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Setting Lifestyle Home Maintenance up for future growth

28 September 2023

Thanks to MYOB Advanced Business, this ambitious business has reduced its admin workload by 80% and expanded its services across Australia. 

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  • MYOB Advanced, a powerful ERP system to help business to scale up quickly 

  • Integration with ServiceM8 provides real-time insights and adds value for clients

  • Automated processes drive multiple operational efficiencies.

Six years ago, Andrew found a leak in his roof. It took him two weeks and calls to 50 different tradies before he found someone to do the job. While the experience wasn’t an overly positive one, it had a silver lining. It gave Andrew an idea for a new business opportunity. 

Lifestyle Home Maintenance is a Brisbane-based property maintenance company dedicated to servicing the real estate and body corporate industries. In a few short years, the business has grown exponentially. 

With a team of 34 tradespeople, backed by domestic and offshore admin staff and powerful technology – MYOB Advanced Business – the business is set to scale. 

From accounting to property maintenance 

With Andrew’s background in finance and accounting, it wasn’t hard for him to crunch the numbers on his roof leak – he knew the tradie lost money on the job. It seemed that not only was it difficult to find tradesmen to accept smaller maintenance jobs, but that those who did were worse off for it. Certain that there must be a better way, he sat down and wrote a business plan. 

Before he knew it, he’d quit his full-time job and started Lifestyle Home Maintenance. Within three months, the business went from offering basic lawn care to a raft of maintenance services to property managers and real estate agents. They’d found a niche – and had the potential to grow quickly. 

One small problem: swift growth in business often results in growing pains. And in this case, Lifestyle Home Maintenance quickly outgrew its finance system. To continue on its trajectory, the business needed to invest in an upgrade. 

"MYOB Advanced Business captures and stores your information better. That allows you as a business owner to stand back and look at your business objectively – and ask yourself, ‘How can I squeeze more out of this?'" 

- Andrew, Commercial Manager, Lifestyle Home Maintenance 

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Ever-growing volume too much for old system 

When it first launched, Andrew was managing Lifestyle Home Maintenance’s accounting with MYOB Essentials. But it quickly became apparent that the business needed more. The first, most obvious issue? Managing the sheer volume of work. 

Andrew understood that most tradies wouldn’t bother with the smaller, odd jobs – let alone take the time to quote for them. It’s what gave him the idea to start the business and Lifestyle Home Maintenance slowly but surely became known for their quotes. 

As they took on more high-volume, low-value jobs, the administration work took considerably more time than it did for the tradesperson to complete the job. Then COVID hit, and unlike other businesses, the workload exploded by 50% overnight. 

“The operations work got faster and faster, and even though I’d been using MYOB Essentials from the start, it became increasingly obvious that we needed to upgrade,” Andrew explains. 

MYOB Advanced Business: a solution for everything 

Back in his finance days, Andrew worked regularly with ERP systems and had seen first-hand the role they play in setting a business up to scale. So, when he finally decided to upgrade, he confidently called the MYOB team and asked for a recommendation. 

Within 24 hours, Andrew was looking at a demonstration of MYOB Advanced Business, and he knew that it was “exactly what I needed.” 

“I had a list of 10 questions ready to go, and I said, ‘Show me what it can do’. MYOB Advanced Business had a solution for all of them – and I was sold.” 

Automation reduces workload by 80-90% 

Before implementing MYOB Advanced Business, Andrew did an activity-based costing exercise. He figured out that every job went through 163 different touchpoints – from the time an email enquiry comes in, to the invoice being paid. 

Using the previous system, that admin process was taking 40 minutes per job on average. With MYOB Advanced Business, it now takes approximately five minutes. 

Similarly, it used to take Andrew eight hours to produce the reports he needed for debt collection. Now, all he has to do is press a button, and it’s done within a minute. 

While that might seem like an unbelievable drop, Andrew says it’s simply the power of automation – and it’s helping the team move faster. 

"We might save one or two minutes here and there but imagine that 20-30 times a day per job!" 

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Expansion planning to support a growing team 

With much of the business’ manual administration work now automated, Andrew decided to engage an offshore support team to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. 

He has also hired new staff members to take over systems reconciliation, accounts payable and month-end. 

Lifestyle Home Maintenance has added even more services to its app, and is now on track to expand into different parts of Australia. 

“With MYOB Advanced Business, we’re able to pick up the business, replicate it in new geo-zones and drop it into high demand areas – without spending a dollar. 

"It doesn’t matter whether we do 10 jobs a day or 40, MYOB Advanced Business doesn’t have any problems handling the volume. Most other small businesses would fall over if that happened." 

Seamlessly integrated with ServiceM8 

As well as administrative efficiencies, Lifestyle Home Maintenance needed a technology solution that integrated seamlessly with its operational software, ServiceM8. 

With MYOB Advanced Business and ServiceM8 working together, it's easy to collate reports for each client and delve deep into the granular details of each property – something Andrew couldn’t do before. The business can then use these insights to make decisions, like rejecting jobs that aren’t profitable or remembering to chase up unpaid bills. 

“It’s not like we were getting new data, we were just getting data that we’d not had access to before and you can make better decisions from it,” Andrew says. 

Secure purchase order system helps prevent fraud 

In his previous roles in the finance sector, Andrew experienced the danger of fraudulent activity firsthand and knew it was important to find and address any weak points in his current business. 

MYOB Advanced Business provides a secure system to create and manage purchase orders, acting as a fraud and cost control. This is particularly important now that some of Andrew’s financial administration is completed offshore. 

“Of the 163 job touchpoints, there are two where fraud could happen,” Andrew explains. 

“When I see an invoice that’s ready for payment and it’s got a PO number next to it, I know it’s gone through 20 checks.” 

With these safeguards in place, Lifestyle Home Maintenance is not just running smarter – it's more secure. 

"Sometimes we even forget the system is there. It's like a genius accounting program walked in and touched everybody and everything in the room, and it all instantly became smarter." 

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From start-up to fast-scaling business 

  • Brisbane-based property maintenance company, Lifestyle Home Maintenance, has been in business for five years and is growing fast. 

  • The company is dedicated to servicing the real estate and body corporate industries, offering approximately 120 core maintenance services through its app. 

  • Today, the business has a field team of 34 tradespeople, backed by seven professional admin staff who all work remotely offshore. 

Improvements: upgrading to MYOB Advanced Business 

  • Seamless integration with field service software ServiceM8 

  • Real-time reporting and insights are driving business decisions, helping the team add even more value for clients 

  • Automating previously manual processes has reduce admin workload by 80% 

  • Greater operational efficiencies have enabled the business to expand services into new locations 

  • Secure purchase order system safeguards against fraudulent activity 

  • Greater flexibility with room to grow and the ability to add more modules as needed. 

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