Its owner, Margarita Elevancini, started her business out of economic necessity when her husband’s business wasn’t doing well.
“I didn’t think it would turn into a real business,” says Margarita, “but the response was so fantastic that after a few months, my husband joined me and we began to work as a couple.”
As the business grew, mostly through referrals, Margarita started hiring employees and contractors to clean her customers’ homes and commercial premises.
Margarita’s Cleaning Service then started work with a business who rented out homes to tourists visiting New Zealand. With the increase in work, it soon became evident to Margarita and her husband, Andy, that the administration side of their business was crippling.
“At first everything was manual and okay,” says Andy, “but as the business grew, we realised we needed a new system. Everything was so fragmented; we used separate Excel spreadsheets, Google calendars, accounting software (MYOB) that was not integrated with our other systems and lots of pieces of paper.”
“Payments were late coming in because our billing was often delayed. That meant our cash flow became a problem – it was all very stressful!”
“I used to go with a piece of paper to meet with a customer,” says Margarita, “and write down any particular requests they had and came up with a quotation. Then I would have to go home and put the information into Google calendar and a separate Excel spreadsheet. We were using MYOB to handle the accounting side of things and it was completely separate to our other systems. Both Andy and I had to work through the weekends handling the administration. Payments were late coming in because our billing was often delayed. That meant our cash flow became a problem – it was all very stressful!”
Finding the right solution
It was clear the growing business needed a new system to handle the management of jobs and accounts.
“We were really struggling,” says Andy, “but we didn’t want to rush into setting up a new system unless we were sure it would work for us. We had heard of Xero, but didn’t want to buy into a new accounting system unless we could sort out the job management side of the operation first.”
Margarita emphasises the importance of finding a mobile tool that could manage their jobs in the field.
“We needed something that we could use onsite in our customers’ homes and businesses,” she says. “We used to physically print out job sheets for our contractors. They would have to come to my house each day to find out what jobs they were doing. There was so much wasted time coordinating jobs – particularly if there was a cancellation.”
Margarita and Andy spent eight months looking for a system that would meet their needs. They wanted a user-friendly system that they could employ to manage their jobs in the field and that integrated with an accounting package. They also wanted a tool that was reasonably priced and that had exceptional support for their business as they migrated to the new system. They researched the available options and came across Geo’s job management software. After speaking to a Customer Support team member, they decided to go ahead and implement it in their business.
“He answered all our questions and was very helpful as we migrated across. We had about 130 customers at the time so it was a large task for us to transfer to the new system.”
Focusing on customer needs
Margarita and Andy say the change to the way their business operates since starting with Geo’s platform has been dramatic.
“With Geo’s app on my iPad, I can really focus on our customers’ needs,” says Margarita. “My office is in my handbag. If someone is allergic to something or if they have special cleaning needs, I can note that in the system. Everything is at my fingertips and I can handle things immediately onsite – I don’t have to go home and finish the administration. Plus, I don’t need to reconfirm things with customers; everything can be managed in the field on a mobile device.”
“Everything is at my fingertips and I can handle things immediately onsite – I don’t have to go home and finish the administration.”
“Our customers really appreciate how much more responsive we are,” says Andy. “We don’t have to go away to prepare invoices and sort out billing – everything can be done automatically onsite. With Geo our response time and charging process is greatly speeded up. On our side, we save at least 25 hours per week on administration and sorting out the accounts because of the integration with Xero.”
After implementing Geo’s software system in her business, Margarita’s opinion is clear: “My only recommendation would be for businesses to get it as soon as possible.”