Every business faces challenges. Technology, industry changes, changing consumer base, costs. However, trade challenges that service professionals face are often unique.
We’ll review 3 major trade challenges professionals in the service industry face:
- Hiring and Retaining
- Cashflow and Pricing
- Tracking KPIs
Hiring and Retaining
The number one challenge is hiring skilled, qualified technicians. It is also harder to retain trained workers, often because wages are less than they might earn in other types of businesses.
Without question, there’s a shortage of skilled labor in the trades. A lot of it is a result of an emphasis on four-year college degrees over trade schools. The population of skilled tradespeople is already older than the age of the general labor force and not enough are entering the trades to replace those leaving.
But finding them and keeping them can be difficult. But, they may be closer than you think. Try some of our hiring resources to help you find the best talent!
Cash Flow & Pricing
Another big challenge is usually cash flow and finding your pricing sweet spot. Most small business owners have a tough time coming up with the cash to expand their business. Sometimes just covering the day-to-day expenses is difficult.
Make sure to keep tight bookkeeping procedures to allow you to get a handle on your cash flow. Posting income and expenses when they occur helps. However, you can really grasp your cash flow by defining ongoing or future expenses so you can assess where cash flow currently is and where it is going.
Need help defining your ongoing overhead costs and hitting profit goals? Try our free pricing resources:
Also, having an automatic payment processing system can help improve cash flow. You will not have to wait 30, 60, or even 90 days to get paid. Card swiping and automatic payment systems can assure you get paid instantaneously.
Tracking Your KPIs
KPIs are needed to watch, maintain, and grow your business. Key Performance Indicators need to be defined and closely tracked. However, it can be time consuming to track these metrics!
Every company needs precise and clear data to compare their performance against goals and make decisions that move the business forward. Look at your revenue and job information – which areas are lacking that your company could create KPIs around in order to strive for improvement?
Here are a few sample KPIs to focus on:
- Travel vs wrench time
- Repeat customers
- Jobs completed in a day/week/month
Do manual methods (like spreadsheets, paper documents, and calculators) provide accurate analytics? Maybe, but only after a mountain of manual data entry and research. Make sure to leverage a software solution like FieldEdge to help you track key metrics and profitability.
Schedule your FREE personalized demo of FieldEdge today!
Meet Trade Challenges Head On!
Now you know the key challenges that tradesmen and tradeswomen face, plus you have a few tools to help you navigate them! Here are a few more resources to help you navigate common service business hurdles.