The product of major investment in development, Business Pilot’s new Status Progression will revolutionise how you run your installation business, according to the business management tool’s MD, Elton Boocock.
In The E Myth (one of the original self-help books for small businesses), it’s author Michael Gerber, argues that the majority of small owner-managed companies, aren’t really businesses at all – something, which he argues, explains their high failure rate.
They’re built around the hard work of individuals but take those individuals out of the equation, and things come tumbling down, because they fail to establish effective process.
‘As a business grows, it invariably exceeds its owner’s ability to control it – to touch, feel and see the work that needs to be done and inspect its progress personally’, Gerber writes.
He continues: ‘Out of desperation . . . he does what he knows how to do rather than what he doesn’t . . . and passes his accountability to someone else-a “Harry”.
‘At that point desperation turns to hope. He hopes that Harry will handle it, so he won’t have to.
‘But Harry has needs of his own. He needs more direction. He needs to know why he’s doing what he’s doing and the results he’s accountable for and the standards against which his work is being evaluated.
‘To produce effectively, Harry needs something the business owner isn’t giving him- a manager. And the lack of one causes the business to go into a tailspin.’
And this, according to Elton Boocock, Managing Director, Business Pilot, is the nub of a problem that is creating challenge in installation companies nationwide. “If you look at the installation sector, there are a lot of owner-managed small businesses out there – but they have two problems”, he says.
Elton continues: “Those business are often heavily reliant on a key individual who maybe founded the business.
“They’re no longer on the tools but haven’t put in place the processes and operational infrastructure to support their teams in working effectively but also to guarantee service levels that the owner wants them to deliver. In Gerber’s analysis, the controls aren’t there, individuals are ‘propping up’ the business.
“And without process money and opportunities are being wasted, through error and duplication of effort – the business structure isn’t there.
“A third consideration is that it means that it’s difficult for those individuals to step back and ultimately step out of the business.”
Business Pilot has a rapidly growing follower base. It was launched in 2019 and designed by installers for installers. It mobilises the power of cloud-based technologies giving installers complete visibility of each and every element of their operation from leads and conversions to job scheduling, cost of installation, service calls, and financial reporting.
The new Business Pilot, Status Progression Tool, represents a radical evolution of the platform, which the software company argues transforms the platform and its ability to revolutionise the way its customers’ run their businesses.
It’s made up of three elements”, continues Elton, “a ‘Pipeline’ or process – what you need to do to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’, lead to contract, or contract to delivery; ‘Status’, where you are in that process; and ‘Tasks’, what you need to do before moving on the next step in the process or pipeline.
We recognise that that there are certain general Pipeline’s that most installation companies will have, for example a process for lead to contract for window sales; but also that the lead to contract process for a glazed extension, will be different.
While we have created some ‘off the shelf’ pipelines that everyone can probably use, what’s so powerful about the Business Pilot Status Progression is that you can create whatever process you want. You have complete control.
It’s flippant but if you want to set it up so that they have a ‘task’ of making a cup of tea after following up on a quote, you can.
The system can be adapted to your specific business processes and you can guarantee that your team are following them. It gives you process, control, and efficiency – and its unique, there is no other window and door industry CRM with this capability.”
You set and automate a process saving time and money, but also force your team to operate within them, delivering a far more consistent customer experience.”
As well as allowing installers to map their processes, it also allows them to refine and automate them, to deliver increased efficiencies within their operation, for example, the creation of templated and automated emails.
For example, on a lead to contract pipeline, the first stage in most installers process will be to ‘create’ that lead. Once created, the top of the lead shows a series of options that you can then got to next, for example ‘follow-up’; ‘demo booked’; ‘quoted’, ‘quote followed-up’; ‘sold’; or ‘lost’.
These are the next stages of that specific pipeline that you can go to from ‘Created’ status, and each can have tasks assigned to them.
So, for example, take ‘sold’ in the example we’re working to. You could choose to have this step (status) send a templated email asking for the deposit at the click of a button. You can choose to skip sending the email of course if on this occasion it does not make sense because they have already paid the deposit early. At the same time, you could prompt the user to perform a task, for example, book a survey, again, you can ‘progress without actions’, but the purpose of this tool is to ensure all the right steps are carried out at the right time, without each individual user having to remember everything. You ‘design’ the process once and then everyone can follow it on every lead or contract.
You get instant visibility for everyone else too as to where each lead or contract is within the process.
If you want to remove a status, you can just go into the back end of that pipeline and click the toggle to hide it; or create a new one to replace it. You’re in complete control of which statuses you create and the tasks that your team have to complete before moving forward.
Every status change or task completed as part of a pipeline or process, is also recorded, providing a complete record of who did what and when.
With automation of tasks, the Business Pilot Status Progression Tool can, for example, more than half the time involved in converting a lead to contract status but as a business owner or director, it gives you control and drives culture.
Everything you want your team to do is done, because they have to follow a process that you set – it creates a consistent process for each and every job which means the job is done properly each and every time, so your data and information is better, your service is better, and your business is more efficient.
It takes what you know and want in your head – and establishes it in your organisation.
Although quite a major feature, Status Progressions is just one of the key features that are causing people to leave their old tired systems and joining the Business Pilot community. We call it a community because so much of the continued development of the system is driven by our community of users. Anyone can take a free trial to see for themselves just how much better Business Pilot is.