Now what?Mobile team members need just as much support, oversight, and management as the people working in the office all day. How do you make sure to be available, observant, and not intrusive (nobody likes a backseat driver, even if he is the boss!) while still getting your OWN work done? A few simple tips will make it easier on you and them.
1) Make sure your team have smartphones.Not a given, not even now. If you find a lot of your hires don’t have their own phones, it will pay in the long run for you to get them something basic, but smart. There’s no need to blow $600 on new iPhones for everyone, but a basic Android phone that can run apps is a necessity if you’re going to be working on different sites and keeping in touch. And yes, you can claim it as equipment, because that’s exactly what it is: communications equipment. If you want your teams to take digital signatures, eg for change orders, upgrade to a small tablet. MHelpDesk will accept stylus or finger signatures and store them with the associated order. Make sure the ownership of the phone remains with the business, and have it written into the contract. Pay for a basic phone plan that covers your talk time and allows you enough data to use business-associated apps. Your phone company should have specialists who can pinpoint exactly what you need.
2) Hire smart. Hire communicators.We all know That Guy. That Guy who just sees a job, goes off, does the job, comes back and, when someone says, “Hey, the job’s done!” raises and eyebrow and mutters, “Yeah.” He’s probably a great guy, but he’s not the kind of guy who’s suited to working as part of a mobile team. You want at least the person in charge at each site to be someone who communicates when there’s a problem, the plan to fix the problem, and how far along they are in implementing the problem. While we’re on the subject, you can still hire That Guy, just make sure to partner him up with a talker so someone’s there when you call in.
3) Check in daily.You don’t have to make small talk, but you should check in with each team daily, no matter how busy you are. It’s easy to feel cut loose when you haven’t heard from your boss in a week’s time. Checking in reassures the team that their progress is important to you, and that if they need something from you, you’re listening.
4) Be There. SometimesYou have multiple teams and trucks for a reason, but you YES YOU have to put in some face time on multi-day projects, if only to reassure your client that The President is overseeing the job. The best day to make a good impression on the client is the last day of the job, when you can do a walkaround of the work, shake hands, and get a check cut on the spot.
5) Use Software Tools to make staying in touch easy.App-enabled service shop software like MHelpDesk exists to ensure you can carry your business in your phone, access it from anywhere, accept payments, track jobs, locate your teams, and see the state of your company easily both on the road and at home. With the free app you have access to all the work orders, invoices, databases, financial records, and even the actual location of each team member and inventory item. This kind of connectivity can really take your business to the next level; no more trundling back to the office to do paperwork! It’s done in a flash, the customer can sign off digitally on a tablet, and even pay via the customer portal or Square.
6) Remember to lock all your mobile devices. And not with “1234” either!
Last Updated By: Joe Erfe