There’s plenty of software out there to help you run your business. Accounting software, scheduling software, CRM software… if you can name it, there’s a software program for it.
You probably rely on a handful of these solutions—in combination with a mountain of spreadsheets—to manage different aspects of your janitorial company today.
The problem, of course, is that these solutions don’t talk to each other. They all live in different places, contain different pieces of information, and are likely managed by different people. They each hold snippets of data about the business that can’t be connected.
In this situation, seeing a comprehensive picture of your company’s performance is an exercise in futility. You know what you need to know, but you can’t quite get your hands on it. You’ve found ways to work around missing or delayed information—filling in gaps with guesswork or question marks—but that’s not enough anymore.
In order to achieve the kind of growth you’re seeking, you need to get rid of the systems and processes holding you back.
That’s where business management software comes in.
It’s not just another tool to add to your arsenal. Fully functional business management software transforms the way you do business by collecting all your data in a single, centralized source of truth. It’s a tool used by everyone across the business, but instead of information existing in silos, it automatically connects related data from every corner of the business.
Choosing a janitorial business management platform is no small feat, though. Because they function as the primary tool for running a business, these systems tend to be more expensive than their one-off counterparts, require higher levels of buy-in across the company, and involve a greater investment of time for training and implementation.
To help make the process easier, we’re kicking off a series of articles covering how to know when you’re ready for janitorial business management software, how to identify and prioritize your needs, strategies for exploring your options, and criteria to use in evaluating which system is right for you.
In this first article of the series, we’ll do a brief overview of what to know before starting your search.
How to know you’re ready for janitorial business management software
You need full visibility into your business
One of the most common frustrations we hear from business owners is that they can’t seem to get a complete picture of how their company’s doing. Information either doesn’t exist, isn’t reliable, or is impossible to find.
This is often the result of growing pains. Many contractors start small and are able to keep track of information in their heads—or at least know which spreadsheet it lives in (and where that spreadsheet is saved). Then, as they grow, responsibilities start to get distributed across larger and larger teams, the number of files explodes, and systems spring up to help manage all that new data.
The trouble is, over time, that patchwork of systems prevents them from being able to see what’s really going on. As a result, they’re stuck making decisions based on gut instinct or vague ideas about how jobs have been done in the past.
There’s a lot to consider in managing a successful janitorial business. You have to create competitive bids, manage teams, schedule jobs, monitor quality control, maintain adequate inventory, prepare invoices … the list goes on. With an end-to-end business management system, you can do all this in a single platform where each piece of data is connected, enabling you to have full visibility into how your business is performing—whenever you need it.
You’re missing critical decision-making information
Good decisions rely on good information. When data is missing or inaccurate, it’s hard to choose a direction with confidence. Every move can feel like a shot in the dark.
The best business management software programs store information in robust, well-organized databases. They replace the need for spreadsheets containing specific sets of data that are often out of date, exist in multiple versions, or get buried in overflowing file management systems. With business management software, databases are built on the backend to neatly house, organize, and connect the data you need to monitor and control from an easy-to-use interface.
This allows you to maintain trustworthy records, simplifying the data entry process and minimizing opportunities for user error. When data is accurate and reliable, you can have clear insight into every aspect of your business operations—each division, service, customer, property, ticket, account manager, or team. And with a solution that lets you query information in any way, you can form a complete, well-informed understanding of exactly what’s impacting your bottom line—and make proactive decisions accordingly.
You want healthier profit margins
In an industry with historically narrow profit margins, anything that helps widen the space between breaking even and making a profit is crucial.
Business management software can seem like a hefty investment, especially if you haven’t spent much in that category before. The ROI, however, is typically even higher than anticipated.
A business management system helps you operate more efficiently, without having your hands tied by the things you’re missing. You can check your numbers as often as you want and pivot as needed, preventing time and resources from being wasted. And by eliminating the need for manual processes and repeated data entry, you can free up time for back-office staff to spend on other projects.
In short, business management software helps you save money by increasing efficiency, and it helps you make more money by giving you better, more accessible insights into your own company’s performance—enabling better business decisions.
As you’ve hopefully seen, there are many benefits to using a janitorial business management system, especially for companies looking to increase topline revenue and profitability. If you’re thinking about looking for business management software, check out the next blog in this series or sign up for our email newsletter for a monthly roundup of the best content for janitorial contractors.