Pulling Credit Card Transactions into Knowify from QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online has an awesome feature that can automatically load your Credit Card transactions into your QBO account. Knowify has an awesome feature that can automatically load your QBO transactions into your jobs. Put the two of them together, and you get some great automated job costing!

To start this process, you’ll need to know that Knowify can only pull any Expense transactions from QuickBooks. You can find the full list of expenses in QuickBooks here:

QuickBooks will auto-pull your credit card transactions into your QBO account, but they won’t automatically end up in the Expenses. You’ll start by going to the Banking tab of your QBO account:

This is where you will see all credit card transactions that have been made and synced with your QuickBooks account. However, to pull them into Knowify, you’ll first have to pull them into your Expenses. You can do this by selecting the necessary lines:

And when you choose “Accept Selected” it will pull them into your Expenses:

And when you sync with Knowify, it will pull them in as purchases:

You can click on the dollar value in the “Description” column to point them at Knowify jobs:

Or you can use the Job Costing Hub:

And it will be as simple as making sure all the expenses are allocated to the correct jobs in Knowify for job costing! You can learn more about pulling expenses from QuickBooks into Knowify in this video!

E-Signing Estimates and Change Orders

You have probably received an email from a contractor you are working with that looks like the following:

This email was sent by the contractor via Knowify and contains a link that will let you e-sign the estimate and get the job started. This makes the process paperless and faster, saving time and money for everyone involved in the job. Feel free to click the link and have a look at the estimate. You can also request changes or reject the estimate after clicking the link.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is the link?

2. What happens when I click on the link?

You will be directed to Knowify’s e-signature portal, which looks like this:

You will know this is the official e-signature portal of Knowify because the url should read ‘https://esign.knowify.com’.

3. How do I know this is a legit email?

You will be receiving the email from messages@knowify.com, which is Knowify’s authorized email address. Additionally, you will see the contractor’s email copied in the email. Plus, the name of the contractor will be included in the Sender information and in the footer. In any case, if you are not sure, just contact us at 212 233 3230 and we’ll confirm for you that this is a legit email.

4. For some reason the link is not working. What can I do?

Sometimes, unfortunately, certain browsers, email applications or corporate networks will prevent you from clicking this link. This is the case when you try to open the link from the office if you work for a company that has very restrictive security policies. For instance, if you work at Verizon, the link will not work.

Also, certain schools, universities and public entities have very restrictive network policies that might prevent you from opening the link.

In any case, if the link appears to be broken or disabled, you can try the following:

a) Copy the link and paste it onto the search bar of you browser.

b) If the previous step doesn’t work, you can try to open the link on your personal phone. Make sure you are not on the company’s wifi or you might run into the same issue again!

5. The link works, but it says the proposal is no longer available. What happened?

You will see the message when the contractor has cancelled the proposal. Don’t worry! If you are still expecting a proposal from this contractor, just sit tight and you should be receiving an email with a new link.

6. Is all this process secure?

Knowify uses the latest technology to protect your data. All the transmission is encrypted and the link is disabled once the document is signed or rejected. If you check on the search bar of your browser once you are in the e-signature portal, you will see that the browser confirms that all you information will be safe.

6. I do not like clicking on strange links. What are my alternatives?

If you are not fond of e-signatures or just don’t link clicking on links, you can always use the PDF attached to the email and return it signed to the contractor. That’s also ok, the important part is to get the job started and have a successful project!

A picture is worth 1000 words…

Indeed! SO, if a picture is worth 1000 words, you should be taking pictures of all your projects – before, during, and after. That’s can help you show your best work, “make the fewest mistakes and cover your butt,” according to a GAF PROBlog post by Luke Hansen of CompanyCam, a start-up that manages contractors’ photos.

While Hansen advocates getting everyone on your team to snap photos as a recordkeeping/promotional undertaking, he notes the three following, not-to-be-missed occasions where photos can make a difference:

Sales and Estimating

“The moment your [salespeople] get out of their trucks…they should probably start taking photos,” writes Hansen. Not only is it important for estimating, it’s valuable for documenting pre-existing conditions should an issue arise at the end of a job. Hansen even recommends taking photos of the client’s driveway, noting: “Your distributor will LOVE you if you save them a few thousand dollars by producing a photo that shows the driveway was already cracked before their truck was on it.”

Pre-documenting a job site, he says, can also help with job continuity. Should a sales rep leave a job, someone else on your team could still put together a bid without traveling back to the site. It also facilitates information sharing — rather than launch into a lengthy explanation of what they need, your reps can just show the photos.

Operations

Hanson also recommends using your sales rep photos to prep crews on the job before they go out. And then, when the team hits the job site, he suggests each immediately take pictures on arrival and when they finish work for the day. This helps you track progress, and also time management. Because photos are time and date stamped, he says, it can help with time tracking (although Knowify does this automatically!).

Crew leaders can also take snapshots to document the unexpected, like mold or rot, which can be emailed to a client who can quickly approve any additional work/cost.

Marketing

Pretty pictures sell. Hansen says his crew leaders photograph the completed project and his inspector follows with a QC check takes more photos. It is these photos, he says, that are used in marketing, shared on Facebook, and even highlighted in the company’s blog series titled “Roofs of the Week.”

Bottom line, concludes Hansen, “If you’re disciplined in taking photos throughout the entire process, you’re going to save yourself money, headaches, and most importantly time. Selling more jobs is just a bonus.”

Integrating photography into your operating arsenal makes a lot of $ense. But running a smart business profitably makes even more sense. How do you get there? Let’s talk. Knowify is already helping contractors run their businesses better — integrating business management and accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office.

So let’s talk. Pick up the phone. Call me at 212-233-3230. I’m Marc Visent, and I’m one of the founders of this company.

Knowify. Built for the real world.

What’s your business strategy — revenue or growth?

Writing for QuickBooks Resource Center, April Maguire tackled one of Knowify’s customers’ thorniest business dilemmas: Where to focus. Should you position your business with an eye to revenue or position your business with an eye to growth, and why does that matter?

According to Maguire, starting and growing a new business often means walking a thin line between earning revenue and pursuing growth. After all, she says, “a business can’t be successful if it doesn’t bring in profits, which requires revenue. In the long run, however, growing into new markets is crucial if a company hopes to move beyond the startup stage.”

Where are you?

Revenue-focused businesses concentrate primarily on earning money. In construction and the trades, that typically means the money you receive from the sale of your service and the markup on the materials used to deliver that service. Maguire reports that small businesses with a revenue-based mindset “tend to focus on creating a solid revenue model for long-term profitability before expanding their efforts” elsewhere. Growth-focused companies, she says, concentrate on expanding service and territory “at the expense of near-term profitability.” Contractors with this mindset tend to be concerned with growing market share first, and then in building cash revenues. They are likely to hire employees sooner, upgrade operations and spend on marketing — all with an eye to expanding their customer bases.

Cash now or cash later?

Revenue-based business models, Maguire writes, are often considered “safer choices because they focus on creating a model for profitability.” That same revenue focus also can prevent a company from growing too quickly and finding itself suddenly in the throes of expanding so rapidly it sacrifices quality for quantity.

Key, she says, is that growth-focused businesses, especially in their earliest stages, may rush themselves out of business — hiring too few or inadequately training workers, running into serious cash flow crunches that hamstring their ability to make payroll and pay vendor bills.

Maguire also cautions that growth doesn’t always mean profit. Acquiring more business by cutting prices, or trimming margins squeeze cash flow. Better, she says it to ensure you are actually making money on the business you close before expanding into other markets or niches.

Can growth pay off?

Yes, says Maguire, if you are a company like Groupon…or, you are in a highly competitive industry. So ask yourself, are you, and should you? If the HVAC business in your market is flush with competitors, your business strategy may be to “buy” market share by trimming margins and low-ball bidding to draw customers away from your competitors and drive them out of business.

It’s a risky strategy, Maguire notes, “but if you’re focused only on immediate profits, you might make money in the short term while missing an opportunity for huge success down the line.”

Can you be both?

Sure, why not? But it’s a tricky juggling act. Maguire says the best-case scenario for startups is to demonstrate solid revenue while growing their customer bases. That’s difficult to accomplish for most contractors who have limited resources. But, she notes, with careful planning and the right tools, it is possible.

Use the right tools

Not wrenches and snakes, but advisors like a bookkeeper, an accountant, and the right technologies. Each can mean the difference between eking out a living and making real money. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors like you integrate their business management needs with accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office. So let’s talk. Pick up the phone. Call me at 212-233-3230. I’m Marc Visent, and I’m one of the founders of this company.

Knowify. Built for the real world.

Release 2.16: Change Log

Our version 2.16 has been released 2 weeks ahead of schedule!

This is the complete change log:

1. Labor budgets can now be expressed as dollar values at the phase level rather than as man hours by role or resource. We would still strongly encourage you to budget by expected man hours if you can, since tracking against expected hours can provide better insights on job progress vs. expectation. But if you’re in a hurry, dollar-value budgeting is certainly better than nothing!

Labor Budgets

2. In Owner Contracts, you can now decide whether you want to display subtotals at the line item level or just a total value for the proposal.

Labor Budgets

3. You can now add custom Tags to your jobs, which will make it easier to find them in the main jobs table and, soon, to generate reports based on those tags. You can also use this feature as a simple CRM tool.

Job Tags

4. We have a new Reports section where you can easily find all the available reports in Knowify.

5. There is a new Purchases report, with all your purchases and catalog allocations for a given period of time. You can use it to adjust inventory and track purchases.

6. There is a new Time Card report, with all time entries for a given time frame. It will list each employee on a different tab

7. Catalog items can now be added to bills.

8. Improvements to Job Board. Besides, if you have Job Board enabled, you will get to schedule resources directly from Job Board instead of doing it on Plan & Track.

Job Tags

9. Support for IE 11 has been discontinued.

10. Validation of browser support for cookies and local storage. Please keep in mind Knowify relies on cookies and local storage to keep your session safe.

11. Improvements in simple and advanced jobs reports to better manage Project Manager, Sales Lead and job dates.

12. Deposits now relay on a catalog item instead of an account to sync with QuickBooks. Please set up this service in the QuickBooks section.

13. Weekly payroll report has now 1 week per tab.

14. Time cards sort entries by clients instead of by job.

15. Support in reports to handle job names with special characters ([]/\:).

16. Final deployment of our infrastructure to support QuickBooks Desktop.

If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at support@knowify.com.

The Knowify Team

Roofing Contractor Young Innovators

Working the niches

A recent article by Roofing Contractor Editor Art Aisner, on “Young Guns” highlighted the next generation of roofing contractors and industry professionals positioned to succeed in their markets and industry. All those profiled were under 40. What makes them unique, is their ability to identify key gaps in their markets and to create the right infrastructures to run and grow their businesses.

Finding a niche in a saturated market
Dustin Guess and Chris Perry are one such pair. They started their roofing careers in high school working for a company owned by a friend’s father, staying through college graduation. They did demo, managed projects and sold the occasional roof to a friend or family member.

As college grads, each pursued other careers. Then, in 2008, Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on Texas’ eastern shore. In the wake of the nearly $30 billion devastation, the two found opportunity — insurance restoration work. They started a small roofing company focused on insurance adjustment work in Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. They liked the work, but the travel exhausted them. So, in 2010 they launched Absolute Roofing & Waterproofing, a residential roofing company serving the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Perry’s father, a veteran salesman, joined the company in its second year. By 2016, Absolute had moved to Frisco, Texas, and expanded to Waco. Guess and Perry added commercial and industrial roofing work to their business model and diversified into metal roofing and fabrication, selling to other contractors.

The company currently has about $7 million worth of work in its pipeline, 15 full-time employees, and uses subs to maintain a 70/30 commercial/residential split. Survival and profiting in a market saturated with roofing companies remains a challenge, despite the area’s rapid construction growth. Texas, in particular, does not require roofers to be licensed, so that when disaster hits, everyone hangs out a shingle and competition is fierce.

Guess and Perry say that key to success is being willing to outwork, outhustle, and outperform the competition. And, they credit their vision to their commitment to do things the right way and to give the best client experience to each and every client.

What Guess and Perry don’t spell out is that rapid growth required them to develop a business-appropriate infrastructure. Roofers, other trades, and even general contractors can only ensure their clients of the best possible experience (and that their companies remain profitable) when jobs are specified properly, bid accurately, and executed on time and on budget and that requires access to real-time information.

Be on the cutting edge of industry evolution
Another under-40 “Young Gun,” Caleb Strickler has taken the gospel of “access to real-time data” to heart. Working on roofs with his father as a teenaged project manager, he quickly realized that the best way to make more money — and move up the ladder, before eventually getting off it — was to stay productive and strive to be on the cutting edge as the industry evolved. Strickler currently is a field supervisor with Puff Inc., a provider of cold-storage and controlled-atmosphere storage which evolved into roofing, spray foam, and coatings.

As a field supervisor, Strickler is more involved in the bidding process, pre-construction, post construction, inspections and permitting process, and in the forensics of existing roofs and insulation/air barrier projects. Puff Inc. has embraced technology to enhance job site efficiency and deliver higher-quality service to customers. The company recently restructured its crews to improve productivity and relies on smartphones for real-time communication, sharing photos and client interaction.

So…if productivity matters, how are you doing?
You’re a contractor and a business owner, not a paper shuffler. There are tools and technologies designed to help you work on your business, not in your business so you can run your business with an eye towards delivering client satisfaction and profitable returns on every job you take on.

Smart operations matter. Just ask the Young Guns
Are you bidding accurately? Allocating time and materials appropriately? Do you know where your people are and what they’re doing? You should.

Accessing tools to deliver real transparency into hours, job assignments, client management, and productivity helps you ensure existing projects stay on schedule and on budget, and help you quickly collate and submit estimates for new business. These tools can mean the difference between eking out a living and making real money. And maybe even cut down the back office cleanup you do nights and weekends.

How do you get there? Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors integrate their business management needs with accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office.

So let’s talk. Pick up the phone. Call me at 212-233-3230. I’m Marc Visent, and I’m one of the founders of this company.

Knowify. Built for the real world.

Release 2.15: Change Log

Our new release 2.15 is out! After 8 weeks of intense work, we’ve added many new features and improvements that will help you work faster and manage your business better.

This is the complete change log:

1. New e-signature infrastructure: After a thorough internal review, we discovered that almost 5% of Knowify e-signature attempts by 3rd parties (ie, your customers) were encountering difficulties. Most of these issues were due to old browsers or very high security settings, but even still we knew that that % was much too high. We completely rebuilt e-signature as a result. We expect far fewer issues going forward, with the added benefit of a better mobile-phone experience.

New e-Signature site

2. We’ve deployed the infrastructure to process credit card and ACH payments from your customers. This feature will be available to everyone by the end of the year.

Process credit card and ACH payments

3. Quick import from spreadsheet for plans and proposals: Easily paste multiple lines from any spreadsheet to a project plan or proposal in Knowify. This feature gets you one step closer to eliminating any double entry of data.

4. Ability to add manual locations when our map service cannot find the address. This will help you deal with new developments. Just drop a pin in the map so that we can get the exact GPS location.

5. Better support for taxes in Canada and Mexico: for our international users, we have improved the ability of Knowify to manage multiple tax rates in one single invoice.

Tax rates at the line item level

6. Improved sorting of line items in invoices.

7. Maintenance contracts: we have modified the language in our default template to better support per-visit billing. Keep in mind that we can customize these outputs for you. Just ping our customer support team.

8. Editing purchase orders will now modify any associated billable items when dealing with time and materials jobs.

9. Faster management of purchase orders: for those dealing with hundreds of open POs, we have improved the PO section to speed it up.

10. When you convert a service ticket into a contract job, we have improved the management of existing purchases and time entries so that they all display in the plan&track section.

11. We finally got rid of certain validations we had in the clients and vendors sections around emails. Now you can create/update different clients/vendors with the same email if you wish to.

12. Vendors marked as subcontractors (or 1099s) can be associated with mobile users now. This will let you give access to our smartphone app to your subs if you wish to.

Subs with mobile access

13. When processing vendor bills, we have included a warning if you are trying to add an invoice number that already exists on Knowify. This will avoid any double-entry issues.

14. Faster management of time entries: the review time section will be faster with our latest changes.

15. When adding new users, we have a new feature that helps you autocomplete the email address. Quite simple, but who wants to type all these domain names?

16. When creating invoices for your clients, you can now set the the markup for items coming from your catalog. We will also pull both cost and list price for these items.

17. Our catalog section has changed. There was unanimous feedback from the Knowify community to make it a regular table, so it was pretty obvious what we had to do.

18. Support for inventory items in catalog. You can now import inventory items from QuickBooks Online into Knowify.

19. Variable deliverables in other agreements will let you bill your customers by visit. Knowify will calculate the number of visits based on the number of time entries when you are about to create the invoice.

20. Support for QuickBooks Online categories: this is just a first step towards merging QuickBooks Online categories with Knowify tags in the catalog. This will be fully functional by the end of this year.

21. Final deployment of our infrastructure to support QuickBooks Desktop.

Stay tuned, because we have many improvements coming up by the end of the year, namely all our new features around our partnership with GAF and the ability to process credit card payments with Knowify.

The Knowify Team

Tracking Time Efficiently From the Job Site

Tracking labor time is an essential process for most construction companies, whether for payroll, measuring job progress or time and material billing.

At Knowify, we’ve seen all sorts of outdated methods for tracking time: from people calling the office and leaving a voice message with the number of hours (ouch!) to paper sheets filled out by the foreman on the jobsite. It’s 2016! There are much more efficient ways to track time!

With the Knowify mobile app, not only will you get to enjoy high automated timekeeping, but you will also be able to see in real time how your job is performing. That’s a big deal!

The Knowify mobile app, available for both IOS and Android, allows you to track time in 4 different ways:

1) Individual check in / check out (online): This is the most precise way of tracking time. In the first tab of the smartphone app, you’ll see a list of scheduled jobs. You can check into any of those jobs (or use the “Find” feature to check in to an unlisted one) and we’ll record the GPS location and the check in time.

Check In

Upon checking out, we record the GPS location and the check out time, and calculate the time and cost associated with the time entry for job costing purposes. No more waiting until the end of the week or the month to know where you stand: have that information in a timely manner, enabling you to make better, faster decisions in your business.

Recent check ins

2) Individual check in / check out (offline): When you have low or non internet connection, you can still use the app to check in and out. On the login screen, just click ‘Enter offline mode’ to stop relying on your internet connection.

OfflineMode

Once inside the Offline Mode section, you’ll see the list of unsynced offline check ins, if any:

OfflineInside

Now, if you wish to check in just select a job from the list and check in. If you don’t see the job (probably because with no internet connection you couldn’t download it), just click on Basic Check In and the time will be stored but unallocated. You’ll have a chance in the office to point it to the right job.

You might be wondering: if there is not internet connection, how do these time entries get uploaded into Knowify? Well, we definitely need internet connection at some point to make it work. Whenever you recover the connection, just log into the app and the time entries will be synced up with your account.

3) Foreman timekeeping (online): Many companies don’t want to leave it to their guys to enter their own time; they prefer to have a foreman or supervisor doing all the tracking. We get it. In the second tab of the smartphone app you’ll find the Forman section, where you can enter time or check in/out your crews.

4) Manual timecard entries (online): This is the most manual way of entering time, but it will also give you the flexibility to select the time and job. The downside is that we will not be able to record the GPS location. You will be able to manually add time in the third tab of the smartphone app. When you are there, just click on ‘Add Time’ to get started.

Manual Timecard

As you can see, we have quite a few options to track time. We know that every business is different, so we built the Knowify mobile app to have the flexibility to work in almost any situation.

Finally, keep in mind that any time entry submitted through the smartphone app can be adjusted from the office. For instance, if one of your guys left his phone at home, you can check him in and out from the office. You can also check him out if he forgets to check out at the end of the day.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on how to track time in your company. We know dealing with new technology can be frustrating sometimes, that why’s we have the best of the best in our team to help you out.

The Knowify Team

Who are you? (And why that matters to the people who hire you)

Who are you? (And why that matters to the people who hire you)

These days, it’s pretty easy to start a business. Maybe you started your career as a laborer. Then you picked up a couple of small jobs on your own (friends of friends of friends). Then you had to get more help. You hired a pal to take on some of the work, and suddenly you had to get more serious.

You printed up business cards, started chatting up architects or interior designers, made friends with the staff at the local hardware store, or Home Depot, or Lowe’s, asked for and referred business to other contractors or subs who don’t do what you do, posted your card or flyer on the corkboards at any local store or diner that would have you. Then what?

If you are still reading this, then you did not just sit around waiting for the phone to ring. You’re still in business. Growing that business is another matter.

Who should you call?

How about your accountant? Accountants see how other business, whether in construction like you or in other industries, start and evolve all the time. They should be an expert resource. Is yours?

Residential GC-ing, managing subs or even being a subcontractor managing clients, supplies, people, and jobs, is a lot harder than it looks. Add to that, managing your back office — contracts, invoices, collections, timesheets…the list goes on…it’s enough to make a normal person’s head explode.

Ask for help

Ask your accountant for recommendations on how to run your business more…well…like a business. You’re a contractor and a business owner, not a paper shuffler. There are lots of systems that take the pain out of bookkeeping (QuickBooks is one), and others (like Knowify) designed to help contractors manage the rest of their business efficiently and profitability– in and out of the field.

Knowledge is power

Does your accountant have it? Or is the firm simply “doing your books?” Accountants can be very expensive bookkeepers if they are not also advising you on best practices for running and growing your business. Ask for help. Demand recommendations. Discuss the tools and technologies available to you to evaluate the profitability of every client and every job so you can plan ahead.

Smart operations matter

Are you bidding accurately? Allocating time and materials appropriately? Do you know where your people are and what they’re doing?

You should. Accessing tools to deliver real transparency into hours, job assignments, client management, and productivity to ensure projects stay on schedule and on budget can make the difference between eking out a living and making real money. And maybe even cut down the back office cleanup you do nights and weekends.

How do you get there? Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors integrate their business management needs with accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office.

So let’s talk. Pick up the phone. Call me at 212-233-3230. I’m Marc Visent, and I’m one of the founders of this company.

Knowify. Built for the real world.

Plan for success!

Earlier this year, Guillaume Bailly, a GAF Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (CARE) manager in Canada published a blog on exploring the key distinguishers between contractors who succeed and contractors who…don’t succeed.

Strong (or poor) business management and strong (or poor) business operations were the overarching challenges he identified. Among the issues he cited common to those contractors struggling:

  • Lack of vision, strategy, and tactics;
  • Difficulty managing growth;
  • Marketing errors — specifically in targeting the wrong prospects; and
  • Cash flow and expenses.

Who/What/How

Like any small-to-mid-sized businesses, the owners/manager of construction companies, subcontractors and the trade all too often gets caught up in or even overwhelmed by the daily minutiae of running their businesses — finding the work, putting out fires, managing teams, overseeing POs and change orders and… With only 24 hours in a day, taking a moment to look at the big picture — “How are YOU doing?” seems like an extravagant luxury.

But it’s not. And GAF CARE Manager Bailly asks that contractors consider what he calls the “killer” question: When was the last time you took a moment to think about your company’s vision (that aspirational description of your company’s long-term goals or mission) — the Who; or the What — your plan to get you to your goal; and the How – the tactics you’re going to employ to reach those goals or achieve your mission.

Write it down

The most common response to those questions is: “It’s in my head. I know all this.” In your head is invisible — out of sight and out of mind. If you’ve never thought about the who/what/how of your business, or haven’t reviewed your situation for more than a year…Labor Day weekend is as good a time as ever to put those wheels into motion.

Write down your who/what/how and then share your notes with your key employees the Tuesday after the holiday. Bailly, who’s been training roofing contractors of all sizes for the past three years says, “When I walk into a successful company, I always see a mission and vision statement on the wall somewhere, and when I dive deeper into their operation, that vision is easy to see. [And] when I ask them about their plan this year, they typically correct me and say: ‘Our strategy is…’ as opposed to giving me a sales number such as $2 million.

“A sales plan is good, Bailly explains, “but a strategy is much better.” Ensure that every member of the team is aware of your strategy, discuss it at regular meetings when you review progress towards goals. Develop the tactics to address your market’s conditions. In his post, he references the example of a salesperson with a rural territory made up mostly of farmers. “Farmers believe that when something is broken, you fix it and make it last, not throw it away. So [this salesperson] put together a rural maintenance program for farmers that includes a roof inspection and cleaning every other year, free for the first four years. He then offers a discounted price to lock in a maintenance plan for 10, 20, or 30 years.”

So what are you doing?

Part of the problem Bailly was addressing is time management. Whether you are running a two-person shop or a 150 member team, finding the time to work on your business is ever so much harder than working in your business.

That’s why we created Knowify (that’s our commercial!): Our mission/vision is to help contractors run their businesses efficiently and profitably. And that means reducing time-consuming paperwork. We believe that in an environment where everyone you work with and work for has a smartphone, a laptop, or a tablet, there is no place for paper spreadsheets, timecards, and paper-intensive estimates, billing, or change orders.

It is possible to be a craftsperson and efficient. You can deliver old-school customer service while running your back office on new school technology. Why not run your business, your estimating, your purchasing, jobs progress/change orders, and labor on tools designed to make your life easier?

How do you get there? Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors integrate their business management needs with accounting systems like QuickBooks from an easy-to-use interface accessible from any device — in the field and in the office.

So let’s talk. Pick up the phone. Call me at 212-233-3230. I’m Marc Visent, and I’m one of the founders of this company.

Knowify. Built for the real world.