Trimming the (Paper) Fat
Clearly, a lot has happened since then and we’re not even halfway through the year. Just like the rest of the world, as a pest control business owner, the last few weeks have probably been a learning adjustment. Although I wrote my blog in January (what now feels like a lifetime ago), the reality is, it’s still relevant to what we are going through right now, especially if you’re relying on paper to manage the majority of your pest control business.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 can live on surfaces for many days. For paper, the length of time varies but could be anywhere from a few minutes to several days depending on the type of paper and the strain of coronavirus. While you and your technicians are taking extreme precautions as you enter your customers’ homes, you certainly don’t want to hand them a paper invoice that could potentially be contaminated.
All pest control businesses, large and small, are having to make some tough decisions right now when it comes to spending money to operate their business. That being said, your first thought shouldn’t be about spending it on paper. Not only are you paying for the paper itself, but you also have to pay for it to be stored, pay for envelopes and postage, and then you have to pay for someone to manage it. And right now, your office employees should be working from home, so they can’t be expected to manage it from there.
Your use of paper affects all aspects of your business. As I mentioned above, your office employees should be working from home, and if they’re working from home, they can’t provide daily route sheets to the technicians. Using route optimization software eliminates the need for daily interactions with the technicians, which includes providing paper routes. Another benefit is that it greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to manually plan routes. With route optimization software you’re not only reducing “paper” fat, but you’re creating efficiencies that reduce wasted time spent.
Billing and Collections
Cashflow is the lifeblood for any business, and unless you live in a state where collections have been placed on a mandatory hold due to COVID-19, then you will need to continue to invoice your customers. If your pest control company is all paper-based, that’s going to be next to impossible in today’s environment. However, email isn’t going anywhere. Using pest control software eliminates the need for paper invoices and allows you to bill customers and receive payment all online. In addition, your billing is automated which decreases errors, standardizes your invoices, and reduces your administration costs.
During this time, you need to increase your online presence and switch to digital marketing campaigns instead of relying on paper brochures, flyers, or other marketing collateral that you would typically mail. Since pest control is considered essential in most states, now is the time to use digital marketing tactics such as local SEO to promote your pest control business and drive prospects to your website.
In the end, if you’re manually running your business, it means you’re relying too heavily on paper. During these times, that could be dangerous, if not fatal.