After years working as a foster carer, Peter McDougall set his sights on a new career – but he had no idea what that would be.
He recalls sitting with his good friend one night, pondering what to do next. Somehow, the idea of starting a carpet cleaning business came up – which was as random as it sounds. But for some reason, Peter pursued it.
“I just went out, bought all the kit, got myself in a couple of courses, and just started advertising – and it’s kind of gone from there. It keeps me out of trouble, keeps me busy!”
What started as a random idea has turned out to be a brilliant business. Peter started his cleaning and upholstery business Pro Carpet Cleaning four years ago – and things are off to a sparkling start.
Peter’s carpet cleaning venture is a one-man band, but he’s got more than one business to run. With the help of a small team, he also has a portfolio of holiday homes that he manages.
Between running the show for one business, and managing staff for another, life is pretty busy for Peter. He needed a system that could keep up – and help him manage schedules for two different businesses.
An old-fashioned system, job info all over the show
Before using Tradify, Peter says his biggest issue was having information all over the place. If he had an enquiry he’d enter it into a spreadsheet, and if it turned into a job he’d put it into Google Calendar. But if someone wanted an invoice, he had to enter all the details into a separate system.
“I had three separate places where information was being kept.”
Peter’s partner could see the stress he was under and suggested he find a customer management system to ease the workload. He began searching for the perfect fit – he tried some but found they were better suited to a bigger company with more staff. Paying for something that didn’t fit was just money going down the drain.
No accounting software integration a nightmare
When he started his business, Peter operated as a sole trader. As things progressed and jobs came rolling in, he decided he wanted to incorporate the company.
For that, he searched for a system that was also compatible with QuickBooks, so he could control the accounts for both his businesses. He tried ‘Get Booked Up’ – software designed specifically for carpet cleaning businesses. He thought it fit the bill until he realised it wasn’t in the cloud – and it didn’t link with QuickBooks.
After so much back and forth with other solutions, he stumbled across a YouTube video of an electrician talking about Tradify.
“I don’t normally pay much attention to stuff like that. But I just saw Tradify and I thought that might work.” On a whim, Peter decided to give it a go.
Tradify app keeps everything in one place
After trying every job management tool under the sun – from bespoke software and Google spreadsheets to an old-fashioned paper diary, Peter says that some things have been good – others, really awful.
Originally, he used spreadsheets and a handwritten diary to run his business. He had a list of more than 300 clients written down – but there was no easy way to retrieve their info or stay in touch.
What initially appealed to Peter about Tradify was being able to keep everything in one place. From his phone, he can quickly see his jobs for the day and his availability, and easily send messages to his customers.
“I can do it all on my phone – it’s really handy,” he says.
Job scheduler frees up time
Since switching to Tradify, Peter has found the job scheduling feature a huge time-saver. Glancing at the scheduler in the morning, he’ll see exactly where he’s going for the day.
“It helps me to organise my brain a bit better!”
Tradify puts those jobs into maps automatically, which saves Peter a lot of time. It also takes out a lot of the guesswork– and it’s helped him be more organised.
When he’s scheduling a new job, he can hover over existing jobs for that day to see the addresses. If a new job is nowhere near any of his other jobs, he’ll book it in for another day when he’s in that area. That means he spends less time driving back and forth – and more time working and earning.
“That’s very handy to see where I’m supposed to be on different days – I think that’s made my life a bit easier. And it’s cut down on the amount of driving that I’m having to do.”
It also helps Peter keep tabs on his social life.
“Tradify added the ability to import Google Calendar feeds, so I can see all my appointments in the scheduler as well, and I don’t ever have any clashes.”
Easily retrievable customer info
Before Tradify, if a previous customer reached out with another job inquiry, Peter would have to go traipsing through piles of paperwork to find the old job info and what he charged them.
Now, he just taps their name into Tradify and he has immediate access to every piece of job info he’s ever shared with them.
“It just makes life easier – having it all in one place – and I don’t lose any information. In the past, it was easy to accidentally delete something off Google Calendar, or a few rows off a spreadsheet. It’s so much easier to store all the information in a database.”
Seamless integration with QuickBooks
Tradify also plays well with QuickBooks, ticking another of Peter’s must-have boxes.
When he accepts an invoice through Tradify, it fires straight over to QuickBooks – and done. It means he doesn’t have to chase invoices and he has more time to spend on other important things.
It’s a stress-free solution that keeps Peter’s business looking sleek.
“It’s great that I can send a quote straight from Tradify – it comes across a lot more professional.”
Tradify has made a big difference in Peter’s life. He has friends still doing things the old-fashioned way and says he’s been pulling his hair out – desperately trying to get them on the digital bandwagon.
“It’s the same thing I’ve said to them before – get some software!”
If this is you, do yourself a favour – ditch the pen and paper, take Peter’s advice and jump onto Tradify.
Pro Carpet Cleaning says Tradify is super professional!
- Job scheduler: less time driving, more time working.
- Tidy books: seamless integration with QuickBooks.
- Cloud-based: Tradify app keeps everything in one place.
- Better time management: no double bookings or clashes.
- Accessible job info: past jobs easy to find by searching the client’s name.