Editor’s Note: A version of this post was originally published in May 2013. It has been revised for comprehensiveness and completeness.

Summer is often a busy time of year for home service and home repair businesses, from landscaping and HVAC field services to painting and remodeling services. Many home services companies will ramp up hiring and invest more in marketing to get the most out of the season. As business picks up, the need for an easy-to-use billing solution becomes even more important. If your company is still using paper invoicing or collecting paper checks, there’s a good chance you’re losing potential revenue or receiving late payments.

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1 – Set Up, Process & Collect Automatic Monthly Payments

If your home services business does recurring work for your clients, it makes sense to have recurring billing capabilities as well. Using an online billing solution gives you the ability to set up daily, weekly, or monthly recurring payments. You’ll no longer need to collect separate payments every time your crew performs a job and with your clients billed automatically you won’t have to worry about late payments.

Setting up recurring billing is as simple as choosing a monthly billing date, the amount of each billing transaction, and the method of payment. From that point forward, every month on the chosen billing date, your billing software will automatically charge your client credit card or bank account and your client will instantly receive an email receipt.

2 – Manage Client Preferences & Billing Information

Having an online client database will benefit your business in two separate ways. The first is that you can keep your client billing information safe and secure. If you’ve already done some work for ‘Mr. Smith’ in the past, it’s as simple as asking him over the phone, “Would you like me to use the credit card we have on file for the shrub planting and weeding work we did yesterday?” What’s more, you don’t need to worry about the legal consequences of misplacing the spreadsheet that has all your clients’ billing information. All your data is encrypted and secured in the servers of the online billing software.

The second benefit of having an online client database is that you can keep track of important client preferences, such as mowing patterns, entry-gate combinations, etc. Once again, instead of having to carry a binder of all your client information, you can quickly log in from your computer (or smartphone) and instantly access all your client information. What happens when your crew calls and asks if Mr. Smith likes his hedges rounded or squared off? No problem, log in to your client database and find out in a heartbeat.

3-Send Electronic Invoices & Have Clients Pay Them Online

There’s nothing more bothersome than waiting for clients to receive your invoices in the mail, fill them out, write a paper check, and mail them back to your office. By using an online billing solution for your home services business, you’ll have the ability to send email invoices.

Log in to the online billing software, fill out a new invoice form, add the recipient and their email address, and click “Send.” Your invoice will be instantly emailed to your client. Paying the invoice is as simple as having your client click a “Pay Now” button in the invoice that takes them to a secure, branded online payment form.

Learn more about how an online billing solution, like PaySimple, can help you run your business and improve your client’s experience.

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