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Earn Reliable Recurring Income From Maintenance Services

July 14, 2020 | Read: 8 minutes

Reliable recurring income is every business owner’s dream, money that earns itself. However, it’s easier said than done. Keep on reading if you want to find out the perfect source of recurring income and how to create an appointment reminder message template that no one can ignore!

1. What is reliable recurring income for a tradesman?

2. What is a source of reliable recurring income for plumbing, heating, HVAC, or other field service businesses?

3. Why don’t tradespeople earn more reliable income from service work?

4. How do you politely send a reminder email?

5. Appointment reminder template

But if you want your appointment reminder message template quicker, click right below!

1. What is reliable recurring income for a tradesman?

You could say that a regular employee’s salary is a form of reliable recurring income and it’s a paycheck they’re guaranteed to win, regardless of their workload. It doesn’t matter if they do 5 projects in July and 50 in June – their income will remain stable. However, if you’re a plumber, electrician, HVAC installer, or any other field service speciality, you know it’s not quite the same in the service business. You only get paid for what you work, which can be both good and bad. 

HVAC installers are a great example. They always see an uptick in workload just before and during the summer months because that’s when people start to think they’re feeling kind of sweaty. No one rushes home in the middle of winter and thinks “You know what would make this house perfect? Some more chilly air.” This leads to HVAC businesses experiencing a drought of jobs in what they call the slow season.

Therefore, reliable recurring income doesn’t refer to a monthly average that takes the profit made during those busy months and evens it out to cover the slower times. Rather, it means the minimum amount of money your business is guaranteed to make every month, regardless of market ups and downs. 

2. What is a source of reliable recurring income for plumbing, heating, HVAC, or other field service businesses?

The reason why many tradespeople often go from feast to famine when it comes to the number of jobs they have to do is because they treat the matter as a business staple. 

Of course, you’ll have more plumbing jobs in the winter, when pipes tend to freeze over, and more AC jobs in the summer, when people notice their units aren’t working properly. 

However, this doesn’t mean you have to shrug your shoulders and wait around during slump periods. These are perfect for service work. 

Offering regular service work – or maintenance – is the perfect source of reliable income for tradesmen of every shape and size. Any appliance you install can benefit from regular service to ensure that it runs properly, doesn’t use up more power than it should, and lasts for a long time. These are all advantages you can present to a customer in order to upsell them on a future service. 

Many people will say “yes!” on the spot, especially if you say something along the lines “service your alarm system with us next year and get a 10% discount” because that’s when they’re the likeliest to want to keep their expensive new system in tip-top shape and they’ve already spent a good bit of money – what $135 more? 

Fast-forward a year of not having any major issues with the system, and they’re guaranteed to have a “if it ain’t broken, why fix it” attitude about paying for a $150 check-up. 

3. Why don’t tradespeople earn more reliable income from service work?

In theory, service work sounds like the perfect arrangement. But if the previous points triggered a “That means I don’t have any reliable income at all!” reaction, worry not. Many business owners realize they depend on new customers and, if they’ve followed up on our advice, recurring customers. 

Of course, not all your income can be recurring, and the role of your sales and marketing strategy (or smarketing) is to ensure there’s always a supply of new customers to keep the cash flow healthy. However, if you ever find yourself unable to spend money on smarketing or there is something stopping new customers from coming to you, reliable recurring income is the cushion you need to fall back onto. 

This being said, there are two major reasons why service work gets a bad rep in the trades business: 

Recurring income is low-value

Maintenance and check-ups are, indeed, the cheapest items on the menu, when it comes to a field service business, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable to the client. You can’t put a price on peace of mind. What’s more, these services add up. If you experience those drought periods we’ve mentioned, scheduling all your service work to fill in the time can earn you a nice profit – since you’re not postponing more valuable jobs to do it – and save you from having to lay-off people until busy times resume. 

Service jobs are boring

Sure, changing filters and tightening screws is no one’s version of exciting but what can you do? Not every job can be exciting and now. Your techs can see these less stressful jobs as a great opportunity to interact more with customers and provide a remarkable experience. The more positive an impression they make, the likelier that the customer will hire you again for that big renovation project they’re planning.  

So, how do you get more service work scheduled and, crucially, during your slow time of the year? Read on to find out!

4. How do you politely send a reminder email?

With a service reminder, of course! If you go back to where you offer the customer a discount if they have their service done by you instead of a competitor, make sure to either book them in on the spot (with a booking request portal) or send a service reminder at an appropriate time. 

You can even make it into a sales strategy, where you offer a “subscription plan”. Instead of charging them $134.99 next year, when you come for the maintenance check, they can pay $12.49/month and have a tradesman available to them at all times for free check-ups and advice. $12.49/month might sound like change, but rack up 50 of these 30-minute jobs, and you’ve got $625/month guaranteed for only 25h of work. 

The usual problem with either option is that admin teams forget to set a reminder for themselves which is why having automatic reminders go out via digital software is the ideal situation here. This way, every customer gets their reminder, right on time. 

The next step is to make an appointment reminder message polite and convincing. Treat it as you would any sales document:

  • Keep it short and friendly; make the deadline of the maintenance check visible in a box, at the top. 
  • For the love of graphic design, don’t make it some garish acid green color. Stick to black type on a white background and add your logo for a splash of personality. 
  • Offer a bit of context in text like what appliance you’re referring to and when you installed it and last maintained it).
  • Mention all your contact details (phone, address, email, Facebook link, etc.) 
  • Offer a discount if they book the service in the first three days after receiving the appointment reminder message. 

5. Appointment reminder message template

If you’re asking “What should I write in my appointment reminder message text”, it’s pretty simple. This is an example of a message you could send to a private customer: 

Mr & Mrs Smith 

86 Brickton Lane, Chicago, Illinois 

Dear Mr and Mrs Smith, 

Your electrical installation service is due on the 12/01/19. It is important to regularly service your appliances to maintain your warranty and keep them working smoothly and efficiently. Appliances that aren’t serviced regularly can cost you more in your energy bills as they operate inefficiently. Our company is specialised in electrical services and we will be happy to service the appliance early and include a 5% discount on the service cost. Valid until 01/07/2020. 

To look after your appliances properly, please give us a call on 1 021 345 456. 


Company Name

If you’d like to download our complete guide to creating the perfect service reminder, as well as two fully-formatted, editable, Word (or Google Doc) appointment reminder message templates (one for private customers and one for property managers), click the button below!

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I'm here to bring you next-level strategies to the field service industry. When I'm not working on the best tips to grow your business, I'm on the lookout for sci-fi novels and cookie recipes.

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