These are the people responsible for fixing our broken pipes so we no longer have water spewing everywhere, ruining all of our prized possessions and age-old family heirlooms. They’re also the people who expertly rewire our kitchen so we can safely plug all of our appliances in.
However, just because trades professionals make a living with the skills and talents their hands provide, this doesn’t mean that they can’t digitize their business operations. If this is you, you can and should consider using digital resources for some of your standard business operations because, when you do, you’ll almost instantly realize a number of benefits.
Benefits of digitising a trade-based business
For starters, digitizing means that the computer will do more of the work for you. This includes keeping track of project deadlines, creating project quotes, noting material costs, and more. Ultimately, this means less time spent in the office, which is important since one study found that the average small business owner uses as many as 16 hours weekly on administrative tasks.
This is 16 hours of unpaid time. So, if you could free this up each and every week, that’s 832 hours over the course of a year. Imagine how much your revenue could increase if those hours were spent doing something you were actually paid for. Even if you only freed up half of them, it could make a dramatic impact on your bottom line.
Digitizing also means that you’re able to communicate with your customers electronically, sending them quotes and invoices quickly and easily via email or reminding them of their appointments via text. With more and more people conducting their personal business with either their computers or handheld devices (or a mixture of both), they’ll appreciate that they can work with you in this manner as well.
Digitising options based on trade
Because there are many different trades, there is no one-size-fits-all digital solution that works for all of them efficiently. So, ideally, you want a software program that was designed for your trade specifically. Below are some options for just a few of the trades.
Electricians and Plumbers
One thing that electricians and plumbers can do to bring their businesses up-to-date digitally is install software that helps better manage their projects from start to finish. One option is the SaaS (software as a service) solution Tradify. Tradify lets you track your electrical or plumbing-based jobs from quote to invoice, prioritizing each one while enabling you to communicate with your clients digitally. It also has real-time status tracking so you can easily monitor the location of your entire crew.
If you’re a trade professional working in this field, Masonry magazine recommends the construction management software and app Fieldwire. As Masonry points out, Fieldwire enables you to upload job photos and plans and easily share them with your team. It also helps you track all of the man-hours spent on each of your jobs and create plans for future projects right from its platform. And you can do all of these things at the office or while out in the field because it works on computers as well as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
If your trade involves painting, one digital solution that exists is mHelpDesk. This software service not only helps you schedule your painting jobs, but it also makes it possible to plan your daily routes so you can take the most efficient path of travel from one customer to the next. mHelpDesk also lets you create automated texts and emails to remind your customers about when you plan to arrive, which means no missed appointments because they forgot.
It even provides the ability to take before and after photos that you can store right in the customer’s file for future reference if needed.
Though these are just a few, the point is that digital solutions exist for a number of the trade professions. The key is to find one that fits your specific needs based on your trade of choice.
When you do, you can spend more time doing what you love (and get paid for it!) while enjoying faster and easier communication with your customers. In this case, everyone wins.