Josh Gastaldin spent 15 years prepping to start his own plumbing business, gaining experience across residential, commercial, new builds, and renovations. But in 2020, when he was made redundant in the wake of COVID-19, he and his wife Michelle saw an opportunity to start Offset Plumbing.
Now in his second year of business, Josh is flat-tack, with over 40 active jobs currently on the books. He does most of the plumbing work himself with the help of a newly-hired apprentice, while Michelle helps with the administration.
Josh was a paper-and-pen man through and through until he almost lost the diary that contained all his client and job information. It was then that Josh decided he needed a better way of recording all his information.
“Josh left his work diary on top of his van, and it fell off as he drove away. Luckily somebody found it and got it back to him, but we realised that he couldn't keep running the business out of a book,” Michelle says.
From writing notes on plywood to having everything in one place
For Offset Plumbing, the lure of an online alternative wasn’t just about backing up client information. Michelle was finding it increasingly difficult to find and decipher all Josh’s job notes. They used Xero to manage their accounts but all their other systems still needed work.
Michelle was also spending a lot of her time organising council approvals. If she forgot to follow up or didn’t save it properly, she risked the work being delayed, putting their whole schedule out.
Michelle jumped onto her favourite Facebook group, ‘TradieWives’, designed for Aussie partners of tradespeople in business, to ask for advice.
The recommendations were unanimous: get Tradify!
“His pen and paper notes were very bare bones. He would write them on random things – bits of cardboard, wood, or ply. I was like, ‘whose invoice is this, and why does this other man owe us $500?’”
"Tradify has completely streamlined our business”
Josh has taken to Tradify like a plumber to pipe. Michelle says it helps them focus their time, decrease stress, and make things look professional. They take advantage of lots of Tradify’s tools like keeping notes, tracking jobs, scheduling, quoting, and storing everything on the cloud.
“If anything, it's helped concentrate our efforts into one spot. And it has all the features to make sure that we can see all the details we need to run our trade business well.”
This makes it easy for Michelle to jump on and see clearly what needs to be done and means that family dinners no longer require so much shop talk.
“With Tradify, it’s so much easier for us to stay on the same page.”
Scheduler saves time and headaches
Before Tradify, Josh would jot down his jobs in his diary. Aside from this being time-consuming, it was chaotic to make changes or move things around.
With Tradify’s scheduling software, he has much more control over his work schedule. He can keep track of where his team needs to be each day, book jobs quickly and move things around if needed – without the risk of losing the information, forgetting jobs, or double-booking.
“You just do things the way you’ve always done them until someone asks, ‘Why are you doing it like that?’ Now that we’ve tried Tradify, there’s no way we would go back to pen and paper.”
Notes feature makes long-term jobs run smoother
Big plumbing jobs sometimes take weeks or even months to complete, and that can mean a build-up of paperwork. There are council reports, approvals, price quotes and client feedback, and without an online system, Michelle and Josh struggled to keep track.
Now, they sleep easy knowing all historical information sits tight in the assigned job folder, ready to be charged when the job is finally done.
“Tradify has made those long-term jobs easy. We can track the paperwork, pricing, notes, photos and permits, keeping everything together in one job folder.”
Effortless communication with clients
Offset Plumbing requires a bit of client pre-work before it can start a job. Previously, Michelle struggled to design a way to manage this that worked for both parties and didn’t require lots of back-and-forth emails.
Tradify’s email templates make sending forms incredibly easy. Michelle enjoys the process of setting up her templates and loves being able to send automated messages with links so clients can review their business.
“The email templates are something new we’ve recently tried. I've since seen a few more features that I want to add that I know will be even more useful.”
Tradify a royal flush says Josh
- Scheduling: easy to keep track, make changes and add jobs
- Admin in one place, Josh and Michelle stay on the same page
- Photos and notes keep long-term work more organised
- Cloud-based system: less risk, secure storage of client information
- Email templates keep business professional, save time