How to get back into the groove after a busy summer

Contractors are scrambling to complete their summer projects, while also strategizing on the best ways to ensure they stay occupied once the busy season comes to a close. Here at Knowify, our team appreciates just how important a productive fall is in ensuring your business success. We’ve built our software specifically with these issues in mind, and have come up with a few tips to make sure your team stays busy (and profitable) in the coming months.

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Why an app is only as good as its setup

Have you ever signed up for an app just to have it not work? It’s probably one of the most frustrating, yet easily avoidable, things we tech-savvy people can do. But, generally, it isn’t a big deal. You’ve downloaded an app on your phone that you thought was interesting or thought you might need, it doesn’t work properly, so you get rid of it and find something else. No harm, no foul.

But what happens when you’re using an app for more important tasks, like managing your finances?

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Zapier integration

Zap with Knowify

As you probably already know, Knowify covers a wide swathe of a contractor’s day-to-day business administration activities. But it doesn’t do everything – if it’s not job related, then Knowify may not address it. Would you like to use Knowify to help you with job costing and contract management, but wish it included a lead tracking or marketing side? Or perhaps you wish you could have your Knowify activity broadcast across your communication platform (like Slack), ensuring that everyone remained up-to-date on the activities of the business. We share your vision of end-to-end business automation, with modern software tools helping you to grow efficiently and intelligently, each one passing essential information to the others to ensure that your organization is a well-oiled machine.

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Knowify Feature Fit Small Business

Fit Small Business Feature

What is business software and where did it come from?

Busi­ness own­ers are often con­fused by the term “busi­ness soft­ware” or “busi­ness man­age­ment soft­ware,” so here is a brief his­tory of how busi­ness soft­ware came to be, what it is today, how it can help your business.

At the core of every busi­ness has always been its gen­eral ledger. As you prob­a­bly know, entries used to be recorded by hand before 1961 when the first large-scale com­put­er­ized account­ing sys­tem was intro­duced by IBM. This sys­tem was called 9Pac, and it was one of the first sys­tems to track the sales of every sales­per­son in a company.

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Estimates and Invoices, POs and Bills: How a Little Extra Effort Can Pay Off

The office side of the business is frequently unloved in construction. We like to joke that nobody ever got into construction so they could sit at a desk working on spreadsheets all day. Because construction guys would much rather be in the field, they often develop little workarounds to make the office side of things faster – but as with any workaround, they give up something in the process.

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Knowify for contractors takes admin to the cloud (Electrical Business)

By Renée Francoeur – Knowify, a cloud-based software designed to help manage the online functions for executing electrical business, is available in Canada. Knowify handles tasks like converting bids into contracts, estimating contracts, job management, dispatch/service ticket management, time keeping, purchasing, invoicing, scheduling and job-costing.

A Patrina Corporation subsidiary, Knowify was founded in 2012 and specializes in providing services for contractors. It is based out of New York City.

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Knowify (https://www.knowify.com/) represents the best in modern technology and business practices adapted for small to medium contractors. Knowify delivers a new set of powerful tools to manage such time- and paper-intensive administrative tasks as estimating, purchasing, time tracking, resource scheduling, and bill paying (accounts payable), and contract management, as well as accounts receivables and payables –and aggregates them into a single, secure, easy-to-use, always accessible online platform.

What does 3D printing really mean for your business?

An article in a recent issue of Plumbing Perspective talked about the impact 3D printers could have on the construction industry. Most of the opportunities mentioned related to large-scale construction — building the shell of a house, store, apartment, etc., in a single day without an on-site workforce. Imagine that? Robot sprayers guided by 3D “printing” instructions. Overtime pay…forget about it

But what does that mean for you and your business? If you’re a residential contractor or commercial/residential subcontractor, probably not much…now. But soon. Because, as the article points out, one of the big questions for the building trades will be how functional components like plumbing, heating, HVAC, and electrical systems will be integrated into the 3D printing ecosystem.

So, where are the people?

Not on your payroll…

…For HVAC folks, the article posits that a robot sprayer would create the housing for the HVAC systems that would then be installed by real people in the trades. For plumbers, it is possible that the 3D Contour Crafting process could build utility conduits inside the walls making plumbing automation a reality. Hmmmm.  3D printing could develop a modular approach to automate communication line wiring that could be robotically fed and connected. But let’s not stop there. Sensors and other devices can be implanted into 3D printed walls. Insulation and finish work (get ready plastering professionals) could be executed through specially-designed Contour Crafting nozzles. A painting mechanism would “paint” each wall like an inkjet printer, printing wall paper or other patterns directly onto the target surface. Even tiling could be automated.

3D construction printers cannot run a business

Cheap robotics or low-cost 3D construction printing are meaningless to a business managed on Excel spreadsheets. Firing people and hiring robots alone will not make you profitable. You still have to cost jobs, allocate resources, track purchasing and…bill in a timely manner.

Make sure you have the right technology

 As the contracting business evolves in all sectors, those who survive and thrive are contractors who pay attention to running their businesses…who monitor jobs and profitability…who keep the lines of communication open between their GCs, subs, and clients. (No matter how many robots you hire, you’ll still need people…for now!)

You still need to have the processes and procedures in place to run your business. If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at support@knowify.com.

Ask me about how we’ve helped other contractors like you get a handle on their business. Or…you could keep running your business on Excel spreadsheets.

Knowify. Built for the real world.

Organize your business with Knowify

Improving the way your business deals with clients

There’s a reason we here at Knowify decided early on that one of our most important features was going to be our contract/estimate builder. As a matter of best practices, every service you perform for a client should be covered by a signed contract or estimate. “But hey!” you might protest, “not everything I do rises to the level of a contract, and contracts are a pain to keep track of besides.” The reality is that all of your business relationships are defined by understandings – an understanding of what you will do and an understanding of what your client will pay. The only difference between an understanding and a contract is a piece of paper and a signature. You can decide whether you would rather have all of your business relationships in your head, legally unenforceable (or difficult to enforce), or have those relationships in an always available, organized online platform, signature attached, ready to go. Critically – because we realize that drawing up new contracts is a pain – the Knowify contract tool is easy, and, for simple agreements, can be used to put something together and send it out for signature QUICKLY.

Knowify contracts and estimates, like all contracts and estimates, are defined by the services you are going to render and the price your client is going to pay. We call these “deliverables”, and they can take a few different forms. Here’s a quick walkthrough of Knowify’s deliverables:

Fixed: Fixed deliverables are for one-time fixed-price goods or services. The number on the deliverable is the price the client will ultimately pay for the service. This deliverable type might cover things like “Plant a Tree, $500” or “Build a Website, $2500” or “Make a 3-tier Wedding Cake, $12002 – these are very simple examples, but you no doubt get the idea.

Recurring: These are fixed price items that recur with a regular frequency. Think of things like “Piano Lesson, $50/biweekly”, “Weekly Lawn Care, $400/wk”, “Software License, $1000/month”, etc. Knowify can really help you keep track of which of these regularly occurring services have been billed for already – the weekly ones especially can be easy to skip or not collect on, which can create problems with the client when you try to go back months later to collect!

Time and Materials: Time and Materials deliverables establish rates and markups for time and purchases, then connect those rates to time entries and the markups to the actual purchases made when it comes time for billing.  Rates for time entries can either by role (eg, Partner rate), by resource (eg, Fred Noell’s rate), or by a universal rate for all employees for that client’s project. Knowify will save you a lot of time in billing for time and materials jobs, because once the rates/markups are established, all you need to do is focus on collecting timesheets and purchase orders, because Knowify will automatically connect the dots behind the scenes.

Variable: Variable deliverables allow you to define a unit – for example, “Pizzas” – and a rate for the unit – “$12 per pizza”. When it comes time for billing, all you’ll need to do is tell the system how many “Pizzas” you sold to the client, and the contractual price will automatically be applied. Note that Knowify also allows for multi-tier pricing, so the first 10 might have one price, the next ten another, etc.

Lastly, Knowify has a powerful E-Signing tool that allows you to quickly and easily submit a contract or estimate for signature. You can use either Knowify’s professional-looking PDFs or your own uploaded PDF, and your client will receive an email taking them to an embedded view of the document. Once they’ve signed it, both parties will receive copies for their records – and you will sleep much better at night!

Come try out Knowify’s contracts and estimates tools today, and bring modern best-practices to your business, and finally without the hassle: knowify.com