the board so I’m putting the price and traditionally you would want to do this with a pricing matrix just for simplicity but in this example I want to show it with some actual price. So now that we’ve got the rate we also probably want the budgeted time so let’s say it’s going to take us 45 minutes 0.75 hours and all the applications gonna be same but this gives you the granularity so if you’re doing a certain app that requires on a different production rate this gives you the ability to customize that per round as well so I like that feature that they’ve added in here in Service Autopilot. I’ve got all my five rounds here are basically four with the optional premium grub control now under add Advance particular to chemical tracking this is pretty interesting so if you’re chemical tracking we can click this down here i say that we are just doing the entire turf area or different areas here. This is great for pest control, perimeter pest, and aquatic pest control as well so those are things that your local DEC may want you to tackle. Now in addition we’re going to go in and we can update the salesperson date sold account manager in this account came in as a lead source of canvassing but if we wanted to override that that can be done here on the particular service. Once we have that all dialed in we’re gonna go into the next tab on the bottom right hand corner this is where we get in the details of the actual package job so I’ve got all four applications with the grub now let’s say that we have gone past the first round and the pre-emergent may not be an applicable treatment here we can hit that exclude and go in and remove that you can see by the red excluded that that is what it looks like now we can also see over here the minimum days in between services has automaticallysucked in from the master package setting back in the back end which is great, a great visual representation when scheduling this before and V2 this was not completely obvious now you’ve got everything you need on one screen in a streamlined workflow. Next thing we’re going to do is our auto renew setting so that is our traditional just like V2 Auto renew call to renew or do not renew so we’re gonna hit Auto Renew on this one and do you want to assign the job so I’m gonna say yes I do want to sign the job and I’m gonna assign it to our bed maintenance crew just for time sake here. Under advance is some great feature especially with a package job for fertilization weed control so we’ve got our estimated team size and that’s gonna pull from the default under the team settings right in now. Do you want to call ahead so if this person maybe has some young kids or a dog in the backyard you may want or they may request a call ahead this is how we can put that in there and then on the dispatch board the closeout day screen we have that little avatar icon of a phone that signifies that call ahead and we’ve got the defaults for maximum hours a day and seven days a week included. Now that we have the information here we’re gonna go into next and it’s gonna go in and double check the billing information so this is taking right off the invoice description on each one of those services before they’re lumped together in the package so we can override this right here for the invoicing descriptions if we want so now it’s all one great place for workflow in time savings. Then the final thing is how would you like this job to be invoiced so the default to the system I believe that I’m in right now is daily but we can override that daily weekly monthly or print in advance if you’re leaving a leave behind piece so this is how we would go in and do our package jobs. Final thing is we’re gonna go in and hit finish and that’s gonna go in and we can go in and review the setup of the package job and it will load right into your future visits. Any comments or questions on how to create a package job in Service Autopilot’s new version 3 let me know but this is the exact setup that I would recommend for streamline workflow and we’ve got our upcoming visits here just as advertised so great job by Service Autopilot here once again V3 scheduling of package jobs

Callahan’s Corner: Budgeted Man Hours Vs Crew Hours

Video Transcript

In the Service Autopilot Facebook usergroup of the difference between man-hours or crew hours in budgeted man-hours on the job itself. What I want to do is dive into Service Autopilot actually break this down a little bit and the reason why Service Autopilot displays these numbers differently as your looking at it my opinion makes logical sense if you’re looking at all the crazy things that can happen in a lawn care home cleaning & pest control business on a day-to-day scheduling. I’m gonna grab my other screen here and pop this up here but the idea here is that as we’re looking at this there is a bit of a discrepancy so what we’re going in and putting in a weekly recurring job whether it’s lawn mowing home cleaning pest control the question was around this area here so as you look at upcoming lawn mowing here is $55 and it is budgeted there’s two different jobs here but we have one budgeted for two hours in one hour and then why is the different area here under this area based on the actual crew hours so this is the budgeted hours and these are the crew hours. Well there’s two distinct reasons why so what you’re going to do is put in the budgeted hours here on this job for two hours and why is it only showing one here what we’re budgeting this as if there’s only one person so always when we’re using Service Autopilot we go out to put the budgeted time for a job we want to assume there’s only one person on the crew now obviously it’s gonna let you know what the defined crew size is but the system is built in a way at least in my interpretation would be as it’s built in a way for the fluctuations of a service business with our labor so whether we’ve got a lot of work backed up with a rain day or maybe in the home cleaning industry we’re doing a top-to-bottom deluxe and we need two or three solo crews coming in to knock out that cleaning job because it’s a large one it’s gonna give you that flexibility. Your history is the actual man-hours total for the crew; the upcoming is the total man hours if there was only one person and it was a two-person crew; you take that two hours down by two. When you go in and look at this if you’re on The Dispatch board this is where it kind of makes sense so in the closeout day screen I’ve got my start and stop times we’re looking at itin the budgeted time but if I went out to the dispatch board or even on the closeout days screen but assuming it would be on the dispatch board what happens if we have an employee doesn’t show up or like I said maybe we’re backed up with rain or maybe we have a top-to-bottom deluxe in the cleaning history we’ve got three solos going one to one crew for that day the cool part about Service Autopilot at least in my opinion is and it gave us huge flexibility of my service business in the lawn care industry we can go into the more tab and hit assign teams and what this does it pulls in the default crew settings so if we are under team teams this is where we set up our crews and we’d go in and add a team and there’s some certain things you’d want so you’d see if the name team code tags we set the color up we’d want the starting addresses is where maps pro and the optimizations optimized off but if Igo into team assignments and add the assignments here that is going to be the resources automatically defaulted so if we had a three-person mowing crew Christine myself and Chad were on this mowing crew well what happens if Chad wasn’t able to make it into work today so we could take Chat off and then manipulate this crew down to a two-person crew so when you schedule a job it doesn’t know how many people are gonna be on that crew now it knows default we had three but if Chad can’t make it maybe that’s an issue or what if Chad is on here as default but we needed to take this other person over here as a fourth person for maybe the first time we did the job to help get it into shape before we actually maintained it whether it’s lawn care or home cleaning so what it’s gonna do is take those total budgeted hours on the job and divide by the actual crew members that are actually on the job for the day. So the question is why does that job come out that way and what’s the difference between the crew hours and the budgeted man-hours and if I go in and grab this job again here I’ll show you what that looks like again really quickly. Whether in V2 or V3 we have all the new upcoming jobs but we want to be able to see what that is far as the total hours and then based on the crew size that’s gonna optimize that so that is what we’re looking at here those budgeted hours those two budgeted hours are two man-hours for the jobs I don’t care if you have four people or two people two people once they’re assigned would knock that down the one or he had four that would drop that down two hours divided by four obviously it would be about thirty minutes but the ideas that gives you the ability to add or contract on those crews and we know what the budgeted total man hours are for the job in particularly without based on the size of the crew. That’s one of the biggest things when we lookinto Service Autopilot setup our services under the gear icon that most people when we work with them and Service Autopilot have a lot of questions around they’re like well Mike I’m running a two-man crew or a three-man crew like well unfortunately that really doesn’t matter because what we’re looking at here when we go in and add a service is we want to set the service mode probably to per unit and when we go to the rate matrix we’re gonna go to quantity rate times visits and we’re gonna base it on custom field of like lawn mowing square footage and we may say from one to five thousand square feet I’m charging forty five bucks to cut it mow blow an edge. Now the budgeted hours this is where the biggest question comes in now if you’re charging 45 bucks pulled me an hour and you’ve budgeted and he’s gonna say it’s gonna take one hour so 45 bucks that’s one hour and then the cost is your break-even but that one hour now if it’s a two-person crew gets sucked down to one half hour or basically 0.5 budgeted man-hours. When you’re building your services out it doesn’t matter depending on the size of the crew because your crews size may shift throughout the year or a year two years so the system is gonna allow you to set up the service so it’s evergreen it lasts the same forever until you change your price or the production and then as you evolve with different crews the system does the math for you behind the scenes so it’s really a streamlined process and I think it’s a great way that SA has this set up. The question was what’s the difference with budgeted man hours and the crew man hours on the actual job tab itself the budgeted man-hours is based on what you’ve budgeted here the crew man-hours it are the historical times it actually took that crew so if it was a half hour for two people to do it would be one actual crew hour to produce that labor so comments or questions dropping below but Callahan’s Corner you asked the questions we have to live right here on Facebook

Callahan’s Corner: Setting up master routes for lawn mowing in south & south west markets in Service Autopilot


Welcome to Callahan’s Corner, where you ask the questions we answer them live right here on facebook. We had a gentleman in a lawn care or landscape maintenance company, i believe in the southern market wanted to know how to set up a custom recurring schedule to handle weekly mowing and landscape maintenance during the summer months and then how to go every three to four weeks during the winter months and be able to dial that in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. What we’re going to do is dive into the gear icon master schedules and break this out for you. Callahan’s Corner right here where you ask the questions we answer them live on facebook, feel free to drop any of your questions in the live or recorded version and we will make sure we answer those for you live on facebook. As we dive into this here we’re going to go into Service Autopilot and we’re going to go into the gear icon and we’re going to start typing master so we’ve got our master schedules SA comes pre-defined built out with bi-weekly even and odd weeks as well as weekly Monday through Sunday so i’m going to go in and hop into the one that i already started building out before we had some technical difficulties here but actually second thought i’m going to actually go in and recreate a new one just you can see from front to back. Under add a schedule here we’ll type this in and then the question was how do we go in and create a recurring weekly schedule from April through the end of October and then in every three or four week through the winter for that southern market we’re still going out maintaining blowing things off and doing some trimming so the first thing we want to do is let’s say this is going to be a Monday schedule so we’re going to go in and if we start the first monday here i would start suggest starting this out where you actually start the weekly or bi-weekly mowing or landscape maintenance i’m going to go in and click the first Monday of the month by just hitting the m in each one so it’s a quick and simple process really. Now that we’re in here we’re going to go in and get up to october now this is where it gets interesting so I believe the gentleman asked for every three weeks or every four weeks gonna be the same process so you’ve got you’ve cut last year so one two three and then we would just go in and continue to add those Monday cuts. The reason why we didn’t start in January is because we don’t know how that’s going to roll in from the beginning of the year so we start where we go in and do the full schedule and then we go in and kickback around here so we’re gonna go back into our Monday so we’ve got another one, two, three cuts there one, two, three… one, two, three and one, two, three so that is going to give us an every three weeks over the winter in a weekly Monday cut going in for theum schedule moving forward. Now what if this was a bi-weekly cut on a Monday even or odd weeks now you’re even and odds are going to parlay out and line up with this right here so that is gonna is an even number so that’s gonna signify in with an even week so let’s just say we’re doing Monday cuts only with even weeks bi-weekly so we would go in and de-select these odd weeks here in this here and that’s how we would create that bi-weekly odd week scenario actually i’m sorry even week scenario and we’re deselecting the odds right now and 22 24 and this is how we’re creating that bi-weekly even week scenario during the summer and then we’re going to every three or four weeks depending on what that scenario is on the existing november through december that we’ve just built out but i want to give you a proof of concept of how these can be built out and it only populates these dates now u when they’re actually showing on here so there’s no opportunity for miss scheduling because it’s going to follow the select dates you’ve already set . The idea is frame out what it should be go in and select the reoccurring summer schedule roll through november december january and february maybe in most markets February, March is when you kick back into the regular weekly cutting but it’s going to give you the granularity to do your regular services and throughout the summer months and then go back to a smaller maintenance during the winter months. So that’s how we would go out in Service Autopilot and create a master recurring schedule for weekly or bi-weekly services through the summer and then less frequency in the winter so probably more particularly to our southern um friends or southwest marketsbutthere could be some services that may be applicable for bed maintenance and other things even in the northern market as well. Callahan’s Corner you ask the questions we answer them live right here on Facebook so if you haven’t checked out the Simple Growth SA Weekly Talk Show we’re coming at you at 12 centra 1 p.m eastern live on the Service Autopilot Facebook page and going to be releasing some information on it but we have syndicated and released the SA Weekly Talk Show on podcast so if you search on itunes, Spotify or any of the major hubs for podcasts Simplegrowth all one word it’s the Simple Growth podcast it’s the SA weekly talk show condensed into a podcast where you can watch or basically listen to the SA weekly talk show on the fly and learn from a lot of industry experts we have on there how to go out and outlearn your competition and dominate your local market . Whether we see you tomorrow on Callahan’s Corner where you ask the questions we answer live on Facebook, SA Weekly Talk Show live on Facebook on the Service Autopilot page or if you elect to download our podcast Simplegrowth on itunes, Spotify or any of the other major hubs we will see you there on one of those outlets. Once again Simple Growth thanks you for watching these videos and we’re here to help you out learn your competition while taking your life back from your business, so we’ll see you again tomorrow

Callahan’s Corner: Cleaning business workflow and scheduling in Service Autopilot