Are you looking down the barrel of several weekends toiling on site, in the run-up to Christmas? If you answered in the affirmative, you’re far from alone.
It has been a very big year for tradies and tradie businesses. Australia’s ongoing renovation boom has kept many folks hard at it since COVID struck, with no sign yet of the pipeline running dry.
A string of natural disasters, including record-breaking floods in Queensland and northern NSW in early 2022, has compounded the demand for their services, leaving guys and gals on the tools busier than ever.
Trying to wrap up as many jobs as possible before the holiday period, which sees many building sites shut down for 10 days or more, makes excellent sense.
So, does catching up on your paperwork and getting your business affairs in order, before it all kicks off again in January 2023.
Seat of the pants paperwork
Historically, administration hasn’t been a strong suit for tradies and tradie businesses. Shoebox accounting and back-of-the-envelope quoting and project management remain commonplace and are part of the reason tradie business owners find themselves bogged down in paperwork, after hours and on weekends.
That absence of systemisation isn’t just a serious time thief. It can also result in poor visibility into how jobs are tracking, operationally and financially, until the point at which they’re done and dusted. Not knowing whether you’re going to make or lose money on a job until weeks after it’s concluded isn’t a great way to run a business but it’s normal for many in the construction sector.
Christmas cash crunch
But while not being on top of your business affairs can be problematic at the best of times, over the Christmas period it can be downright dangerous, particularly for tradie businesses whose cashflow is tight.
Waiting for your customers to re-open for business so you can submit invoices, urgently, for work you completed but didn’t get around to billing before December 25 rolled around isn’t a great way to spend your holiday break.
Nor is juggling your payments to creditors, or scratching round to make payroll for your hardworking team, never mind the Christmas bonuses you know they’ve well and truly earned and are counting on receiving.
Tools to make the task easy
If this sounds like an all too familiar scenario, I have some good tidings to share. It’s possible to get on top of your affairs now, and run your business more efficiently in 2023, using construction job management software that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
You can configure it to automate your quotes, timesheets, job scheduling, invoicing and back costing, and link it seamlessly to your accounting package of choice, be that Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks.
It takes the hard work and hassle out of running your business, by making it easy to price for profit, control your costs, and keep on top of compliance and financial management.
It can be the key to averting the cashflow crunches and cost blow-outs that are an all-too-common feature of life in the building industry.
Best of all, it’s simple to use and priced to please – for most tradie businesses, a no lock-in, monthly subscription will cost less than a round of drinks at the annual Christmas shindig.
Starting strong in 2023
Your business will be stronger and more sustainable if you understand how your jobs are tracking and have good visibility of your operations and finances.
If you’d like to enjoy a relaxing Christmas and a new year that’s more profitable and less stressful than this one has been, it’s an investment you can scarcely afford not to make.