Builders are always in a financial balancing act, leveraging the profit from the last job to finance the next one, always running a credit line to fill in the gaps.
For a business to thrive, it needs that steady flow of cash from work already completed. If AR starts piling up, it can be crippling.
For Isabelle Braeutigam and the team at Custom Built Design & Remodeling, this was a real challenge. They needed cash to operate, and doing the legwork to track down and collect payment was time-consuming.
They needed a solution to keep them growing. They found it with HubSpot.
Who is Custom Built?
Custom Built Design & Remodeling is a Michigan-based construction business focused on transforming homes from concept to completion.
Founded in 2006, the company handles all manner of large-scale renovation projects for
The Custom Built’s site is full of photos of serene new bathrooms, spacious kitchens, and breezy patios. Their designs are chic and modern, but with a timeless appeal.
When you see images like this, it’s no surprise that the company has built a stellar reputation with clients, based on both its work and its customer service. Even so, the Custom Built team struggled with the reality of an outdated finance system.
Each month, they’d be waiting for checks to come in the mail, sending reminders, working hard to collect on projects that had been completed months before. It was a frustration the team couldn’t seem to solve.
Putting the problem front and center
Isabelle joined Custom Built in 2020, at first working in a client services role. Soon, though, she took over managing HubSpot, the CRM platform they used for marketing and client outreach.
Custom Built had used HubSpot for a while, but the team wasn’t fully bought in. The software was expensive, after all, and it was being underutilized.
So, was HubSpot something to pitch, or could it, with Isabelle’s help, solve some persistent problems?
Isabelle became a self-taught HubSpot expert once she discovered HubSpot Academy. “I just became a sponge,” she remembers. “I watched many, many hours of their online courses.” Soon after, Custom Built started working with IMPACT, and Isabelle got to know Jess Palmeri, a HubSpot trainer at IMPACT, who helped put all of this learning into action.
The more she learned more about what HubSpot could do, the more she saw opportunities for Custom Built to use the software to work through some challenges.
First on that list was AR.
“Having somebody like Jess who literally lives and breathes HubSpot was very helpful,” Isabelle says. “It just made me confident in my decision of let’s try this.”
Using HubSpot to collect $2.2 million
Isabelle was ready to use HubSpot as a commerce tool. The most important step, she remembers, was getting the whole team to see the vision. They all understood that AR was a problem, but entrenched practices are hard to break out of. The company had been collecting checks since it started doing business. How different would the client experience become if they chose another method?
In fact, the client experience got better.
With HubSpot’s Commerce Hub, the team could create easy and secure payment links right in the platform. Then, they could put these links anywhere they needed them: in an email or form, on a webpage or meeting link, or connected to a digital invoice.
When the sales team saw how easy it was, they quickly jumped on board. Isabelle remembers, “I think my favorite moment was like probably a week into it. I got a call from one of our sales advisors and she’s like, ‘I love these payment links, they’re so easy to use!’”
Explaining it to clients was just as simple. In fact, most preferred the new method. (After all, how many of us remember to carry our checkbooks?) This new online payment method took the place of mailed invoices, phone calls, and debt collectors.
And Custom Built never looked back.
During 2022, Custom Built collected over $2.2 million through HubSpot. Rather than chasing down customers, they could put that money back in the business.
Now it’s your turn
What can we learn from Isabelle’s experience?
Think of changes you can make that will benefit both your company and your customers. How can you remove barriers and streamline processes? How can you make it easier for your customers to buy from you?
But before you’re ready to move forward, Isabelle says, do your homework.
“Define your success criteria, go ahead and do some research,” she advises. That way, you really understand what success looks like. And if you’re stuck, find coaches and trainers you trust. For her, it’s IMPACT. Take your challenge and “bring it to the IMPACT team,” she says. “They’ll definitely help you find a solution.”