Monday, December 19, 2005

So the first question you probably asked when you heard about this software was "Why do Chimney Sweeps need software?". Thats a good question, and the answer is, "they dont". Yes, you heard me, obviously chimney sweeps have been doing their thing for a long time without software, and can continue to without buying ChimSoft. But before you put that checkbook away chimney sweeps, remember that typesetters didn't "need" a word processor. Accountants didn't "need" a spreadsheet program. Sure everything can be done manually, but think of what a performance improvement those applications brought to the business world. In that same sense, I believe our product can bring service professionals (and specifically chimney sweeps) that same leap in productivity.

There are four key features of our program that I believe on their own would be worth their weight in gold to a chimney sweep.

1) Customer Database
2) Electronic Inspections and Estimates
3) Mapping
4) ChimScan integration

Right now, if you're a chimney sweep, you probably have a big filing cabinet of people that have called you in the past for a sweeping. If someone called you today and asked when the last time they were swept was, you'd have to manually thumb through all kinds of paperwork, perhaps looking at some old carbon paper chimney inspections, and hoping you have it. You have no way of easily finding out when someone had their last sweeping. With ChimSoft, a sweep can pull up a customer's entire history with one click. If a customer calls, you can amaze them by bringing up estimate information, detailed chimney sweeps, and notes of past conversations instantly, while they are on the phone. Second, you can generate new business by running our report that tells who hasn't had a sweeping in a certain amount of time, then simply mail out reminders to those people. This feature alone would bring in enough business to pay for our program.

The next key thing is electronic inspections and estimates. Right now, most chimney sweeps walk around with a carbon paper pad for inspections. They then hand write up an estimate and give it to the customer. Doing all the math in their head, or sometimes going back home and typing up a pretty estimate. With ChimSoft a person can have a custom estimate, with their logo, and print it out right there and then. They can even find the price of a part from their vendor (if their vendor is one of our partners) without flipping through some huge catalog. And best of all, these estimates don't just get lost, ChimSoft keeps you up to date on that status of all your estimates, so you can follow up with a customer to make sure you win the job. They can do all their jobs quicker, allowing more jobs in a single day, and making more money.

Mapping. This is perhaps a field tech's favorite feature. With ChimSoft you can set up your entire day's route, and simply pull up customer's addresses from the database in one click, and map your entire day. Getting turn by turn directions means no more getting lost. You don't need to carry a hundred printouts from MapQuest and spend hours typing in each person's address. You can also use the mapping data to determine where your customers are and are not, and target your advertising dollars more effectively. Both these features will allow you to fit in more jobs, make more money, and find new ways to maximize your revenue.

ChimScan Integration. Chimney Sweeps these days are more high tech then most people remember from Mary Poppins. Many Chimney Sweeps have found there is big money in scanning your chimney for cracks and faults that are impossible to see with old fashioned techniques. They have a high tech device called the ChimScan. While this is a fairly high tech setup, currently they still need carry around a large box with a VCR, a TV, and a breakout box in it. Once scanning, there is only one option, watch on the smallish TV, and record to a tape. With ChimSoft, sweeps can use the same equipment they already have, but take that VCR and TV out of the box completely. Now they can view their scans in high resolution on their laptop. They can pause the video stream to point out important details to customers, and best of all they save a digital copy of the video, and associate it with the customer's record. Insurance companies now get a crystal clear DVD quality scan if repairs are needed. And no need to hold on to video tapes for years, you can pull up an old scan in 2 clicks.

There are many more features I can go into eventually, but the point of this post is that almost no one NEEDS your software. You need to add the value that will convince them to buy it.


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