In recent times, it’s become increasingly common for software in general to be cloud-based, rather than desktop-based. What’s the difference? Well, cloud (or web) based software is not “installed” on your computer, like desktop software – rather it’s accessed over the internet via your web browser.
So is cloud-based software just a trend, yet another equivalent to what you already use? Or does it have clear benefits over traditional desktop-based software solutions for window cleaners? The answer to that is a resounding yes, and we’ve outlined 6 of them below:
You can access it from anywhere and any device
A key benefit of cloud-based window cleaning software is the ability to access it from anywhere and any device with an internet connection. This is in sharp contrast to desktop software, which ties you down to a specific computer. As a result, it makes managing your business whilst on the move and away from your desk far easier.
Multiple users can access it at the same time
Another major advantage of cloud-based software is that multiple users can access it at the same time. Whether you’re the business owner, office administrator or window cleaner – you’ll all be able to access the data required to keep your business organised and running smoothly and profitably. It’s not a free for all of course – it’s simple to setup your users with appropriate “privileges”, controlling what information they can access and edit.
You can manage staff more efficiently
Desktop software’s answer to managing what your staff’s workload? The ability to print out a list of work. Cloud-based software takes it a few steps further than that and makes it far easier to manage your staff more efficiently. Cleaner Planner, for example, has a mobile app that allows you to remotely assign work to your staff – they simply download their list of work for the day onto their phone or tablet. They update their progress throughout the day, recording what jobs they’ve done and who’s paid them, and then upload their changes. All of your staff’s progress feeds back to a central place – without the need to collect and manually check lists, tally up totals and adjust customer records.
You save time
Whether you’re a small, one or two man window cleaning business or a large outfit, the result of the above feature (and others) is a substantial time saving. By removing the need to carry out manual tasks, like updating what’s been done at the end of the day – something you don’t get paid for, it frees up time for things you do get paid for. Our customers report an average of 20 hours saved per month over older systems.
Your data is more secure and more regularly backed up
Cloud-based software stores your data in, surprise surprise, the “cloud”. Desktop solutions store your data on your local computer, and whilst many of them have backup facilities, it’s usually down to you as to how regularly you do this. In the not-so-unlikely event of hardware failure, loss or theft, this leaves you susceptible to being left with out of date data, or even worse – none at all. And you’ll have to either fix your computer, or install your software on a new machine before you can access any of it. On the other hand, Cleaner Planner automatically backs your data up hourly, meaning you always have access to a copy of your data that is no more than an hour old – and you don’t even have to think about it. In the event of your computer breaking, you can access your data from another device, immediately. For added peace of mind, you can also take your own backup whenever you like, to your machine or to Dropbox. In the event that your computer is stolen, none of your data is actually stored on your machine, meaning your customer and business information is safe.
You get access to other online services
Unlike desktop-based window cleaning software, cloud-based solutions can integrate with other online services and providers. For example, Cleaner Planner integrates with GoCardless (a direct debit payment provider) and Stripe (a card payment provider) allowing you to offer modern payment methods and take complete control of when you get paid. Other examples include Textlocal, which allows you to send bulk text message reminders to your customers, and Mailchimp, which gives you the ability to send bulk marketing emails to your customers. These integrations make it easy to modernise your business, reduce debts and increase profitability.
If you’d like to trial cloud-based window cleaning software, you can try Cleaner Planner free for 30 days. It’s possible to import your customers from Window Cleaner Pro, George, Aworka, Round Partner and Excel.