Every business owner starts reporting with the best intentions. You want more info about how you're performing. But manual tasks like pulling out the time cards and invoices and shuffling through all of your paperwork are seriously time consuming, and sometimes, not all that helpful to the bigger picture. How can you make it easier?
We've put together some tips for how to report on performance within your electrical home service business. We've also included some of what we think are the most important metrics to track, so you can get started right away.
First, you need to sit back and think. Being busy can make it feel like taking a pause is a dumb idea. But making time now to figure out how to save time later is a must. (After all, you can't get ahead if you're always catching up!)
What Should You Be Thinking About?
Consider why you are looking for information in the first place. Do you have an inkling that something is wrong? Are you short on your predicted revenue, and if so, do you feel like it could be because you have a high cancellation rate, for example? In order to avoid getting overwhelmed, only focus on data that will give you some new knowledge. You should be trying to verify your feelings about the business and discovering what could be improved. So when you sit back and think, go ahead and list out which feelings you want to verify, how you plan to verify them, and what you hope to gain.
During this process, you should also think about what data you have access to. (If you don't have data on cancellation rates, you obviously can't report on that!) If you find you don't have access to the data you want, then it's time to start finding a way to record it and sort through it — a way that's easier than sifting through stacks of printed spreadsheets.
A good way to make reporting easier is to split it up. Assign tasks. Let's say you know you have a goal and a completion end date.
Example: You want to track all cancellations in the first quarter. Assign the process of gathering the data to one person, the process of verifying the data to another, and the process of developing insights to another. Your process ownership might be as simple as follows: Person A should do X in month 1. Then create a list where that person can check off their task.
What Metrics Should You Look At?
Of course, normal business metrics come to mind first. Sales. Revenue. The regular stuff. Then you have metrics that are relevant, specifically, to the home service industry. Our top three for you:
1. Average ticket value
2. Cancellations (as a percentage of all booked appointments)
3. Estimate conversion
4. Time on job
With electrical business reporting, time on job is a huge factor in your margin, so we think it's a critical metric to examine. Electrical service is complicated and there's a high potential for disaster, meaning your techs have to be extra careful with their work, as it affects both their safety and the safety of the homeowner and their family. But that level of care means they often spend a lot of time at each home, and too much time can hurt your margins.
Fortunately, electricians are also notoriously intelligent and math-friendly. Let them see the numbers you uncover, and give them transparency into your goals, so that they can work toward being efficient without sacrificing the extreme care they already exercise. If they understand your process for reporting and why it matters, they're more likely to be and stay invested in helping you discover new insights.
What Should You Do Now?
If you already have a way to report on the important numbers, that's excellent. Get started with the "sit back and think" step to develop a good strategy about what you want to report on and when. If you don't already have a way to report on the important numbers, or a way to follow up on and verify your gut feelings, it's probably time to start looking for new reporting capabilities. You can run your electrical business much more efficiently when you can make decisions based on real data about company operations.
We recommend ServiceTitan (of course!) for simplifying your reporting tasks. Want to see how it can help? Request a meeting today.