Review: Frank Heneghan’s Revolutionary Gutter App

Rick Zand|June 20, 2024

Frank Heneghan’s journey from the IT world to starting a home improvement business and a gutter operation led to a convergence of his tech industry experience and gutter knowledge. From this culmination of skills Heneghan created an application specifically designed for rain gutter contractors. Frank Heneghan’s Gutter App aims to provide business functions and content relevant to the specific needs of the gutter industry.

New Tech Machinery (NTM), a leader in portable gutter machines, is partnering with Frank Heneghan’s Gutter App to make the NTM Mach II Gutter Machine and BG7 Box Gutter Machine easy to find for Gutter App users. We’re also including a link on the gutter machine pages of our website to promote this important new tool created for gutter contractors. 

While much of the construction industry runs on CRMs, they’re generalized for all industries, prompting you to find workarounds to make them fit your business needs. Otherwise, you’ll pay a consultant a lot of money to customize it; something few small operations can afford. As Heneghan put it, “CRM is powerful software in some cases, but with nothing in it that helps the rain gutter contractor get the sale.” The shortcomings of CRMs shined a light on the necessity for a gutter app: to make a user-friendly platform specific to the operational needs of the gutter contractor.

Gutter App Functions

Heneghan’s Gutter App is designed to be a resource for all gutter needs, including sales, orders, quotes, payments, a portal for material and machine suppliers, and more. Heneghan has plans for the app that have not yet fully developed, like an inbound lead function where contractors can make bids to customers in their area, similar to Angie’s List, but just for gutter contractors. Recently, they began a partnership Mr. Pipeline, an online SEO-based lead generation service that focuses on rain gutters. So, if the client is on the gutter app, they would be able to access their pipeline leads from there.

Another app function is the gutter school, which consists of video tutorials and other materials related to the gutter industry. The online school provides gutter contractors with continuing education in their industry, particularly regarding the how-to aspects of running a business. While many start-ups may know everything about running and installing gutters, their expertise often doesn’t cover bookkeeping, marketing, invoicing, and other business functions. “Let me teach you about marketing and sales and business management, hiring and firing, and how to put together an ad campaign,” Heneghan said.  “Gutter installation is the easy part.”

Gutter app quote page

How Gutter App Came to Be

After leaving the corporate world and a career in IT sales management, Heneghan ventured into the home improvement market, eventually launching his own rain gutter business. He’d realized the need to solve business and operational challenges of gutter contractors and address them with technology, but with a busy work schedule and managing gutter and home improvement businesses, he kept it on the back burner. Then, while laid up recovering from knee surgery, he had the time to focus on how to design the Gutter App. As he’s not a coder, he hired staff internationally to help build the functions. “I’ve had as many as 28 programmers,” Heneghan explained, “All doing different elements and we were working around the clock.”

The Gutter App is designed from the ground up with gutter contractors in mind. It addresses gutter contractors’ demands by providing a platform that streamlines work orders and increases sales, plus helps build a broader knowledge base for its consumers. Unlike CRM platforms that require customization, the Gutter App comes pre-loaded with features and functionalities tailored to the gutter industry.

The idea is simple: Using the calendar to set an appointment, make the sale, and move the job from a quote to a contract and then to a scheduled job. All payments and invoicing would happen within the app, and everything would flow through the calendar tool.

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It Takes a Community to Develop a Gutter App

A key aspect of the app’s development has been community involvement. The Gutter App development team understands that the most valuable feedback come from those in the field, so they tapped into a network of contractors. This collaborative approach helps ensure that the app not only meets the current demands of gutter contractors, but also adapts to the growing industry. “To me, the obvious answer was to focus on what’s best for the rain gutter contractor,” said Heneghan. “It’s community-based software. We don’t think we have all the answers.” Heneghan is focused on how he can pull the community of gutter contractors into the development process.

Heneghan sees his target audience as the 90% of gutter contractors. “Those making six figures or less per year make up the 90%. The other 10% are making over a million dollars per year and can afford sophisticated CRM systems,” Heneghan told us.

Despite the challenges faced during its development, including the founder’s recovery from knee surgery, the Gutter App launched successfully and is now ready for use. Currently, the app has about 6,000 members and is picking up an additional 25-30 new members a day.

Gutter app menu

Gutter App: Beta Version and Beyond

While the app is still a work in progress, Heneghan is in no rush to throw on additional functions. He doesn’t see the point in unnecessary bells and whistles. Instead, he strives for easy functionality for anyone in the gutter business. Heneghan describes it as etching a sculpture. “You start with a big chunk of marble and then you keep chiseling and chiseling. So, we’re still working with the fine tools and hammering away, but we’re making sure we’re chiseling in all the right areas.”

The program currently runs only as an app, but plans are in the works to have a multi-platform model where a contractor can input information out in the field and an administrator can access the information, like a quote or payment, from a desktop or laptop computer, by incorporating a number of Google Suites business tools. “The Google interfaces are clean and simple and intuitive,” Heneghan explains. “What we want to do is leverage things like Google Calendar mobile contacts that will allow the desktop user to have easy access to that data, and vice-versa.”

The Gutter App stands out by integrating essential business tools with industry-specific functionalities. It offers solutions for project management, customer relationship management, and financial tracking, all within a framework built for gutter services. Moreover, it embraces a community-based software development approach, encouraging user feedback to drive improvements and updates.

Gutter app suppliers page

Can I Use Gutter App Now?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Now available in its beta version on iOS (iPhone or iPad) with plans for an Android version, the Gutter App is positioned to streamline how gutter contractors do business by providing an efficient, and industry-specific piece of technology. As the app continues to evolve, it remains committed to its mission: to empower rain gutter contractors through technology, community, and innovation. Expect the Gutter App to experience a never-ending process of evolution, based on the feedback of its users.

“We don’t want to crow-bar in what we think is best,” Heneghan said. “We want the users to tell us. Our concept is to listen to the client base, pivot on that, and then deliver.”

NTM is excited to partner with Gutter App and we see it becoming a basic tool for gutter contractors everywhere. For information on NTM’s Mach II or BG7 gutter machines, or any of our rollforming machines and accessories, contact one of our knowledgeable account managers.

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