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Starting a Business With Software: Quick Decision Led to 200k Revenue in One Year

May 29, 2019 5 min. read
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Trust Home Comfort

Within one year, this business owner was able to boost his revenue by $200k. He shares his secret weapon that helped him do it, and how you can too.

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When Van Wu and his business partner started their own HVAC business, Trust Home Comfort Ltd., Van immediately knew that they needed software to keep track of his clients to help his team offer fantastic customer service, and help with scheduling and dispatching HVAC techs.

Within the time of starting up their own business in the spring of 2015 and finding their feet with the right HVAC softwareTrust Home Comfort’s revenue increased from less than $300,000 to an expected $500,000.

Why use software when you’re starting your own HVAC contracting business?

From his days in sales, Van knew that keeping happy customers who would send him referrals could have more impact on his business than spending time finding new ones. So with growth in mind, Van wanted to launch with software in place to manage customers efficiently—from acquisition, to scheduling jobs, to following up—and impress them at the same time.

There was one catch: he needed to find the right software that met his new business’ needs. Starting out, Van and his partner had a limited budget. So, a cost effective and flexible option was absolutely paramount.

Van searched extensively for software, combing through top 10 lists and service management software articles. When he found Jobber, it was a natural fit for a new business.

“Other software companies would charge an expensive setup fee or you’d have to purchase the software just one time and stick with it,” Van says.

“Jobber didn’t need a bunch of money upfront. As a new business, we couldn’t tell if it was going to fit our needs, so we wanted to start small to make it less risky for us financially.”

Software can be used to collect service feedback and make improvements

Trust Home Comfort started small with just two co-founders. A few years later, they are a team of four plus subcontractors for overflow jobs. Van was able to grow his team by focusing on good customer service.

Trust Home Comfort grew by building a solid reputation. “40% of our jobs come from referrals,” Van explains.

I use Jobber every day on my iPad, on my desktop and on my phone. Jobber saves me so much time. Everything from creating a visit to sending an invoice is easy and straightforward.

Van Wu, Trust Home Comfort

One of the best ways to provide top notch customer service is to use your customers as feedback engines for improvement. Van Wu uses Jobber’s follow-up email function to collect valuable customer feedback.

“After you do an install or repair you need to follow-up with an email and answer their concerns. Normally I get review feedback through Jobber’s email follow-up tool. I can ask my clients for a rating between 1-10 and they can add comments. Plus, follow-ups after a quote or a service helps you look professional.”

“All our employees are very proud to work at Trust Home Comfort. They get positive feedback from our customers thanks to Jobber’s feedback function.” Van explains that positive feedback is important for improving customer service to tell employees what they should continue doing and what they should avoid.

At the end of the day, it’s part of creating a good working environment and good customer service.

Photo of an HVAC contractor reaching for tools in the back of a service van

Customer service made Trust Home Comfort unstoppable

Why did Van focus on customer service? Because it’s easy in an underserved market.

Van explains that sometimes tradespeople don’t offer great customer service because “they think they know more than their customers”

Van Wu pays close attention to offering the best of the best to his clients. “Just go beyond expectations. You need to deliver because they are paying you. Do a bit extra. For example, install a furnace, but help check their AC, humidifier, hot water tank, and give recommendations. It’s also good opp to upsell! About 20% of our revenue comes from upselling.”

Van wisely reminds us that some customers come from difficult situations, and we “have to be willing to go the extra mile to help them.” He explains after telling us a story of a senior who had a broken down furnace, no money, and no heat. “All the other companies in town turned her down, but we looked into financing companies and options. We looked at all the options to help her.”

“It makes us feel good. At the end of the day we sleep well. We don’t cut corners and shortchange our customers.”

The foundation for getting referrals is to do a good job. You treat your customers with respect, they have a great experience, then they are happy to refer.

Van Wu, Trust Home Comfort

Going above and beyond HVAC software:

Van quickly recognized that Jobber’s functionality would make his company look professional and provide a huge value-add for his team.

From templates for quotes and invoices, to client reminders, client feedback, and unlimited customer support, Van saw immediate value in Jobber.

Van’s Favourite features to date include:

  • Client Relationship Manager: It helps Van’s team look professional. “The main dashboard on Jobber is always open so I can chat with my customers and make invoices.”
  • Attachments and Photos in the CRM: Van’s techs can attach serial numbers and installation images to his client follow-ups for that professional finishing touch.
  • 4-View Drag and Drop Calendar: His team uses the calendar feature to view appointments throughout the month, week, and day, which he can quickly generate an invoice from. “The calendar would definitely be my favourite feature. I like the monthly view. I can coordinate all of my work and when I’m done I can just generate the invoice and email it to the customer.”
  • Quote to invoice workflow: Van says that he loves the simple workflow. Creating a visit to sending an invoice is easy and straightforward.

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