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Online Customer Service Training Course

Online Customer Service Training – All You Need To Know

The Online Customer Service Training Course is a training package filled with easy to understand information, real life case studies, and practical tasks designed to get you up to speed on all aspects of online customer service.Once you finish this course, you will have all you need to get your business up and running, including a hands-on understanding of marketing and income boosting strategies.

One of the best parts is that you will have mentor support for a full six months. You can also work at your own pace, and save the training materials to refer back to whenever you need to.

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Case Studies Customer Service Courses MYOB Training Courses News Online Customer Service Courses Online training courses Remote Working Jobs Xero online training course

A Catch-Up / Rescue Bookkeeping Case Study

Catch-Up / Rescue Bookkeeping – A Case Study

While every bookkeeping job comes with its own set of unique tasks, clients seeking catch-up (or Rescue Bookkeeping) tend to bring with them a host of relatively predictable (if dynamic) issues that you can manage effectively if you are aware of them.

A typical catch-up bookkeeping scenario

Recently we were contacted by the operator of a sole trader business – “Peter” (not his real name), seeking help with his bookkeeping backlog.

Many of the issues he identified are relatively standard in the rescue bookkeeping world. Becoming familiar with them will help you to effectively help your clients in the future.

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Understanding Your Clients Needs Because NOT ALL Customers are Ideal

Understanding Your Clients Needs

When speaking with or taking on a new client, it’s important to ask the right questions so that you can be sure that you are the right person for the job, and if not, be ready to refer within your own network.

Asking targeted questions also enables you to develop an understanding of the person you will be working with. Knowing this, you are able to foreshadow (and then plan for and avoid) potential future issues, and focus on the client’s problem areas.

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Catch-up Bookkeeping – Know The Risks for Rescue Bookkeeping

Helping a Business Catch-up with their Bookkeeping has Risks. Here are the risks for Rescue work?

There is no doubt that opportunities are abundant in the world of catch-up bookkeeping. This is because even the most organised among us have at times let things slide when it comes to our businesses money matters.

However, if you are taking on this kind of bookkeeping work, it is important to remember that it can come with some significant risks and pitfalls that you need to identify and plan for.

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Digital Marketing News Online Business Courses Websites & Domain Names Wordpress Website Training Courses

What is a Minimum Viable Website?

If you’ve never had a website before, it can be easy to get excited — or overwhelmed; pick your emotion! — by the prospect of all the exciting features you can add to it. So you’d better get cracking, adding all those features in to your website, right?

Wrong.

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News

Google and Xero, not MYOB

We were recently helping an asbestos removal company set up their Google G Suite account [Get Your Own Domain Name for Your Business Email], and noticed an invitation to connect our new Google productivity suite to Xero.

Because Xero is committed to building integrated user experiences, Google recognised them as a “Google Cloud Premier Partner”, allowing Xero and Google users to use both applications seamlessly together.

Control your accounts receivable with Xero and Google

By connecting your Google G Suite account with Xero, you’ll have better control over your business. You can start invoices or quotes directly from an email, and even see your client emails alongside transactions in Xero.

This not only makes it easier to create and send quotes and invoices to customers when you’re still at their premises or out on the road, but you’ll be able to see if and when your other staff members have contacted that client.

If you have a virtual bookkeeping managing your accounts, you’ll be able to see when they’ve followed up with clients about outstanding payments, and what the client response has been, so you can intervene if need be.

You can also easily share your screen with a remote worker using Google Hangouts, so they can see what you’re doing in Xero (or vice versa), making collaboration all the more easier.

Learn about Accounts Receivable Courses to find a job or manage your accounts better

MYOB seems to have missed out

Although MYOB is still a widely-used and robust accounting software, it’s quickly being left out in the cold as rivals like Xero and Quickbooks partner with other technology companies to provider a better, more seamless user experience.

That’s mostly MYOB’s fault for burning its partners in the past, by completely redeveloping their software code, making it a costly and sometimes unrewarding experience for the third party companies working with MYOB.

But Xero seems to see the value in forging these partnerships and maintaining them, not only for the consumer, but for their business too — as the most-used email client in the world, businesses that don’t already have a cloud accounting package, are likely to choose Xero if they can easily click and connect it from their email account.

Learn how to setup and use Xero for your business with our Xero training courses. Visit our website for more information.

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Content Marketing News Search Engine Optimisation Course Websites & Domain Names

Website Hosting from the US is Cheaper and Better

If you’d like to set up a website for your business using WordPress or some other content management system (CMS), you’ll need your own domain name and then you’ll need a web hosting company.

You can get a website hosting package with email services bundled together from companies like Net Registry, but if you shop around, you will be able to find a good web host in the U.S. that are usually cheaper and provide better service. Here are the details about the hosting company we prefer and why.

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Content Marketing News real estate agents Video Marketing

Educating Customers as a Marketing Strategy?

Painting is an important task that immediately improves the value of a property. If you know what you’re doing, it’s not a particularly difficult task. If you don’t have any experience, or you don’t have the time, you’ll probably head down to your local Bunnings for some advice, ask a friend, or get online.

Educate customers to win business

Educational Videos on Youtube and embedded into your WordPress website can help build your online brand - Digital Marketing CourseTransparency is an important way to build trust with customers. Giving customers honest information about painting their home won’t ever do you out of business — it’ll probably win you some and that’s why Mark created some basic videos with tips on how to do certain aspects of the paint preparation work which he normally performs.

The fact is that no one likes doing it but when people are getting painting done and they realise how time consuming and messy this task is, they’d rather get someone else to do it!

Derek Farmer, a real estate agent on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, used educational videos to help sellers (and buyers, too) understand the sales process. This helped him attract new listings because people trusted that he would be open and honest about the real estate process.

Explain your process

It also made Derek’s job a little easier, because vendors knew what to expect when they were selling their home. That meant the process would proceed relatively stress free because Derek had been upfront about the process — before he’d even met the seller — and usually resulted in a quick sale.

Vendors who had good experiences with Derek recommended him to their friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours — at one point, Derek had multiple listings, one after the other, in the same street, all due to good recommendations from previous clients.

What tips can you share?

Tradies, whether they’re painters or plumbers or gardeners, can use educational videos and blogs to demystify the work that they do for customers, and also help stand out from their competitors online and in their local community.

To learn more about using educational content as a marketing strategy for your business, sign up for our digital marketing management services or enrol in our digital and social media marketing training course if you’d like to DIY.

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Content Marketing Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) News Online training courses Social Media Social Media Marketing Xero online training course

Why Offer a Free Measure and Quote?

How to win business on the spot!

why offer a free measure and quote tradesperson how to quote online xero course

THERE ARE REWARDS AS WELL AS RISKS to providing people with a quote for work, but one of the bigger risks is offering a free measure and quote, only to have the quote knocked back in favour of a competitor’s cheaper one.

This said, despite the risks attached to offering to come out for free and quote a job, it’s still a good way to operate your business.

Why a free measure and quote is good

There are a lot of benefits to visiting a client to provide a free measure and quote, even if you run the risk of wasting your time and money should the quote not be accepted. We take a look at some of these:

You’ll better understand the client and scope of works

Quoting for a job will help you to understand the client and the scope of the project at the same time. People are put more at ease when they know they’re not obligated to pay you just to come out and prepare a quote, so you’ll have better luck getting prospects. You’ll also be able to discern the kind of client the prospect is likely to be, so you can weigh up how to proceed.

Helps you evaluate potential risks

Remember risks can involve both the physical risk of injury but also other more nebulous risks, like a client who doesn’t pay on time or is unrealistic about timeframes, costs or the types of materials required. With experience, you’ll become better at seeing the warning signs early on, but if you’re new to being self-employed, these are things you should pay particular attention to.

How to make a sale there and then

As we said in our previous post about the risks and rewards of quoting, if you make it easy for people to do business with you, you’re more likely to get quick or even immediate acceptance of your quotes. This is really important as a business, because it keeps in a steady stream of work, which is good for your cash flow, and ultimately, costs you less money — because you’re not following up on unaccepted quotes — in the long run.

Show you’re reliable and keen

In many of our blogs we’ve strongly suggested that using a cloud-based accounting application like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks makes it really easy for prospects to accept estimates and to pay you. Better still if you can produce estimates for prospects while you’re still at their home or business. This shows you’re reliable, well organised and keen.

Demonstrating efficiency, organisation and enthusiasm are clearly attractive qualities in any builder, tradesperson or other small business person who provides on-site quotes (they’re attractive qualities in anybody!) because it shows that you care about the work you do and that you’ll do it in a timely manner.


learn myob xero excel quickbooks online training course videosFor help creating sales and marketing messages that will deliver more leads to your business or determining the right places to advertise your business online, contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services.


 

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Content Marketing News Social Media

Why It’s Vital Not to Over-Quote

The risks of quoting too high

how to quote correctly builder labourer carpenter tradesperson tradie tradesman

THERE ARE PROS AND CONS to charging a day rate. But part of charging the right day rate involves quoting jobs correctly.

Part of charging the right day rate involves quoting jobs correctly.

And what are the requirements for quoting a job properly? You need solid experience in the field you work in, and the ability to evaluate a job thoroughly to ensure you’ve accounted for all the things could crop up once work commences.

Beware of over-quoting

Yes it is important to take into account things that could come up after you start a job that might require additional materials and time. This said, don’t factor them into your quote unless you’re reasonably sure they could occur. If you do, you risk your quote being too high.

Providing someone with an unnecessarily high quote reduces the likelihood that they’ll accept it, which only just ends up costing you money — you spent time working on the quote, after all.

Quote what the market will bear

If you’re an experienced builder, your hourly rate is going to be much higher than a labourer’s, who is paid between $20 and $30 an hour. If you’re quoting for a job that requires substantial digging, which is time-consuming, but ultimately, unskilled work, subcontract that out to a labourer, to keep the price to your client down.

Again, you’re unlikely to have your quote accepted if you’re quoting to do all of the work yourself at your regular rate. Most people will get more than one quote, so if you’re quoting above what the market rate is for a given job, you probably won’t get the work.

Make your quote easy to accept

Use electronic accounting software like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks to create estimates that you can email to your clients while you’re still talking to them. This means they’ll be able to ask you any questions about the quote, and possibly even accept it on the spot.

Use electronic accounting software like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks to create estimates that you can email to your clients while you’re still talking to them.

This will reduce the amount of estimates you have to spend time following up on, and also help you to better structure your work as you’ll have a more steady flow of work.



facebook advertising and social media for real estate agents
Maybe you’re a sole trader, tradesperson or small business owner who would like help figuring out  the right places to advertise your business online.

Contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services to suit your budget.


 

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Content Marketing Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) News Social Media Social Media Marketing

The Pros and Cons of Charging a Day Rate

When charging a daily rate pays

tradesmen carpenter painter plumber electrician charge day rate or hourly rateCHARGING A DAY RATE FOR YOUR WORK, instead of an hourly rate, can be a good way of making sure you get paid a certain amount for each job. This can help you set a budget and ensure you’re bringing in a certain amount of money each week. It also gives your clients some peace of mind, because they will know how much to set aside to pay you.

Charging a day rate can help you set a budget and ensure you’re bringing in a certain amount of money each week.

But just as there are advantages to charging a day rate, there are some disadvantages too.

Pros of day rates

  • You’re getting a flat fee, so if the job doesn’t take as long as you anticipated, you’re still getting paid the same amount to complete it.
  • It’s easier to get clients, because they’ll feel more secure knowing from the outset how much the job will cost.
  • It gives structure to your finances, which is important when you’re first starting out.

Cons of day rates

  • It ties you down to one job. Sometimes you can earn more money by doing a number of smaller jobs in one day, rather than just one job.
  • It gives you less flexibility to leave the job site, say, to quote on other work, or if any other circumstances arise that mean you have to leave the job periodically. It might not be convenient for you or others to make up extra hours at another time or extend your day.
  • If a job runs longer than anticipated, or is more specialised than anticipated, you could find yourself out-of-pocket or not getting paid as much as you could.
  • If you run into a previously unforeseen problem or specialised area, it can be difficult to get the client to pay more than what you originally agreed on.
  • You must quote thoroughly for the job beforehand, so you need to be experienced to ensure you’re quotes aren’t too low.

Not all projects are well-suited to charging a day rate, particularly if they’re complex and have the potential to be time-consuming.

Jobs that are straightforward or where most of your day will be spent doing labour work are better suited to day rates, leaving the longer, more intricate work that has the potential to take a long time to an hourly rate.

If you want to work out how to set budgets and what kind of rates you should be charging to cover all your on-the-job expenses, get yourself trained up in one of our online cloud accounting courses in MYOB or Xero.


on the job quoting quotes tradespeopleWant help creating sales and marketing messages that will deliver more leads to your business? Contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services.


 

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Content Marketing Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) News Online training courses Social Media Social Media Marketing Xero online training course

Your Marketing Strategy in Xero

How you know what’s working and what’s not

using xero roi tradesperson company business


MARKETING AND ACCOUNTING ARE CLOSELY linked if you look at accounting as dealing with the money that’s going in and out of your business, usually as a consequence of your marketing activities.

Recording your marketing activities

In our new online training course, Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI for Xero, you’ll learn how to enter all of your business’s expenses, including the money you spend on marketing. Anything to do with making your business “discoverable” by a potential customer is considered a marketing activity.

Anything to do with making your business “discoverable” by a potential customer is considered a marketing activity.

That includes business cards, website costs, domain names, Google AdWords, etc, and should be recorded in Xero as a marketing expense.

Determine marketing ROI

To determine your Return on Investment (ROI), you should use Excel or a marketing platform like Hubspot to record where your business comes from so you can assign each activity an income stream.

It’s important to monitor how your marketing spend is performing for your business. Otherwise how will you know what’s working and what’s not?

In our Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI course for Xero, you’ll go through the steps required to determine the ROI for certain areas of a business. If you refer to the Excel spreadsheet showing the income generated by particular marketing activities — print ads, hipages subscriptions, Google AdWords, etc, you’ll be able to work out the ROI.

Monitoring how your marketing spend performs for your business is incredibly important. It’ll help you to see what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to be changed to make it perform better.


tradesperson business company xero online training course videosLearn how to determine the ROI of many of your business’s activities in our Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI course for Xero. To learn more about, or enrol in, our new Cash Flow Reporting, Budgets and ROI course for Xero, visit our website.


 

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Content Marketing Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) Facebook Advertising News Social Media Social Media Marketing

How Bunnings Could Help You Get More Work

Ways to get regular installation work

tradesmen tradie tradesperson carpenter painter plumber electrician partner with bunnings


BUNNINGS HAS, FOR A LOT OF HOMEOWNERS, become the default place to get their home renovated — and not just the DIY renovators, either. Bunnings, very wisely, realised that a lot of the people who came to look at their kitchens and bathrooms were going to have a tradesperson install them.

Bunnings made the smart move of partnering with local tradies — cabinet makers, builders, plumbers, and so on — to also offer an installation service, like other kitchen and bathroom companies.

Partner with big business

Just as every good tradesman or tradeswoman will partner with other local tradespeople so they can refer business to each other, it’s wise to partner with bigger business — like Bunnings or Mitre 10, and so forth — which can refer work to you when they have customers in need of your services.

Every good tradesman or tradeswoman will partner with other local tradespeople so they can refer business to each other.

Use online marketplaces

Lots of online marketplaces like Airtasker and Hipages partner with retailers to offer installation services to their customers. Airtasker, for example, partnered with the Good Guys, so customers could find someone to install their new TV or Bose system.

Likewise, Hipages partnered with IKEA, Ray White and the Housing Industry Association (HIA) to provide them with top quality tradespeople who can provide installation and other types of work.

Big business provides security

Working with a business like the Good Guys, IKEA or Bunnings provides better payment security for your business. In the case of Bunnings, they will typically measure and quote for a job at a set price. This just leaves it up to you to complete the job, and then get paid.

You’re not only reducing the amount of time you spend measuring and quoting for jobs, you also cut out all the follow-up you need to do to get your quotes accepted.

You’ll want to keep up your online marketing and advertising, so you’re getting your own jobs, with the potential to earn more money. The jobs you get through Bunnings or the Good Guys just help to keep the home-fires burning when you’re waiting for your other jobs to get approved.


online digital marketing for tradespeople tradesperson tradesman tradeswoman tradiesFor help creating sales and marketing messages that will deliver more leads to your business or determining the right places to advertise your business online, contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services.


 

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News

Don’t Quote and Lose Thousands, Schedule Ahead

Offering a free measure and quote is a great way to get to know a prospective client and to better understand the project at hand, as we’ve mentioned previously in our post, Why Offer a Free Measure and Quote?

Of course, there’s always the risk that your quote won’t be accepted and that you’ve wasted time that could’ve been spent working and earning money, but what alternative do you have?

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Content Marketing News Social Media Marketing

Helping Tradepeople Turn Quotes into Customers

Online marketplaces bridging the gap for tradies

tradesmen carpenter painter plumber electrician turning quote into sale


THE AREA A LOT OF TRADESWOMEN and tradesmen struggle with is turning prospects into customers; in particular getting their quotes and estimates approved so they can commence work. But online marketplaces like hipages, Airtasker, Oneflare, ServiceSeeking, and a raft of others, are helping to close that gap.

Online payment facilities

online marketplaces for tradesmen and tradeswomenThese marketplaces are helping to protect the money of the consumers using them as well, but offering escrow services. Airtasker, in particular, was the first online marketplace in Australia to add a payment facility to its platform that allows customers to pay for a job, which will be held until the job is complete and both parties are satisfied.

Helping small businesses grow

hipages logo tradesman tradeswoman turn quotes into sales onlineHipages and Oneflare are owned by News Corporation (majority owners of Realestate.com.au) and Domain Group (operators of rival property portal Domain) respectively. Both real estate portals are investing heavily in growing their ancillary revenues — that is, revenue from sources other than property ads — by recommending services that homebuyers and sellers are likely to need next. To this end, Domain recently launched a mortgage lending service called Domain Loan Finder, as a joint venture with Lendi.  

If you’re a builder, removalist, cleaner, plumber, electrician, labourer, painter and decorator, or other kind of trademan or tradeswoman, then advertising on either hipages or Oneflare is probably a no brainer. As Realestate.com.au and Domain begin to offer these services directly from the real estate listings on their sites, apps, email marketing, and so on, this where most homeowners will find their next tradie.

If you’re a tradesperson, then advertising on either hipages or Oneflare is probably a no brainer. As Realestate.com.au and Domain begin to offer these services directly from the real estate listings on their sites, apps, email marketing, and so on, this where most homeowners will find their next tradie.

Oneflare and Hipages, through their association with Domain and REA Group, will become sites for highly skilled tradespeople, while the Airtaskers and ServiceSeekings will remain sites for lower-cost tradespeople.


tradespeople turning quotes to salesFor help determining the right places to advertise your business online, contact the team at Virion for more information about our content marketing services to suit your budget.


 

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Content Marketing News Social Media Social Media Marketing

Google Delivers More Leads for FREE!

Learn how to make Google love you

how to be found on google tradesperson online business


FOLLOWING ITS ACQUISITION BY AMERICAN telecommunications company, Verizon, Yahoo! is officially no more. So it should go without saying that Google, officially, is the premier search engine if you want your business discovered online.

It’s official: Google is the premier search engine if you want your business discovered online.

Google offers lots of tools to help businesses get discovered by its algorithms, including Google My Business, a free tool that gives your business a listing at the top of Page One on Google Search, as well as a place marker in Google Maps.

Create a Google My Business account

Many business people, including tradespeople, use cloud accounting software like MYOB and Xero to do their bookkeeping. Similarly, many tradies and others already have websites. However, even though your business may already have a website that’s been indexed by Google and shows up in search results for specific keywords, you won’t automatically have a Google My Business account.

You need to set that up separately, by entering in your business information — including your business address — which will be verified by Google. Once your business is verified by Google, you can then begin adding and adjusting your business’s logo and other imagery.

Then get the FREE Google Website

A website is an absolute must for any business operating today. Even if you primarily get leads from offline sources, or you do the majority of your work face to face, a website is still an invaluable tool for turning those prospects into customers.

To revisit the tradesperson example, very few people engage the services of a tradesman without doing some research online first. Your business’s website will be their first port of call. If you don’t have a website, they’ll look for reviews on a Google listing to see what other customers have said about you.

If they can’t find either, unless you were recommended by someone they know, they may choose to go with another business, which has a website, Google listing, or both. At the very least, it just tends to give people peace of mind.

Google now offers businesses with a Google My Business account a free website, already optimized for its search algorithms, and for mobile devices. It’s also easy to use with your custom domain, and is Google AdWords ready, for when you’re ready to kick your marketing up to the next level.


Mobile apps for real estate agentsWant help setting up your Google My Business account and finding more leads for your business? See our digital marketing strategy.