Going out on your own and starting a field service business is no easy feat; there’s much to consider and do before you can start offering your services. If you’re thinking of starting your own business in the industry, discover the top challenges you can expect to face and what you can do to overcome these obstacles.
Challenge #1: Developing a strategic business plan
Every company needs a business plan, including your field service business. It’s a clear strategy that details your goals and how your business plans to achieve these objectives. It’s vital for your company’s success as it influences every aspect of your business. It guides your day-to-day decision-making, minimises risk, helps you avoid costly mistakes, and helps you create a plan to ensure long-term success in the industry. You can also use your business plan to attract investors and get the funding you need to start your business.
To create a strategic business plan, start by identifying your business objectives. When you know what you want to accomplish, you can create a plan to help you reach your goals. A business plan aims to give your business direction and should include an overview of your company and services, market analysis, management structure, marketing strategy, and financial plan. A comprehensive business plan increases your chances of operational success, guiding decision-making with research to reduce the risks of running a business.
Challenge #2: Hiring the right technicians
An experienced and reliable team is the cornerstone of any field service company. Without the right technicians, you won’t be able to meet your goals and reach the level of success you hope to achieve. The reason for this is that your business cannot be productive with a group of inexperienced workers. They’ll make mistakes and work inefficiently, affecting productivity and your quality.
To ensure your hire the right technicians, you must determine the skills you need before you start looking for people to join your team. Ensure you identify the qualifications and experience required for the job and communicate this when you advertise the position to attract suitable candidates. Once you’ve identified candidates for interviews, create a list of questions to ask to help you not only find experienced technicians but also people who will be a good fit for your organisation.
Challenge #3: Getting the funding you need
There are several reasons why securing funding is vital for your startup. You’ll need capital to purchase all the resources and materials you need to get started, including vehicles, equipment, machinery, and anything else required to offer your services. You’ll also need funding to keep your business solvent, as most new businesses make a low profit at the beginning, and you need money to pay your expenses until your profits increase.
Many new business owners raise capital by bootstrapping, which involves using your own revenue to start your business. You can use personal savings, sell any valuable items you own, and put expenses on low-interest credit cards. Bootstrapping is beneficial because you don’t have to pay back high-interest loans; with less debt, you’ll be in a better position to attract investors in the future. However, if you don’t have the resources to do this or want to expand your business quickly, you may need to seek out investors, find a partner, or get a business loan.
Challenge #4: Identifying your competitors
Your competitors hold the key to understanding your competitive advantage. By identifying their weaknesses, you can find opportunities to maximise your advantage and attract and retain customers. However, as a newcomer in the industry, you may not know where you start.
Market research is one of the best ways to find businesses in the industry selling a service that competes with yours. You can also use keyword research to identify indirect competitors, using a search engine optimisation (SEO) tool to conduct an SEO analysis and find companies competing for the same keywords as your business online. Once you’ve found your top competitors, review the services they’re offering and their pricing. Look at their marketing and see what channels they’re using to reach potential customers. See what content they share on social media and their website and how they interact with people online. It’s crucial to remember that identifying competitors doesn’t mean you should copy them. You should use your research to find ways to enhance the way you do business.
Challenge #5: Investing in the right tools and equipment
Knowing where to start when selecting tools and equipment for your new business can be overwhelming. Investing in expensive machinery and software solutions is a risk, so you must be sure you need the tools before making any financial commitments.
Research your competitors to determine what tools and equipment they use to run an efficient business and optimise their business processes. Finding out how your competitors do business will help you remain competitive and stay on top of industry trends, like using Service Management Software to increase the efficiency of tasks like job scheduling, quoting, invoicing, and asset management. Remember that your goals may differ from your competitors and that there will be resources they use that you don’t need, and vice versa.