In September, we asked The Boiler Business Community what software they used to run their heating businesses. The software we feature in this new series are primarily the most popular choices gathered from this poll, but we will also include other software options that have yet to become mainstream in the industry.
Without a doubt, the first software you need to consider is the one that will manage your customer database, your day-to-day jobs, and sales.
With hundreds of features packed into most CRMs, you should focus on how well the software performs these five essential functions:
With so many CRM software options available to the trades, it is difficult to know which software is best suited to your business needs.
The Boiler Business poll featured more than 10 popular CRMs, but we will focus on the three most popular options: Gas Engineer Software, Service M8, and Payaca.
Gas Engineer Software (GES) offers a tailored solution designed specifically for the industry. As the cheapest of the three options, it is popular with sole traders who frequently issue gas safety certifications and want to minimise overheads.
Advantages include specialised features for gas safety compliance, efficient job management, invoicing, and attractive pricing.
However, it lacks the broader functionality and flexibility found in other CRMs, such as ServiceM8 and Payaca.
ServiceM8 is an excellent option for established businesses with existing customer databases. With a focus on job management and scheduling team members, it offers a user-friendly interface for both the office staff and on-site engineers.
On the downside, the Australian all-trades option lacks built-in UK heating industry requirements, which are available in GES and Payaca. You can customise the software yourself, but many people choose to use a ServiceM8 partner to build the gas certificates, forms, and automation for them.
Payaca CRM is quickly growing in popularity and possibly becoming the software of choice for UK HVAC businesses who want to grow their business through sales of boilers, heat pumps, AC installations, and recurring revenue via service plans.
Based in Bristol, Payaca historically was a quoting solution for UK heating engineers. However, in the last three years, the company has developed an all-in-one CRM and job management software, focusing on sales for the UK heating industry.
Take your time
Ultimately, your choice of software depends on the level of specialisation you require, and where you want to take your business in the future. All three software options above have their merits for sole traders and can be used by larger companies with teams. However, larger firms tend to choose the more costly software for added features and time savings.
Any feature-rich, top-end software will likely require time invested upfront to reap the benefits in time saved and extra profits that come from a more efficiently run business.
Our advice is to sign up for the free trials available and hang out in the various Facebook communities for some time, speak to other users, and see how best to implement the software into your business model. Take your time to research the options available.
Remember, you can always change your mind like you can move house again next year, but let’s face it, nobody wants to move house again unless the new house is better for your long-term future. And, if that is the case, how much time will you invest into getting your new house up to a standard that works for you?
The Boiler Business is helping the plumbing and heating industry. You can read more about CRMs and other software essential to building your HVAC, plumbing, and heating business at www.theboilerbusiness.co.uk/software
You can also engage with 1,500 other engineers on The Boiler Business Facebook group:
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