A service professional uses their POS system to accept payment in the field

How service professionals save time, maximize revenue and meet business needs with modern payment options

Friday, February 24, 2023

If you’re a service professional working in the field, you’re probably not following the progress of payment processing technology for a very simple reason — you’re busy completing projects to gain deposits to your bank account. You’ve also got back-office work like billing and scheduling that eat up valuable hours with no financial gain.

Luckily, tracking merchant services trends is our job. And we’re here to tell you there are a lot of new payment solutions and POS systems built to help you maximize revenue, take on new clientele and continue to grow.

Tech companies know your service operation has to run like clockwork … and they’re getting pretty good at making it happen.

Wondering how a new payments solution might work? Maybe even a little skeptical of the value for your small business? You’ve come to the right place. We’re here to give you a glimpse into the lives of three different service providers (based on feedback from real customers) using payment processing functionality to do their best work in ballrooms, bathrooms and backyards.

Read on to learn how you can:

Pool cleaning service professional skimming a client's pool for debris

Meet Brian, the pool cleaner

Digital work orders icon

Create digital work orders

Project tracking icon

Track projects from anywhere

Payments in the field icon

Take payments without the paperwork

POS inventory icon

Automatically pull items from inventory

A lifelong California resident, Brian has no lack of clientele for his pool cleaning business in sunny Santa Barbara. He spent years building up his small business through customer referrals.

In the past, even loyal customers were frustrated by his payment process. He couldn’t easily create an invoice and add products from his inventory to the bill … so taking in-person payments wasn’t an option. He’d have no choice but to wait until he got home, look up the item and its cost before manually adding it to the bill.

He got tired of losing billable hours sorting through disorganized inventory and stacks of paperwork.

Now he lets technology do the heavy lifting. He can generate a work order anywhere (including any inventory he used) inventory he used and take payments on the spot. His accounts receivable is crystal clear, and he's not coming home from a tiring day just to tackle paperwork and inventory shortages.

So when Mrs. Rodriguez calls saying her pool water is green, he grabs his tablet to review existing work orders. He used to have to guess, but now it only takes him a few minutes to see which projects have an outstanding balance, which are paid and when the payment was taken.

He quickly creates a digital work order, and within a few minutes he’s out the door and on the road.

When he arrives at the Rodriguez home and confirms his hunch that pool algaecide will solve their problem, he pulls a bottle out of the inventory in his truck bed, instantly adds it to the service bill and grabs his mobile point of sale to take a credit card payment poolside.

He used to have “inventory day” once a month. It was about as fun as it sounds. He’d count all the inventory in his trucks and figure out what needed to be ordered. Not only was it time consuming, he still ended up running out of important items.

He doesn’t worry about inventory inaccuracies anymore — his stock of up to 500 SKUs automatically updates, so he always knows when to order more.

Landscaping service professional considers plants in greenhouse

Meet Amelia, the landscaper

Digital invoices icon

Send digital invoices

Online payments icon

Take payments online

Online subscriptions icon

Support monthly subscriptions

A graphic designer by trade, Amelia decided to re-design her own backyard just for fun. It’s been five years since she decided to start her own landscaping business, and she can’t imagine doing anything else.

At first, she was a fully DIY operation. But her experience as a freelance graphic designer kicked in, reminding her just how much money could get tied up when clients don’t have a convenient way to get an estimate or pay their bill. Not getting the help she needed was costing her more money than she was saving.

She knew the only way to grow was to invest in technology to protect her time.

Now her operational skill is unmatched. New customers discover her business via the website and marvel at her previous work. Once they’ve selected services and watched their backyard oasis come to life, they receive a sleek digital invoice via email. It only takes a few clicks to get to an online portal where they can make a payment, see their payment history and more.

Or if customers prefer to speak to a person, Amelia’s team takes the calls. They can process phone payments with Level II data, meaning they save Amelia money by processing a keyed transaction at the less expensive swiped rate.

By automating the payments process, Amelia can support more clients and bring in more revenue than ever before.

Amelia used to focus all her energy on finding new clients because she didn’t have the tools to efficiently manage repeat business. Now subscription plans are her most popular offering. After discussing their vision and problem areas, like stubborn weeds or a patchy front lawn in need of fertilizer, she builds a plan to fit.

With subscriptions, there’s no phone tag or endless follow ups to make sure the bill gets paid. Each subscription is paid automatically each month. For non-recurring projects, Amelia can still check unpaid invoices and send a friendly virtual nudge with ease.

Plumbing service professional removing a piece of pipe from under a clients sink

Meet Jonas, the plumber

Online or over the phone payments icon

Take payments online or on the phone

Data syncing icon

Automatically sync transaction data

Lower processing rates and transparent pricing icon

Enjoy low rates and transparent pricing

Jonas inherited the family plumbing business from his dad. While he was proud of their reputation for integrity, they were struggling to stay afloat in a very competitive market.

His father avoided modernizing their payments and processes out of fear it’d cost a fortune to make a change. He also told Jonas there wasn’t a payment processor on the market who valued integrity and fairness the way he did.

He wasn’t catching every discrepancy or unpaid invoice doing payment reconciliation himself. There had to be a better way to take payments and track them.

When Jonas found the Merchant Bill of Rights — a commitment to transparent pricing right down to monthly fees and transaction fees — he knew he had a winner. With their payment processing and point of sale technology, he knew he could grow his business and keep transactions synced no matter how, or where, his customers decided to pay.

Now business is booming. Customers choose how they pay, and reconciling transactions with his accounting system is automatic no matter where payment happens.

He accepts all the ways customers want to pay with peace of mind about what he’ll see in his merchant account.

Before, he thought he’d have no choice but to open a brick-and-mortar location and hire an office manager to reconcile the books. With all the money he’d saved not needing either, he just upgraded his toolkit and his truck.

Level up your services with the right tech

Your unique vision, special touch and connection to your clients is what keeps people coming back, whether you’re a personal trainer, dog groomer, hairstylist or something entirely different. You go above and beyond to deliver a stellar experience to customers. Why should you settle for a payments solution that does anything less?

It’s already hard enough out there for business owners. Only half of the 600,000 small businesses started each year survive the first five years, and a mere 30% make it to the 10-year mark. With odds like that, it’s no wonder you need to thoroughly consider the options and obstacles before you adopt new technology.

Only half of the 600,000 small businesses started each year survive the first five years, and a mere 30% make it to the 10-year mark.

You deserve a just-right solution that keeps you organized, ready to take on new business and confident about taking all kinds of payments without requiring endless unbillable hours in the back office. That’s why we offer our products in every combination imaginable — to make sure you can get exactly what you need.

Payments and point of sale technology built with you in mind should offload the humdrum stuff (appointment reminders, customer payment history and appointment booking) so you can focus on what you do best and get home to your family faster. If you’d like to learn more about emerging tech or empowering entrepreneurs, we’d love to hear from you.

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us