Why Make Multiple eBid Templates?

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why would I ever need more than one basic eBid template to send to my clients? I already customized it with my company’s info and photos. I’m all set!” The answer is – There are many reasons!   Maybe your company works on multiple types of projects (interior, exterior, commercial, etc.); you can create multiple eBid templates for various job types with specific photos, references, and essential information for each. Or maybe you want to limit the information included in your eBids for specific types of clients. You can make different templates to include certain pages of the eBid that are most important.   Whatever the reason, creating multiple eBid templates is easy! Log into your PEP Cloud account Navigate under Settings → Misc → eBid Templates Highlight the eBid you’ve already customized → click COPY (or highlight “basic eBid” → click CUSTOMIZE) → click OK to confirm making the copy Select the new “Copy” of your eBid → click EDIT Change the name of the eBid template → click DONE All you need to do now is edit the eBid as needed: make adjustments to which pages can be viewed, what photos you include, the types of references, etc. You’ll find that having multiple eBid templates will help you get your bids out to clients quickly and efficiently, streamlining your workflow. And NOW is the perfect time for you to set up multiple eBid templates, while jobs are slow and in preparation for your busier months, come spring!   For more details on HOW to customize the eBids, check out these videos: Customize the eBid (5:11) Automate the “Thank You” Email...

Drip Email Campaigns:

The Best Gift for You and Your Clients It’s great when you find 1 tool can do a multiple tasks. Take the Swiss Army knife. It’s a pocket knife, scissors, file, bottle-opener, screw driver, pliers, the list goes on. Well, today we’re talking about the Swiss Army knife of business tools: the drip email campaign. For YOU: The gift of freedom and work guilt-free. Don’t get bogged down with the chore of constantly following up (or tracking down) your customers. Drip email campaigns will take care of the task while you go about your day.   For CLIENTS: Attentive customer service. Staying in touch with your customers requires very little effort. Use a drip email campaign to send an automated set of emails based on specific timelines or user actions (that you setup). Drip emails are sent out from a queue of already-written emails so you don’t have to manually write each one. They can be personalized with your contact’s name, company info, etc. using merge fields. It’s a way to develop a relationship with your customers by nurturing them with information a little bit at a time.   How? Great question. PEP Users just have to engage a “Follow Up” sequence after creating an eBid. Even if you don’t use PEP, there are oodles of services available. Do a quick internet search for “drip email tool” to see what I mean.   But HOW? Oh, that kind of how. A while back we outlined how to create your own drip email campaign (click here to read that post). In a nutshell: Decide who you’re writing to – your audience. New/potential clients, power-wash customers, customers who are more than a...

User Friendly Interface

PEP has rolled out a new user friendly interface to make your experience even better! That means you can now control what the program looks like and how you interact with it.   Redesigned Toolbar The most noticeable change is the toolbar. It’s been redesigned to take up less space on the screen and now gives you a sense of progression through the estimating process. Just follow the yellow dot as you add a job, build the estimate, and create the eBid or proposal. You can click on the dots for shortcuts.   Job Shortcut Buttons We’ve also created job shortcuts on the Client page that quickly take you to different parts of the estimate and a cost summary to easily review the grand totals. Use these buttons to jump directly to the job task you need. The back arrow will take you to the previous page. We’ve added a color code that also makes it easier to see what you’re working on: purple for the job, orange for the area.   User Friendly Interface Settings If you don’t already see the new toolbar and job shortcut buttons when you log in to your PEP account, don’t worry. You can turn them on! We’ve added a new user interface menu under Misc. Settings that allows you to customize the display and interaction experience with PEP.   Auto-Calculating Items Are Easy There is also a new option to select an “item type” when adding items from the rate library. This makes building auto-calculating forms quick and easy! But Wait…There’s More! Other new features you may find useful: YouTube links added to...

Use of Color in Marketing

The use of color in marketing might seem like a no-brainer but it’s more than just picking pretty hues. Color is an important tool because it impacts how we think and behave. Using different colors directs your eye where to look and helps decide what is important information. It puts content into context for your audience.   When deciding the best use of color, you want to choose shades that will make an impact on your audience. Bright, contrasting colors will stand out and draw attention to important information. They typically promote activity or a call to action. Softer colors promote mental or visual tasks. They may look more beautiful from a design perspective but may be harder for your audience to read. The key is to strike a balance between the two.   The use of color and its impact on your psyche has been studied for years: Red: very powerful and energizing; often the go-to color to get someone’s attention Yellow: fun; evokes cheerfulness and optimism Orange: a great combination of red’s power with yellow’s friendliness; offers a sense of motivation Green: one of the most-seen colors in nature; gives sense of balance and harmony Blue: one of the most-liked colors around the world for its calm and soothing qualities Purple: most commonly associated with spirituality, imagination, and luxury Pink: a softer version of red; often a sign of hope Brown: a very natural color; portrays structure, security and protection Gold: commonly represents confidence and luxury Black: a sophisticated color; great for high contrast and easy legibility White: often used for its simplicity and cleanliness   When...

Pipeline Organization

Do you have a bazillion projects on your to-do list that you can never seem to keep straight? You should be using pipeline organization! A pipeline provides a visual representation of your work in progress. It’s a place to organize your tasks and follow the progression until complete. It’s the easiest way to keep track of many different jobs and the status of each. The beauty of pipeline organization is that it also makes collaborating and working with other people possible by providing all the information in one place. There are several online pipeline organization programs available for you to use as a way to manage your tasks and projects. I use Trello to help me manage the PEP blog. Take a look:     Across the top of the “board” are the stages of producing a new blog post. I keep a list of ideas in the first column. As I move through the process, I drag the blog idea card through the pipeline. By the time you read this, the “Pipeline Organization” card will be in the “Published” column. I also share this board with other people in the office – anyone can add new blog ideas or choose one and write it! PEP users can (and should) make use of PEP’s pipeline feature that allows you to track your job from start to finish (from the estimating process through scheduling jobs and invoicing). Whatever your field of work, you’ll find pipeline organization a useful tool for managing of all the many projects on your to-do...

Should I Be Writing a Blog?

YES!   The answer is YES. You should be writing a blog for your business.   A few weeks ago we talked about WHAT  a business blog is. Now let’s explore WHY you should be writing a blog for your business. The reasons are almost endless! Why should I be writing a blog?   Because consumers are online. Think about the last time you needed to buy something. The internet is now the #1 place that consumers go for information about products and services. Much of the research about what to buy happens online – whether you’re looking for a car, a dishwasher, an electrician, or a painter.   Because you want customers to find you online. The most important way to get people to your website is to offer as many opportunities as possible for them to find you on the massive World Wide Web. To do this, you want to continuously add fresh content to your website. Writing a blog post regularly will do this. Blog posts more “searchable” content, and the more the better! You should also share your blog posts on social media, which creates additional links directly to your website and, again, the more the better, am I right?   Because you want to be an authority in your industry. People like to work with experts in their field. So establishing yourself as an expert is good. Writing a blog will help do that! Writing about your business, related work, and the industry will build trust and trust will generate customers. Plus you may stumble on some helpful new information along the way. It’s a win-win!...

What is a Business Blog?

A business blog is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to promote your work. It can drive people, or “traffic” to your website, increase your sales, establish you as an authority in your field, and help you reach new markets. Here are the 5-Ws of blogging:   WHAT is a business blog? A blog is a regularly updated web page featuring short informal articles and commentary, in this case, about your business and related industry. Here at PEP, we typically write about topics related to small businesses and the painting industry.   WHO am I writing for? Customers and potential customers will read your blog. (Anyone who isn’t a customer is a potential customer, right?) Different blog topics will attract different people so write about a variety of things to cover the work you do.   WHEN should I blog? An active blog shows your business is alive, loved and maintained. The more often you post to your business blog the better your results. But consistency is more important than frequency, so just set a schedule for yourself. If writing a new blog article multiple times per week is too much, aim for once or twice per month.   WHERE does the blog go? Post your blog on your website and share the link on social media. This creates more “searchable” content on your website and additional links taking people to it.   WHY blog? A blog will drive traffic to your website, attract new visitors, and potentially increase your sales. It helps to establish your presence in the industry. The benefits of blogging are almost endless....

Millennial Values in the Workplace

  Do attitudes of the (younger) people you’re interviewing have you concerned?  Their approach maybe different than yours (or mine) but it doesn’t mean they are poor workers.  While the younger generation gets a bad rap for being lazy, entitled and glued to their cell phones, they now make up the majority of the labor force. Millennial values are quickly changing the workplace and here’s why: Work with a purpose Millennials want their work to have meaning or purpose.  They seek to make a difference from day one and look to utilize their talents and strengths in order to do what they do best and have a direct impact on the organization. Work-life balance Personal time is at the heart of Millennial values.  They want to be able to decide when and where they work in order to maximize their time for family, friends and extra curricular activities. Technology Millennials are comfortable with new technologies, looking to them to be more efficient at work and provide the flexibility they crave. Autonomy Independence is important to Millennials, but they also want consistent communication with managers, ongoing feedback and collaborative goal setting.  Frequent check-ins offer informal day-to-day performance evaluations and the autonomy they prefer.   Millennial values might differ from those of previous generations but the desire to be successful and impactful in their careers may be stronger than...

Craft a Great THANK YOU Email

If you are standing face-to-face with a client and that client accepts your bid for a job, the first words out of your mouth will be, “Thank you.” The same should be true when you’re not standing right in front of your client. Write a great THANK YOU email, enable the THANK YOU email feature in the eBid template, and let PEP send an email for you as soon as your client accepts the eBid. Creating a great THANK YOU email isn’t rocket science. Keep it simple. Let your customer know what the next step is. And include your contact details. Follow these simple tips, then craft your own THANK YOU email and add it to your favorite eBid template. How to Craft a Great THANK YOU Email   1. Personalize the greeting. A merge field is special place-holder that you use to tell PEP to grab and insert specific information. You’ll use it here to insert the client’s first name into the email without having to manually personalize it. Copy and paste one of these greeting to begin your email: Dear <%= ClientFirstName %>, Hi <%= ClientFirstName %>, <%= ClientFirstName %>, 2. Say “Thank you!” It’s really that simple. 3. Tell them what comes next. Are you going to contact them? Do you want them to contact you? Either way, include your phone number and email. You can even tell them which contact method is best. 4. Sign off. Here are few closing options. Choose one (or a different one!) based on how formal you want your email correspondence to be. Select one of these closings: Take care, All the...

Business Profits

What do you do with your business profits? We’re talking profits today. If you’ve looked at the cost summary of a job in PEP this week, you may have noticed a new line for gross profit. Gross profit is everything that isn’t raw wages or materials. Some of that gross profit will go to pay business operating expenses (insurance, rent, loans, advertising, etc.). What’s left after paying those expenses is your net profit.   So what do you do with your business profits? Pay yourself? Go on vacation? Put the money back into the business? The list of what you can do with your business profits is endless. Here are 3 suggestions to consider:   3 Ways to Invest Business Profits 1. Savings. Cash flow can be an issue for seasonal businesses. Poor cash flow can lead to bad business decisions, like dropping your price to close a sale. Putting money into a savings account will ensure you have cash down the road when you need it. 2. Put profits back into the business. That could mean replacing tools, upgrading equipment or technology, buying another vehicle, or trying a new advertising campaign. Anything that will improve productivity or attract new quality leads is a worthwhile investment. 3. Invest in your employees. Spend some of the business profits on employee training; you’ll end up with more productive employees. Or consider giving your employees a raise. Raises validate the hard work they do and lead to happy, loyal employees. Clients will notice their competence and confidence (and that’s great for your company brand).   Don’t rely on net profits to pay...