Topic: Getting your business online

Frank Spiteri began his first electrical contracting business over 35 years ago. Since then, he has watched the industry adapt to the many changes brought about by the digital revolution. For the past eight years, Frank has been operating AF Electrical and Smokeshield from his head office in Melbourne.

Frank form AF Electrical with work van

Frank has developed his online presence based on a wealth of experience in the industry. His early adoption of the technology allowed him to move with trends and develop a plan to best suit his business needs.

“We decided early on that digital was the way of the future. When I started my first business, it was all paper based; the Yellow Pages, printed pamphlets, local newspapers. Now we virtually spend nothing on anything to do with paper stock, and instead invest that money online,” said Frank.

Starting out, Frank found there was a certain amount of trial and error involved in any process, regardless of the level of planning. For this reason, Frank believes that planning is as much about writing the business plan as it is about developing a system for tracking information.

“No matter what digital outlet you’re dealing with, you need to determine your return on investment. Some of the traditional analytic tools are hard to use to find an actual dollar return, so we developed a phone system that enables this,” said Frank.

Frank has implemented a digital phone system that allows him to track all of his digital conversions, simply by tracking a phone number.

“Each form of media we use, we assign a different phone number to it. Our digital phone has 100 lines, and 100 different phone numbers, that all redirect to our main business line.

“Essentially, someone visits our website, our social media channels, our Yellow Pages listing, or our mobile website, and they see a different phone number on each.

“If they make a call based on that phone number, our system logs it, and we can then effectively measure the dollar value of each outlet in terms of how many leads they generate.”

The system has helped Frank determine where to spend his digital budget for the highest impact. After years of trial and error (and many digital success stories), Frank is now ready to develop a paperless delivery system for AF Electrical.

The new service manager system allows Frank to track every aspect of the business, from Work Safe Method Statements, to invoices, to supply order.

“We are trialling the system at the moment. I find that it is tightening up our processes and saving us a lot of time and as an extension of that, a lot of money.

“We are able to track all of our supplies, our employees, our invoices and our jobs, and be across everything 100 per cent of the time.

“We are building a completely paperless business, and I’m very excited to see where that takes us.”

Find out more about AF Electrical and Smokeshield via their website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn

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