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.
If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowify. Built for the real world.