15 July 2021
Is now the right time for glass software?
All industries have had to confront the uncertainty of a global pandemic and plan accordingly to get through this challenging time. Most businesses have had to review their processes and look at how they can be as efficient as possible. We've helped many glass companies get more out of the resources they have as well as give them the tools they need to be more successful. We’ll look at some of the most important factors involved in choosing the right glass software for your business.
19 March 2021
Creating an 'About Us' web page for your glazing business
Having an About Us page is an easy way to build trust in your glazing business and establish credibility with your website visitors — provided you do it right. Generally, consumers visit an About Us page on a company website to verify the legitimacy of the business so make sure you give them what they're looking for. We've listed a few features below that will make your About Us page become a useful resource for visitors to your glazing website.
06 August 2020
Is your pricing strategy costing you money?
Getting your pricing right can be complicated. Customers are price sensitive and everyone is looking for a good deal. Finding that sweet spot where you are consistently winning jobs while ensuring that you’re making a decent margin can be like walking a tight rope. You need to find the balance otherwise you’ll walk away with nothing.
28 February 2020
Top 3 tech trends for glaziers in 2020
2020 has arrived and it's the perfect opportunity to assess how your glazing business is using technology currently and what new tech trends you could implement to make your business run more smoothly. We've done some research on small business tech trends for 2020 and our top three tech trends for glaziers are...
26 February 2020
Glaziers, are you getting involved with local business associations?
Local business associations are long-standing pillars of most communities, but in the digital age, small businesses are increasingly focusing their marketing and networking efforts online rather than offline. If your glazing business isn't associated with a local business network, you could be missing out on valuable networking and referral opportunities, as well as access to discounts, resources and advocacy support.
29 January 2020
Planning tips to improve productivity in your glazing business
Improving productivity is one of those goals that always circles around for business owners and managers. Often the solutions are focused on the individual — how each employee can take steps to work more efficiently. However, there are some higher level changes you can make to your planning, to improve productivity as a whole and set the tone for your employees.
22 January 2020
3 easy ways for glaziers to step up their customer service
You don’t need slick sales tools or fancy gimmicks to provide top-notch service to your customers and leave a great, lasting impression of your glazing business. A little bit of organization and forward-planning can mean the difference between memorably great service and a completely forgettable experience in your customers minds. Here are three suggestions for you to implement in your glazing business to make sure you’re hitting the mark every time.
03 December 2019
Making the Most of Downtime
With parts of the industry taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period, as well as customers holding off on making major glazing purchase decisions, many businesses find they have a slow period or a bit of downtime. Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of that time to get everything in order and set you up for success in 2020.
25 November 2019
Is QuickBooks Online the Right Choice for your Glass Business?
Choosing the right software for your glazing business is always an important decision. We’ve worked closely with lots of Glaziers who have needed to review their accounting package, so we’ve put together a guide that compares QuickBooks Online and Desktop (including Desktop Enterprise), to help you decide if QuickBooks Online meets the needs of your business.
08 November 2019
It's time to start planning your glazing business' holiday marketing campaign
It's that time of year already! If you haven't already started your end-of-year marketing campaign, now is the time to do it to make sure you get your materials in front of prospective customers at exactly the right moment.
24 October 2019
Homepage review: does your glazing business need a fresh coat of digital paint?
Your glazing website's homepage has to serve a range of purposes: entice viewers in, inform and educate them about your glass business, help you stand out from the competition and direct the viewer where they need to go, no matter what device they're viewing it from. We've put together some ideas below to help you decide whether your home page is meeting your customers' needs.
10 June 2019
'Top of funnel' sales ideas for your glazing business
Your sales funnel is the process of attracting new leads, educating them about your services and converting them into a customer. The top of the funnel is all about awareness — the goal is to educate your potential customers about a problem they didn't necessarily know they had, while demonstrating the solution that your glazing business specifically supplies or supplies better than your competitors. We've put together a few top of funnel sales ideas that you might like to consider for your glazing business below.
06 May 2019
Tips to build trust and credibility with your customers via your website
Once upon a time, just having a website was enough to give a business credibility. Nowadays, with so many websites of varying quality on the internet, your website has to work a little harder to build trust with visitors. We've listed a few elements below that will ensure your glass business is perceived as credible and trustworthy by visitors to your website.
09 March 2019
3 simple web solutions to get your glazing website up and running
If your glazing business doesn't have a website yet, you're missing out on valuable leads that are heading straight to your competitors. You don't need to be a web professional to get a basic website up and running, services like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress make it easy to put together a slick and functional website.
18 February 2019
5 must-have mobile apps for glaziers [updated]
There are so many excellent apps on the market, both free and paid, for business and personal use. It's hard to keep up! We've collated a list of five of our must-haves and we'd love to hear yours.
30 December 2018
Top 3 tech trends for glaziers in 2019
It's the start of a new year — the perfect time to assess where your business is at and think about what your hopes are for the upcoming year, including the kind of technology you're using in your business. We've done the digging on small business tech trends for 2019 for you to consider implementing in your glazing business. Our top three tech trends for glaziers are...
28 November 2018
Why should I use glass design software to draw up glass orders?
Or perhaps our title should have been ‘Why shouldn’t I be using software to draw up glass orders’ because the list of pros is so long and comprehensive and the list of cons is practically non-existent! Using software to draw up glass orders will reduce errors, save time and streamline ordering, keep you organized and calculate costs for you. Read on to find out how...
14 November 2018
Glaziers, are you encouraging your customers to leave reviews?
Online reviews are a trusted source of information for many of your potential customers so it's important you cultivate your online presence. We recently came across a great article on the Hubspot marketing blog about encouraging your customers to leave positive reviews and we've come up with a few ideas on how you can apply these to your glazing business.
29 October 2018
BIG changes are coming to Smart-Toolbox – our all-in-one job management software for glaziers
Smart-Toolbox has a new look and a whole lot more happening under the hood with the latest update.
29 September 2018
Technology and employee privacy: what glazing businesses need to know
With an increasing emphasis on workplace productivity and the emerging technologies able to measure it, the impact on employee privacy is becoming a hot topic of conversation. While some degree of monitoring is to be expected — internet usage for example — new tracking technology takes this to a whole new level, raising some potential ethical concerns worth considering.
29 August 2018
Is your data natural disaster-proof? A guide for glaziers
A natural disaster can have a huge impact on your glazing business. It could affect your employees as well as their homes and families, damage your premises, bring business to a halt... To name a few! While there are lots of ways in which you probably disaster-proof your business already, such as having an insurance policy, your business' data may not be stored as safely as you think.
25 July 2018
Why every glazier needs a quality glass program in 2018
As we inch closer to the day when self-driving cars and scheduled flights to Mars are the norm, now is the time to set yourself up with a quality glass program to make sure you don't lose your competitive edge. If implementing a glass program in your business has always been on the backburner or seemed too difficult, read on to find out why you need to move it up your priority list!
27 June 2018
Preparing your glazing business for a week without the boss: how to have a stress-free summer vacation
If you manage a small glazing business, perhaps one that you set up yourself, the idea of taking time off work can be more stressful than it's worth. If you're anxious about your upcoming summer vacation, we've compiled a few tips and techniques for both keeping your business running smoothly and ensuring you get a quality break.
13 June 2018
Responding to customer complaints and negative feedback
No one likes hearing negative feedback. Unfortunately not every customer is going to give you a glowing review, deserved or not. While your first instinct may be to react with equal negativity, if you do you'll miss an opportunity to turn the conversation around and end on a positive note. Here are a few tips and tricks to try out as well as potholes to avoid...
30 May 2018
Reporting: time budgeted vs. time actual, are you keeping track?
One obstacle that our customers often need to overcome is how to accurately report on the time spent on each job. Having access to this information is important, it will give you a clear idea of what your margin per job is and whether you're billing appropriately. So how do you keep track?
25 April 2018
Can your glazing business improve their invoicing process?
Invoicing is a headache. We've talked before about how time spent on accounting is a sunk cost, it has to be done but it isn't generating any profit. That being said, there are a few ways you can improve your invoicing process to make it easier for you get them sent out in a timely manner, and easier for your customers to pay you.
28 March 2018
From one man band to small business: growing your glazing operation
Making the leap from solo glass contractor to small business owner is both exciting and intimidating. While there's a lot to consider when growing your business, stay positive — glass isn't going anywhere! It’s an increasingly popular architectural feature in both residential and commercial projects and it makes sense to try get in on that action. With so many glazing businesses in the market, what do you need to consider when trying to grow your own glass operation? We’ve compiled a list to help you get started.
14 March 2018
Facebook advertising: Is it worth it and how can you use it in your glazing business?
Facebook is everywhere it seems. They have over 2 billion users worldwide and over 65 million businesses have a company Facebook Page. Given how wide their reach is, we thought it’d be a good idea to dig into Facebook Ads – the advertising system Facebook uses and offers to businesses to target Facebook users.
28 February 2018
Scrimping and saving on marketing efforts: where you can and where you can't
Marketing is often seen as a luxury expense in small businesses and it makes sense to do a lot of your marketing activities yourself if you don’t have a dedicated employee looking after them. However, there are a few areas where saving money could be costing you in the long run by putting off prospective clients or damaging your credibility.
24 January 2018
If your glazing business isn't taking online payments yet, you should consider it
If there’s one thing all businesses can appreciate, it’s customers who pay their invoices on time! If you find collecting payments from your customers to be a drawn-out or frustrating process, consider taking payments online to make it easier for your customers to pay you on the spot. We’ve listed a couple of options in this blog post with their pros and cons for your consideration.
13 December 2017
What are your tech resolutions for 2018?
2017 is almost at an end and now is a great time to start reflecting on what your glazing business's goals are for the upcoming year. The technology focus in the glass industry in 2017 has very much been on increased automation and Industry 4.0 and we don't see these trends slowing down any time soon. If you haven't thought about how to incorporate these ideas into your glazing business for 2018, it's time to start doing your research and figuring out where these new developments fit within your company.
15 November 2017
Choosing an email marketing platform for your glazing business
An email marketing platform is a system used for sending out emails to a mailing list — whether that be your customers, prospects, suppliers or anyone else. There are so many services to choose from we thought it would be helpful to break down a few of the popular platforms and things to consider when choosing a system. If you're not doing any email marketing, now is a great time to start. The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to send a friendly end-of-year message to your customers to remind them you exist and foster a positive relationship.
01 November 2017
Tips for glaziers: Delivering at every stage of the sales funnel
The sales funnel is the concept of having a wide pool of prospective customers at the beginning of the sales process which then decreases in size but increases in quality as they move closer towards buying. It's important to consider how you communicate with prospects at the 'top of the funnel' versus prospects at the 'bottom of the funnel' as their requirements have evolved and this is particularly critical if you are selling big ticket items like shower installations or pool railings.
18 October 2017
Investment in software is on the rise in the glass industry
Glass Magazine recently published an article called Rise in Productivity, Capital Investment for Glass Manufacturers, detailing trends in both productivity and investment since 1990. While there was naturally a noticeable drop during the recession, recovery has been strong and investment is increasingly on the rise — particularly for glass software.
27 September 2017
What is Industry 4.0 and why should glaziers care about it?
One of the big trends at GlassBuild and in the glass industry as a whole is 'Industry 4.0'. While the hype around Industry 4.0 has been mainly targeted at glass fabricators, it's important for glass installers to keep up with industry developments as they will inevitably affect glazing businesses in the not-too-distant future if they aren't already.
20 September 2017
Build a simple glazing website in minutes with My Business by Google
Hopefully your glazing business already has a website but if you don't, or your business is just getting off the ground, Google's My Business website tool is a great starting point for you. It's a free tool and has limitations but it's a good way to start building your web presence, especially if your business is new.
05 September 2017
Making a great first impression with clients and prospects
'You only get one chance to make a first impression' as the saying goes. For glaziers going out on-site for sales meetings or meeting the client for the first time, leaving a positive impression is key. If you haven't got the job yet, it'll go a long way in closing the deal. If you have, it'll set the working relationship off on a positive note.
29 August 2017
Process mapping tips for glaziers
Process mapping is visual way of showing a series of steps in a workflow. Often it's done with the end result in mind — the map itself. However, you may find that the exercise itself is more beneficial for your business. It gives you an opportunity to talk to everyone in your business (glaziers, administrators, management etc) and really understand what they do on a day-to-day basis and how they do it. Chances are you'll find holes, overlaps and just plain ol' gray areas where things get done but no one is really sure how or who's responsible for it. These are the areas where you need to focus your attention.
18 August 2017
Should your glazing business have a blog?
In our increasingly digital society, getting your business online is no longer an option – it is a requirement. But being online and having an online presence are two very different things. Let’s say a customer is looking for a local glazier. They input their search term and Google spits out a dozen names. How do you get them through your door and not the competition? You build trust. Which stands out more: a single-page website with contact information or a business with a blog that regularly publishes expert content about their industry, products and has an up-to-date portfolio?
04 August 2017
Designing a referral program for your glazing business
Referral programs are widely recognized as one of the most cost-effective ways to build new business. This is because satisfied customers are the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal, so why not use them to win more business?
27 July 2017
Make your life easier with great accounting software
Accounting is a necessary evil when it comes to running a glazing business. It's a time-consuming task and it's an overhead — it must be done but it doesn't generate an income in itself. This is where great accounting software comes in — find the right solution and your day-to-day accounting tasks will be quick and manageable, making tax time a breeze.
19 July 2017
Implementing new software in your glazing business
We often rave about the benefits of using software (perhaps we're a little biased?) but we understand that the reality of implementing new software can be more challenging, especially for your team. Having walked many glazing businesses through this process, here are our tips for a pain-free software switch in your business.
14 July 2017
Have you listed your glazing business on Google?
Getting your website to rank on Google is a problem that business owners from all industries, not just glazing, face. One free way you can appear front and center when someone searches for your business name is by listing your business, so it comes up on Google Search and Google Maps. If you operate locally, listing your business on Google is particularly important.
07 July 2017
Using your glazing website to build trust with prospective customers
Trustworthiness, or the lack of, is a perception issue that nearly all tradesmen and contractors face in the eyes of the public. Customers want the reassurance that their contractor is going to show up when they say they will, charge a fair price, and get the job done to a high standard. One way you can provide reassurance is through the information you provide on your website.
29 June 2017
Glaziers, get your business cards noticed
Don't be deceived by the thousands of articles online declaring the business card 'dead'. The humble business card still has plenty of life in it yet! For many glaziers, business cards are a necessity but are often rushed or treated as an afterthought. Business cards say a lot about you and your business so it's crucial you put some thought into them. There are a few key, simple elements to keep in mind that make up a great, memorable business card.
22 June 2017
Keep your data secure, store it in the cloud
We need to talk about data security — specifically, how to keep your glazing business' information safe and why cloud-based storage is the way to do that. For some small glazing businesses, "the cloud" is like the boogeyman. They've always stored their data internally, either on individual computers or an on-site server and because they know the location of those items, they feel they are secure. But how diligent are those businesses with cybersecurity?
08 June 2017
Going paperless… is it really a good idea?
The general consensus on going paperless is that it is a good idea, but is it? The idea is commendable but the reality for many businesses, especially glazing businesses, is that paper is simply too damn useful. It isn’t practical for us to remove it from our daily operations and trying to eliminate it completely is, in my opinion, a total waste of time. However, does this mean we should abandon hope altogether? The answer is no. I believe that we should be striving for a different goal: “Reducing paper reliance”.
02 June 2017
How can I use marketing automation to help my glazing business?
Marketing automation means you waste less time doing repetitive marketing tasks, whilst doing a better job at converting prospective customers into actual customers. Automation can be applied to emails, social media, and actions on your website, making all of these things work harder and smarter for your business.
24 May 2017
Don't let your glazing business go the way of the dinosaurs
We've discussed the importance of technology in glazing before, but today we're going to look at three specific areas that are important to customers: how they find you, how you quote them, and how they pay you.
18 May 2017
Latest ransomware attack 'WannaCry' a reminder to take cybersecurity seriously
You may have heard reports recently about a large scale, ongoing, ransomware attack known as WannaCry (or WannaCrypt). It has affected over 230,000 in 150 countries, and has affected large companies like Telefónica in Spain and the National Health Service in the UK. It is a timely reminder of the importance of cybersecurity and staying vigilant in your security efforts.
10 May 2017
Checklist: Planning a new website for your glazing business?
Thinking of redesigning your glazing website? Here are 10 things to take into consideration before you get started.
04 May 2017
Glaziers, what do you do when a customer doesn't reply to your quote?
Quoting can be a costly exercise. The time it takes to go on-site, measure, estimate, then communicate to the customer is far from trivial. Taking a few extra steps to ensure you win the jobs you quote should be a no-brainer for your business. However, within the building trades following up after quoting is almost non-existent. Only 16% of businesses said that they followed up regularly and of those that did only half said they would follow up more than once.
27 April 2017
Glaziers, how much do you know about your competition?
Keeping an eye on your competitors is an important part of your marketing efforts for your glazing business and crucial to ensuring you're a viable option for prospective customers. Figure out who your real competitors are and monitor their online presence, how they're targeting prospective audience, and where your strengths lie.
19 April 2017
Improving employee engagement on a budget in your glazing business
'Employee engagement' is about getting the most out of your employees and improving their commitment to your business. Highly engaged employees have a good understanding of how their role contributes to the business as a whole. They are more likely to contribute new ideas and find better ways of doing things to help you achieve those goals.
12 April 2017
Calling all glaziers: make great videos with Animoto
Videos are a powerful way to communicate big ideas in a short space of time — a handy capability no matter what industry you're in. However, commissioning a custom video from a production company can be pricey so it's worth exploring tools like Animoto as a do-it-yourself alternative. Become a video producer in no time!
29 March 2017
Glaziers, Grow your glass network with LinkedIn
LinkedIn has a reputation as a networking site for suits, but don't let this perception put you off. As with any social network, you are responsible for curating your community — if you do it well, LinkedIn is a powerful resource.
23 March 2017
5 steps to prepare your glazing business for the future
Future-proof adj. something that is future-proof will not stop being used because it has been replaced by something newer and more effective (Macmillan Dictionary) Calling all glazing business owners and managers — how prepared is your business for the future? Do you have systems and processes in place? Is business-critical information documented and available to the whole company, or does it exist in the heads of one or two people? Is innovation part of your company culture?
08 March 2017
Tips for glaziers: produce beautiful graphics and documents with Canva
Don't underestimate the impact of great graphics, you can use them anywhere: on your glazing website, promotional material, and communications with customers. If your branded items are slick and distinctive, you'll always stand out from your competition.
01 March 2017
An introduction to using Facebook Pages for your glazing business
One question we often get from glazing businesses is 'how can we improve our image and appear more professional?' A great way to raise the bar when it comes to image and presentation is by establishing a strong social media presence. Consumers often verify a company's legitimacy by checking both their website and social media to get a feel for what kind of business they are.
22 February 2017
Branded merchandise for your glazing business: maximize value
We talk a lot about digital marketing on Smart-Glazier — for good reason. It's a great way to raise the profile of your business without investing huge amounts of advertising money. That being said, there's a time and place for traditional marketing for glazing businesses, particularly if the bulk of your customer base is local.
15 February 2017
Creating a portfolio of work on your glazing website
As a glazier, your best marketing tool is to showcase the great work you've already done via a portfolio on your website. Photos and testimonials of real life jobs are worth 1000x more than any stock images or generic sales speak. Here are a few key things you should include to maximize the effectiveness of your portfolio.
09 February 2017
Tips for glaziers: 5 things you must have on your website
It's not enough to just have a website to differentiate from your competitors any more. Nearly everyone has a web presence in some form or another, you've got to make sure yours is clear and compelling enough to get that prospect to reach out and become a customer — before they visit your competitor's website.
01 February 2017
Enterprise Software vs Software-as-a-Service: the good, the bad, and the ugly
Let's start at the beginning - what is enterprise software and what is software-as-a-service (SaaS)? Enterprise: software you/your organization buys and installs on your own servers SaaS: software you subscribe to, usually hosted in the cloud and accessed online
25 January 2017
3 easy brand consistency tips for glaziers
Firstly, why bother? You're busy on jobs or booking new work, getting the administrative stuff out of the way... it's easy to let things like brand consistency slip, but you shouldn't. Creating an instantly recognizable brand is an important tool for establishing trust and credibility, which in turn helps with both new business and returning customers. Here are 3 easy tips for glaziers to help you get started.