Implementation: How to get started with Knowify… and succeed!

Maybe you’ve already decided to move forward with a business management package like Knowify. Maybe you’re just starting to think about it. In either case, you should be aware that implementing powerful, fully-integrated software packages is no small task. Please: go in eyes-wide-open. Knowify will transform your business for the better, but it does require an investment from you and your team – not typically in terms of monetary outlay (which is small), but rather in terms of time and a commitment to change old, stale business processes. If you’re ready to make the change though, and to embrace more streamlined, automated, and modern ways of running a contracting business… then read on!

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Webinar: 5 Key Strategies to Increase Profitability

Did you know that there are only 5 things every business owner needs to focus on in order to grow the bottom line? More importantly, do you know what they are? Join us this Wednesday, July 18, at 4pm ET, for a free webinar with Karie Kaufmann, Business Coach, Joanna Knox, Business Development at Fundbox, and Terrin Kalian, Business Success at Knowify, to learn 5 key strategies to increase profitability in your business.


Click here to watch this free webinar now!

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Putting numbers on the Knowify productivity improvement

It is nearly impossible to make it through a day without encountering an eye-roll-inducing product claim. You know the kind: Younger! Smarter! Healthier! Richer! Marketing language has extended so far into the realm of the preposterous that most of us are immune to it.

But it’s one thing to make a claim, and another thing entirely to back it up with numbers. We here at Knowify have long promised productivity increases – but what does that mean exactly? Is it a soft, wishy-washy claim that you’ll feel more organized and ‘productive’, but mostly business will roll on as usual? Or does it mean a significant change in your business processes in a way that will lead to efficiency, growth, and (hopefully) business transformation? Here’s what the data have to say:

Companies take on 20% more jobs by the end of their first year
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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?
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Moderate growth projected in home remodeling

How are you doing?

With warmer weather coming, a seasonal uptick in ground-up construction is always to be expected. But if you are a home remodeler, what’s going on in your world?

That’s what the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) asked more than 500 of its members. Based on responses of those surveyed (nearly 30 percent), NARI’s 4th quarter Remodeling Business Pulse points to a moderate rate of remodeling growth in the 4th quarter of 2015 and 1st quarter 2016. This represents a slight uptick with December ratings for current conditions slightly higher than those reported in September. Based on a scale of 1-9 (1 being the least positive), responses tallied 6.05 overall, which the Association notes still reflects growth (because it is above a neutral 5 point rating). Nonetheless, NARI reports the rating is still one of the lowest it has seen in the 16 waves of its study.

Modest gains demand smarter business practices

According to NARI remodelers responding, “All the sub-components of current conditions except one were down in December. None,” the survey reports, “were statistically significant, but two were almost at that level. The two changing the most were the declines in ‘Number of inquiries’ and ‘Requests for bids’.”

This is noteworthy to us as inquiries and bidding are key components of keeping one’s pipeline full. Here’s how the numbers and the change from NARI’s September 2015 study panned out:

– The Number of Inquiries tallied 5.73, down 4.8%;

– Requests for Bids came in at 5.77, down 4.6 %l

– The rate of Conversion of Bids to Jobs was 5.75, down a minute 1.0% from September 2015; but

– The Value of Jobs racked up 6.21 points — a 0.3% increase.

The “good-ish” news is that “conversion of bids to jobs” appears to have recovered from its previous rank as home remodeling’s weakest link. Looking at the current quarter, remodelers surveyed are more positive. A majority of those surveyed (58%) expect growth, compared to 14% who see some level of decline. The balance (28%) see sales remaining the same as last year. This good news is still less “good” than last year, according to NARI, when more remodelers projected better conditions through the year end.

Improved home prices and a plusher economy are expected to drive growth in 2016, as people take on a project they’d previously postponed. Overall design and core kitchen and bath remodeling are leading the charge, followed by energy savings initiatives and higher end products.

What kind of practices?

Operational efficiency is going to be key for most home remodelers this year. This means, smarter bids, tighter estimates, sharper margins, an efficiently allocated workforce, and better tracking/billing for time and materials.

For remodelers tracking this data on spreadsheets, this level of attention to detail can make the difference between a profitable year and something else. But it also means working more nights and weekends just to keep up with the paperwork. It’s an ugly reality unless one looks ahead and takes advantage of the many accounting and business management solutions currently on the market. Which makes sense…when’s the last time you pounded a nail into drywall using your shoe instead of an electric drill?

Technology matters

Technology (the right technology) can help contractors maximize the ROI of the inquiries received and bids produced. If knowledge is power, 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 cut down the back office cleanup you do nights and weekends. Win. Win. Win!

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 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 support@knowify.com.

Knowify. Built for the real world.