The home services industry has arrived at a transformational moment. It sits at the confluence of major forces – the pandemic, a revolution in digital technology, shifting weather patterns, evolving social attitudes – that are changing how we occupy our homes. Coming years will see massive growth in the home services industry, along with equal disruption.
The team at Baker Tilly Digital has been closely involved with the leading home service software for years. We thought this was an opportune moment to explore the biggest issues affecting plumbing companies, HVAC contractors, home security installers and countless others, particularly from the perspective of the home services CFO. Anyone invested in this industry needs to be aware of what lies ahead – but especially the executives at the helm of accounting and finance. Why? Because the biggest changes and challenges apply to them.
People depend on their home more than ever before. Where we live has also become where we work, educate, exercise and congregate. The pandemic certainty accelerated this evolution, but more aspects of life have been shifting into the home for decades. It’s the centerpiece of everything.
Which is great news for the home services sector. Investments on home improvements, maintenance and emergency services will only increase as people spend ever more time around the house. But this is a double-edged sword. As the home takes on new importance, people will hold service providers to higher standards for everything: speed, availability, consistency, quality, innovation, etc.
Opportunities in the home services industry are driving a recent trend towards consolidation and private equity investment. They’re also attracting tech-driven startups to the sector. Whether a company hopes to court an acquisition offer or gain ground in a market, it will need to excel in a red hot competitive climate.
The home services CFOs will be instrumental. Accounting and finance can propel a company through a period of change, shoring up cash flow and selecting smart investments. But change, growth and new competition also make it harder to manage money wisely because they constantly rewrite the status quo. This is the Catch-22 facing today’s home services CFO: They must take bold actions amidst extreme uncertainty.
Having worked extensively with home services companies, we’ve seen examples of accounting and finance working to a company’s advantage alongside and integrated with field service software. And we've seen how messy it can get without an experienced guide. In this blog series addressing home services CFOs, we draw on that experience to illustrate how success in this industry is elusive but attainable.
Forthcoming blogs will cover topics like managing growth, leveraging technology and using accounting strategically. We will also address the relationship between home services companies and private equity investors. Our goal with this six-part blog series is to explore the issues most important to the home services CFO at a time when adaptation is the only option. Along the way, we will be highlighting tools, techniques and tips that make the path forwards easier to navigate.