In the February issue of Contractor Magazine, Matthew Cowan, co-founder and CEO of Breezeworks, chided contractors who are tracking customers on index cards and notebooks. Come into the 21st Century, he says, because, “given the low cost of some of the business management software available now, you don’t have to be a large conglomerate with an IT team to go digital.” Rather, he says, tap into your smartphone or tablet. There are plenty of systems to manage your business — your estimates, jobs, teams, purchase orders and invoices from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone — wherever you are (the beach?), whenever you want.
Cowan cites a recent article in Forbes that reported 61 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses now rely on cloud-based solutions to manage their business. What about you?
Moving from paper and pencil to computer and spreadsheet can seem strenuous enough. And when you look at all the cloud-based solutions, it can be pretty overwhelming. How do you choose?
I’m a small shop. I don’t have an IT person…
…or more likely, you are the IT person. Are you already using an accounting package, say QuickBooks? If so…if you’re not writing out payroll and issuing paychecks by hand, then you’re already a tech-savvy person. How long did it take you to learn that system? Not very, we bet. So you want the same kind of ease in your contractor-friendly, business management solution — one that lets you get started right away.
My customers want me…
That’s what you think, but what they really want is the information you provide. Like the answers to:
- – how much;
- – how long; and
- – what’s happening?
Make sure your software or cloud-based solution helps you stay in touch with customers, and vendors…and your team in the field.
My team is (check one) __ In the field __ In transit __ In the bar __ ???
Quoting EnTech, Cowan says that mobile apps can save small- and medium-sized businesses 725 million hours/year. (We’re not even going to do the math on that number!) Better still, there are cloud-based solutions specifically designed for contractors and subcontractors by automating customer communications and integrating with other systems you already have in place, including QuickBooks. (Full disclosure: Knowify is one of them!) Imagine bids based on real costs. Invoicing from your truck? Tracking employees and job progress from the beach? And sharing that data with designated members of your team?
Go paperless. Live digitally.
Create and send estimates out for signature electronically. Store them electronically. Invoice electronically. Increase your productivity, minimize administrative paperwork, serve your customers better, faster, more accurately. Win. Win. Win!
Why stick to paper and spreadsheets, when technology (the right technology), can help you institute best practices and deliver complete transparency into hours, job assignments, client management, and productivity to ensure your projects stay on schedule and on budget? You wouldn’t.
So how do you get there? Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping contractors integrate their business management needs with their accounting systems 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.