How a Bootstrapped Seasonal Gig Grew into a Thriving Multi-Service Cleaning Business: Pete Happy of ProShine Part 2

How a Humble Window-Washing Gig Grew into a Successful Multi-Service Exterior Cleaning Business

In part 1 of Pete Happy’s story, we introduced to you how ProShine had its humble beginnings to grow into a thriving company. Pete talked in our interview about the reasons why he needed ServiceMonster to come in and help his company’s operations. There were so many elements that led to his company success that we wanted to continue it with this next series.

We’ll talk more about how ProShine worked through its growing pains and put tools to the task to make their business more efficient, and about how they ultimately were able to leverage their findings from a SWOT analysis to grow despite the challenging times.

Owner standing at 2 monitor screens looking at reports and schedules for his exterior cleaning business

QuickBooks as a CRM? Eventually you’re going to need the real thing.

QuickBooks obviously isn’t a CRM, but it’s not uncommon for small businesses to use it as their first CRM. Pete was no different. QuickBooks was his main tool for managing customer relationships from very early on because of its capacity to let him easily write estimates, convert those invoices and get payments. It worked great for a time but as the company grew, Pete recognized very quickly that things might start falling apart if he didn’t make some changes. Couple that with the fact that Pete was moving off the trucks and into sales - he wasn’t too keen on the idea of employees having unfettered access to his sensitive accounting data either.

Pete needed a buffer between his employees and the business accounting, and introducing ServiceMonster as his CRM helped establish that. Now he was able to give his team the tools they needed to be able to go do their job, but not put them in a place where there was the possibility of accidentally altering any crucial accounting statements. 

Everything Under One Umbrella

When it came down to making the move, ServiceMonster’s QuickBooks integration made the switch simple and easy! All it took was an invoice history import and everything was there at Pete’s fingertips. Now, he could get the support he needed for multiple worksites, and get a robust snapshot of each customer's history with a newsfeed while being able to process payments online all under one umbrella. 

And QuickBooks wasn’t the only application that he added to the mix. A few of the applications Pete already had in place that could be used within ServiceMonster were:

  • ResponsiBid - to streamline the sales process. It provides instant quotes online and in the field and follows up with leads to help them though the process.
  • The Seal - to find trustworthy employees and contractors with certified background checks. The Seal provides high-quality identification badges for employees to wear, along with sending an email to the client to  let them know the employee entering their home has been checked and is trustworthy.

ServiceMonster has many other integrations to help boost your company’s performance, too. To learn more about them and to find out if we have an integration for any of your existing business applications, visit our MarketPlace.

Make Life Easier for your Employees

Technician employee running a hose from work truck while doing an exterior cleaning job

When Pete was getting off the truck and adding more employees to expand his business, he needed to make sure his dispatchers and techs also had a seamless experience with the new software. Luckily, ServiceMonster was very user-friendly and one of the easiest things for his employees to learn when it came to training. Here are a few things techs have to make life easier:

  • Get text reminders before the job along with Google Maps navigation
  • Attach photos to a work order and see any work done before even going off to the job site
  • Get a newsfeed of work and communication history
  • Be able to review scope of work with the homeowner
  • See every task that needs to be completed with an end of job checklist 

Having ServiceMonster as a software keeps ProShine employees from waiting on answers and lets them better focus on their jobs. It's a great tool to help set them up for success from day one.

How ProShine went from surviving to thriving during covid

Ultimately, I don’t really believe we sell window washing.  I don’t really believe that we sell pressure washing. We sell an experience.

Covid changed the trajectory of many service businesses. One of Pete’s biggest struggles during that time was with staffing. With new work-from-home measures, ProShine saw a high increase in requests for their services to accommodate more outdoor activities. The flip side to the rise in business, however, was that there were not enough employees to get the work done. How did ProShine combat this? They raised prices to try to lower the amount of people that would be accepting their bids and to cover additional expenses. 

Though necessary, raising prices can be a daunting task for small businesses because it might mean a decrease in sales. But in Pete’s case, the loss in sales turned out to work in his favor. It reduced the demand during the pandemic to a level his workforce could now accommodate. 

But there was another missing piece to this equation. Pete knew that potential clients could easily hire any other provider to get the same job done for less money. So what made his clients choose to pay a bit more for his services?

Pete and his leadership team had done a SWOT analysis and found that hiring was one of their weaknesses. They were struggling internally and during covid, especially, there were literally zero job applicants. So they made a push to attract and hire top talent, and it ended up paying off in spades. Clients love his team, and because of that they return again and again. Pete understood that hiring a good team would be better for the bottom line, and what came from it was an impressive 74% residential repeat rate. Client retention and repeat business played a large part in the overall growth of his business.  

A Responsive Support Team

ServiceMonster is #1 reason why we can fulfill that value of being responsive

Alongside other key factors such as making company-wide changes to benefits and to attract top talent, ProShine devised an acronym that better reflected their mission and values: ROOTS. 

The acronym stands for:

Responsive

Optimistic

Ownership

Teamwork

Service

And Pete attributes  one of those key values - responsiveness - to the support he gets from the ServiceMonster team. He or any one of his techs and call on the phone and talk to someone from the team every time. They can give immediate answers or if not be relentless in figuring it out. Pete knows that, as the owner, if his dispatcher has an issue they can pick up the phone or shoot an email and there will always be a friendly, knowledgeable person on the other side ready to help. 

Thanks so much for the kind words, Pete. We appreciate you too!

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