It is a tough ask, moving from old, non-digital methods of running a trade business to a complete, digital solution. Quite often you will come across hurdles such as gaps in knowledge, or just simply not having the time to invest to make the complete switch.
One thing for sure is that you will need to make sure your way of working is modern, or your trade business will struggle in the future. Paper job sheets, time cards and calls or text messages to staff just don’t cut it anymore. The younger generation are coming forward with a good grasp on technology, and even if they don’t have the experience yet to complete jobs to a standard some more ‘seasoned’ trade professionals do, they will be at the top of their game when it comes to systems and efficiencies.
This isn’t meant to scare you or put you off, it’s the reality of how the world is moving and is natural. Just like when the printing press was invented, it’s all about saving time.
There are literally hundreds of different apps available on the market, which don’t really help you when you are researching options for your business. This can be quite scary, simply not knowing how to get started, what to do or where to go. We’ve seen time and time again that the sheer amount of options but lack of a true guide on how to look at this just becomes overwhelming, and ‘going digital’ gets put on the back-burner, sometimes until it’s too late.
So what does modernising your business look like? Basically, take a step back and assess your current business. How do you manage your presence, is it online on a website? Do you have an active social media presence for your business? A dedicated page which you often update with photos of the quality of what you produce, and encourage your customers to also post and tag your business when they’re stoked with your work?
Perhaps you have no problem with the amount of work coming in, and it’s actually managing that workload that gets tough, or maybe it’s the accounting side of things that takes too much time and effort? Phew lots to think about! Below is a recommended list to work with, depending on where you are struggling and what you would like to improve. Keep in mind, with change will come stress – there is no ‘band-aid’ type, cheap and cheerful solution to any successful business. You have to put the hard-yards in to reap the benefits. So pause, take a breath, grab a coffee then keep reading…
Low on leads?
Establishing an ‘online presence’ (e.g making a cool Facebook page for your business) will help. There are absolutely thousands of articles online on how this works, but sometimes a DIY approach is best and Facebook will help you with that, start here and once you have one, be sure to share it with your friends. Best of all, it’s free to do!
Accounting a headache?
If you haven’t already, start with an accounting system such as Xero or MYOB. They are built for managing your money coming in and
going out, taxation, GST, payroll for staff, bills from suppliers or contractors, that kind of stuff. They connect with your bank to make sure that at the end of the day, your hard work literally pays off. Accounting software generally starts between $40.00 – $60.00 per month. If you are unsure what is best for you, talk to your local accountant.
Managing Jobs, Timesheets, Clients, Schedule and Staff?
One of the most important parts of having a successful business is managing jobs from start to finish, and all of the bits that come in between. Keeping a record of all of the moving parts is also crucial, more and more these days as both government rules get more strict, and people become more educated. That rule applies no matter what size of job you are taking on. A system such as NextMinute is built to manage all of this stuff no matter if you are a 1 man band and you want good, solid record keeping and visibility of when you are next available and how much money you are really making, or a much larger business looking to manage your entire crew and multiple jobs on the go.
How do you learn how this system works?
You could join a live webinar if you like, or for a more DIY approach just jump into a trial to check things out. Pick up the phone and just give us a call if you would prefer to talk things over. It’s our job to help you, and we take pride in doing that.