Who you gonna call? This may have worked in 1984, but poor Janine was the only one answering the phones. If the Ghostbusters were in business today, here are five small business essentials they’d need to stay operational.
1. Scheduling Software
Throughout the blockbuster movie, it’s Janine who keeps the Ghostbusters in business — not Peter, Ray, Egon or Winston. (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson for those of you who need a refresher.)
She fields phone calls, manages the crew’s hectic schedule and even grabs coffee for possessed individuals. Talk about a quality hire.
But what started as a laid-back gig became too much to manage when over-puffed and paranormal figures took over New York. Janine was worn out and stretched thin daily, prompting her unforgettable line, “I’ve quit better jobs than this.”
That’s why the first essential tool the Ghostbusters could have used was scheduling software specifically designed for service businesses.
That would allow customers to book non-emergency paranormal readings and party requests (as seen in the sequel), freeing up Janine for more important tasks.
2. Digital Invoices and Payments
Like many service businesses, the Ghostbusters didn’t have consistent pricing. The cost to vanquish a Class 2 manifestation versus a Class 7 demon isn’t the same. Meaning, they can’t be priced without proper investigation.
This is precisely why the next small business essential on the team’s list would be an invoice generator. If they were around today, they could use Thryv’s free tool and send digital invoices on the spot.
In addition to digital invoices, they’d also need to accept all forms of payment. I know they didn’t have mobile wallets in 1984, but it’s essential for any business today to accept the payment method their customers prefer.
3. Consumer Financing
Ghostbusting is not cheap. Dr. Venkman quoted $4,000 to capture a Class 5 free-roaming vapor at The Sedgwick Hotel. A “real nasty one, too.” Plus, another $1,000 for storage. Bringing the total cost to a whopping $5,000.
We bet you’ve all had a customer react to sticker shock just like the manager at Sedgwick.
Five thousand dollars? I had no idea it’d be so much. I won’t pay it.
When it comes to big bills, today’s Ghostbusters could make it easier on their customers by offering consumer financing options.
In fact, Thryv recently partnered with financing provider, Wisetack. If you’re offering a replacement HVAC or ghoul removal and storage, you can provide customers more flexibility and time to pay with manageable installments.
4. Reputation Management
The Ghostbusters do great work. They saved New York multiple times. However, they have a tendency to leave a bit of a mess after themselves. (Molten marshmallow, anyone?)
That’s why the next item on their small business essentials list is a reputation management tool.
For example, a reputation management tool could automatically send review requests to happy customers. That would boost their online ratings.
Plus, they could get notified when negative reviews roll in, giving them time to respond and rectify the situation.
5. Franchise Management
Peter was thinking big right off the bat, saying, “the franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams.”
While this is true in the movies, these four fellas would have needed help from a franchise management tool like Hub by Thryv.
Then, they could ensure all locations provide consistent customer service — Janine can’t work at every location — keep an eye on their financials and easily communicate.
Serious Question: Were the Ghostbusters Good Business Owners?
While these small business essentials are key to running a successful business, it’s important to have a solid business plan. Which the Ghostbusters didn’t have; at least, not at the beginning.
You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven’t had a successful test of this equipment.—Dr. Raymond Stantz
That’s why today’s Ghostbusters should subscribe to the Thryv blog — they’d read articles about building a business plan and other ways to ready their business for scary-good growth.