Two years ago, Nicola and Phil Davis started an air purification business. With Phil’s refrigeration qualification and background in engineering, it was a no brainer for the couple.
“We’ve always had this ambition to set up our own trade business,” Nicola says.
Things got off to a cracking start, with a big commercial contract propelling them forward — unlike a lot of other businesses, the global pandemic actually breathed some more life into Island HVAC Systems.
“When the pandemic came along, we saw a huge spike in interest in air conditioning and ventilation because it made people think about the environment they're working and living in.”
Last year, Nicola officially quit her 9-5 job to join Phil full-time in the business. Between juggling kids and the pressures of a fast-growing business, one of the first things she did was look for a way to get the business admin more organised.
1. New to running a trade business
Before starting IHS, neither Nicola nor Phil had any experience running a business.
“We weren’t invoicing or raising purchase orders at that stage,” Nicola explains.
That changed when they started installing air conditioning and ventilation units. The surge in enquiries put Nicola and Phil on a fast track to growth, and they quickly realised they needed a way to keep up with demand.
“First of all, we knew we wanted to be paperless. We also knew we needed a system that we could access quickly to help us keep our books in order and ultimately, make our lives easier.”
2. Tradify “a lifesaver”
It didn’t take much searching for Nicola to come across Tradify. It ticked all the boxes, and she says that they haven’t looked back since.
“Tradify has absolutely transformed the way we're working.”
Because Tradify is a cloud-based system, the IHS team can access customer and job information no matter where they are. Another plus is that Tradify allows IHS to be paperless — an important bonus for Nicola and Phil.
“We often say that every month we don't know what we’d do without this system because everything is there and it's just so user-friendly.”
3. Quotes are quick and clear-cut
Sometimes, it used to take Phil hours to put together a single quote, a job that often got in the way of more valuable tasks, Nicola explains.
“There’s a lot of math involved in our work, calculating heat temperatures and room sizes, so our quotes can be quite complicated,” she adds.
With Tradify’s simple and fast quoting software, it now takes Phil a couple of minutes to raise a quote and a purchase order, significantly cutting the hours he spends on admin. It also means he can send a quote while he’s still on-site.
To save even more time, Tradify’s Kits feature has been a great way of bundling together labour, materials, and miscellaneous costs that make up a typical service – all while keeping things transparent for their customers.
Nicola says she also likes how they can see when a quote has been opened, and automated quote reminders follow up on quotes that haven’t been responded to.
4. Happy customers, winning more work
Nicola believes that transparency has been a big plus for keeping customers happy. They can see how the costs are consolidated and what they’re paying for, which has been another positive outcome of automating the quoting and invoicing system.
“Customers like that they can see exactly where the costs are coming from, rather than lumping them all together in one big quote.”
The positive feedback keeps on coming.
“Looking back at some of our reviews, lots of people have commented on how professional we are. That's all to do with Tradify.”
That, combined with Tradify’s enquiries feature, is making a big difference when it comes to their quote win rate.
“We get loads and loads of enquiries. We don't always win the jobs, but they’re all stored in the system and we don't have to go back through hundreds of emails to track potential clients,” explains Nicola.
5. Scheduling feature a huge help
Another part of Tradify that Nicola raves about is the Scheduling feature — it means that Phil can see when and where he needs to be while out on the road, “our Bible,” she calls it. This will be even more of an asset when they take on more staff in the future.
“We've got a subcontractor and we’re looking at getting an apprentice in the new year. If things continue and we start to build and grow more, we’ll need to hire even more team members – and we feel prepared for that.”
In a short time, IHS has expanded its services and is starting to see more referrals and repeat customers. Nicola believes they would have struggled to survive without Tradify. It’s the reason she enthusiastically recommends Tradify to other tradespeople who are looking to grow a trade business.
“Absolutely, I would totally recommend it. It’s one of the best things I’ve used in terms of organising our business.”
6. Nicola says Tradify is a breath of fresh air!
- Quick quoting: create and send a quote within minutes.
- Professional business: happy customers, winning more work.
- From start to finish: Tradify tracks jobs from enquiry to invoicing.
- Cloud-based system: provides office-on-the-go capabilities.
- Scheduler: keeps the busy duo on track.