In the days before computer software, diaries were a viable, and often default method of managing a window cleaning round.
To a certain extent diaries work, which is why, despite drastic advances in technology, many window cleaners still use them to manage their businesses
But with dedicated window cleaning software now available, built specifically with the needs of window cleaners in mind, is it still viable?
In this post, we take a look at 6 reasons you should think about modernising the way you run your window cleaning round:
One of the biggest issues with diary systems is security. Carrying a diary around usually means carrying around lots of your customer’s personal information – names, addresses, contact numbers, property access details, payment notes and so on. Generally, that information won’t just be for the jobs you’ll be completing that day, but for your entire window cleaning round.
Unlike an electronic device, the data inside a diary is readily accessible to anyone who gets their hands on it, so in the event of your diary being lost or stolen, a huge amount of information can end up in the wrong hands – not something any of your customers would be very happy about.
2) Data Backup
Of course, then you have the issue of backing your data up. Like any window cleaning round management system, your diary becomes the heart of your business, storing everything from job due dates to your customer debts. Unless you like spending time writing everything twice or taking copies, it’s likely that your diary is the only copy of that information you have.
Again, if that diary is lost, stolen or even damaged, you have no backup of the data that is at the core of your business and livelihood. Even if you know who your customers are, can you remember which of them are in debt and how much by, or when that annual gutter clean you carry out is next due? Probably not.
3) Job Scheduling
Using a diary to schedule your jobs is a manual task. You need to stay on top of the frequency of every single job, manually rescheduling them each time they’re completed. Not only is that process time-consuming, it’s also prone to mistakes being made.
Window cleaning software like CleanerPlanner takes complete care of your job scheduling. It automatically reschedules your jobs when they’re complete, saving you time and eliminating the chance of error. Rather than flick through a diary, you can find out exactly what jobs are due at any given time at the click of a button. Plus, you can also carry out what would otherwise be laborious scheduling tasks with the same ease – for example, shifting all of your work forward a week when you go on holiday.
4) Debt Control
Any paper-based system makes staying on top of debts difficult. Again, all records have to be manually added, checked and then removed when the debt is paid. It can be hard to get an idea of how old a debt is, and working out the total debt of several jobs or a round means manually adding up lots of figures, potentially from different areas of your diary.
CleanerPlanner automatically tracks who owes you money, and how long they have owed you for. It has a dedicated “Debts” tab where you can quickly see the total amount you are owed, and easily chase for the debt by email or text message. As a result, you can keep a much better grip on your debts, improve cashflow and identify bad payers more quickly.
In recent years, it’s become more and more difficult to carry out year end accounting for your window cleaning round from paper records. These days, accountants are fairly averse to working from paper records – a trend that is only set to continue. As a result, if you use an accountant, you almost certainly pay higher fees than an equivalent business using digital records. Even if you carry out your tax assessment yourself, paper records mean a laborious, yearly task of translating and totalling up your data into a format that is acceptable to HMRC.
Window cleaning software like CleanerPlanner keeps an ongoing track of your income and expenditure throughout out the year. In a matter of minutes, you can generate a full profit and loss report for the entire year, which you can export into spreadsheet format and hand straight over to your accountant.
6) Managing Multiple Staff
If you’re interested in growing your business, it’s likely that more than one person will need to access the information stored in your diary – which can present challenges. Managing the workload of other staff members from a paper-based system can quickly become a complicated, time consuming process – often requiring manual duplication of your customer information, the management of additional paper-records and the laborious administrative task of keeping your diary updated with your worker’s progress.
CleanerPlanner has been designed to give you the ability to manage multiple staff with ease. You can quickly assign work to staff remotely, without the need to handover physical paper records. Going paper-free means they can update their progress on the move, eliminating the time you spend manually updating your records.
The CleanerPlanner team have helped hundreds of window cleaners make the transition from diaries and paper-based systems to window cleaning software. We’re on hand to help with anything from how you get your customers onto CleanerPlanner to offering 1-to-1 training over the phone to get you fully up and running on the system.