Grow your fire protection business
FireMate's innovative software solutions and team of fire industry experts help you grow your business and get more done.
Take your fire protection business to the NEXT LEVEL
Six key topics stand out when we're talking with our clients about how to grow their businesses.
1. Look after your team
For any business to be successful, great staff with the right skills and mindset are essential. Given recent skills shortages, retaining key staff and being an attractive place to work is more important than ever. Clearly, if you look after your team, they’re more likely to stay and your company will be a magnet for high-quality staff.
Staff that feel valued and appreciated are more likely to stay – and to go above and beyond for your company and customers. Not only that, engaged and committed employees become a unique competitive advantage for your fire protection business.
Developing a culture where your team take a genuine interest in each others’ well-being can become the foundation of effective teamwork. So fostering solid relationships at work will increase satisfaction, productivity and retention.
Professional development opportunities are another powerful way to boost employee retention. Offering training and upskilling opportunities along with mentoring and coaching programs engage your team and ensure they can deliver top-notch service to your customers.
For many fire protection companies, it goes without saying that equipping your team with the right tools and the latest technology (technological resources/ tools and software) will enable them to do their job well. Competing in the digital economy means your company and your team need access to software tools that automate processes, reduce complexity and help you get more done.
"If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers. It's that simple."
2. Solve your customers' problems
It won’t be a surprise, that the fire protection maintenance services market is very competitive. While attracting new customers is important (see the next section), retaining your current customers is even more important. Acquiring a new customer is usually considered to be five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing customer.
Solving your customers' business problems is one of the best ways to demonstrate your value and maintain their loyalty. This might be the problems they are currently facing or problems they will face as their marketplace evolves and their needs change. Fire protection compliance is complex for those of us in the industry, let alone for our customers. Working out ways to simplify fire protection for your clients is critical and solves a real, ongoing business problem.
This can mean providing the reports that your customers need when they need them, performing inspections in their preferred timeframes, or even just explaining complex compliance requirements.
Account management or relationship management should be a proactive process, not an afterthought when your customer calls. If done well, you’ll be able to switch transactional business relationships to that of a trusted advisor and transform your clients into advocates.
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."
3. Attract new customers
Promoting your business and attracting new customers is critical to your long-term growth and financial stability.
Start by understanding the needs of your market, including your current clients and their needs. This research will help you focus in on the services you should (and shouldn't) offer, along with your ideal customer profile.
Next, think about what you offer customers and what makes your business different, or how you'd like to be different. This forms the foundation for your value proposition - the reason a prospect will engage your company.
Developing a promotional plan using a variety of channels is your next task. Along with a well-designed website, your plan could include social media, Google keyword advertising, and targeted sponsorships. What's important is that your business stands out from other service providers and that you have a consistent message.
Test, rinse, repeat.
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”
4. Never miss a test
All fire protection asset types have a specified routine service frequency from applicable standards ranging from weekly to monthly, six-monthly, yearly, five-yearly and beyond.
Organising a myriad of these routine inspections and tests in accordance with scheduled frequencies can be challenging. Missing a routine inspection not only looks bad but also impacts compliance and will probably cost you money. It doesn’t need to be this way.
Smart scheduling allows you to book thousands of activities within seconds and in accordance with respective standards or contractual obligations. This ensures compliance and enhances the productivity of your office staff and field teams, and lets you focus on customers instead of admin.
"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things."
5. Optimise your defect management processes
Every routine maintenance test and inspection visit discovers defects that need to be rectified. Some defects are simple to fix and are repaired on the spot, while others require customer approval, additional parts or an extended visit to restore the fire protection systems to working order.
It goes without saying, that rectifying defects improves building safety and results in a compliant building. Additionally, the good news for your business is that effective defect management helps you generate revenue and demonstrate the quality of your service to your clients.
To optimise the management of defects, it’s important to make it easy for your techs to identify and raise defects. Comprehensive reports with photo evidence provide transparency and mean that your customers will recognise the importance of defect rectification. By automating quote follow-ups, your work is dramatically reduced and compliance assured. Encouraging customers to approve quotes quickly, enables you to collect revenue in a timely manner and reduces admin time.
"Progress should be the product of the process."
6. Know what's happening in your business
It’s hard to focus on business growth if you don’t know what’s happening in your company. The cornerstone of knowing what's happening is collecting the right data and transforming it into useful information.
"The purpose of information is not knowledge. It is being able to take the right action."
For example, one of the most important business fundamentals is to know where you have capacity bottlenecks. If you have numerous unassigned jobs or overdue inspections, you may well need additional staff. Likewise, if the average time to quote on defects is too long, your field teams may be under-utilised, not to mention the compliance and safety ramifications if defects have not been rectified.
Healthy businesses manage cash flow to meet expense commitments and protect their business relationships. Well-informed fire protection service providers identify completed jobs that are not invoiced as well as uncollected invoices. Being able to take remedial action based on accurate and up-to-date information is critical.
Having actionable business insights and reports designed specifically for a fire protection business means you can make clever business decisions sooner.
"FireMate provides us with a comprehensive snapshot of all key information and business insights needed to successfully operate our business"
Advance Groups Fire, Lift & Escalator Services