There’s more to being a home improvement contractor than meets the eye, primarily if you work for yourself. As a small business owner, you’re responsible for everything from acquiring clients and surveying a site to back-end tasks like marketing and accounting. Ultimately, trying to manage these tasks while ensuring you provide accurate, safe, and quality work to existing customers is challenging. While each step is essential, they take a significant amount of time from your core duties, slowing productivity and weakening the customer’s experience.
Although being a “jack-of-all-trades” comes with the territory of being a home improvement contractor, having efficient solutions to streamline processes is vital. Fortunately, there are technological tools and resources contractors can tap into to increase the chances of success. Continue reading to learn more.
Most home improvement contractors and tradespeople would agree that a lot of their business comes through word of mouth. For example, they complete a project for one client. This client then shows off the work to others, who ask for a referral. While this concept is still alive and efficient, the internet of things has changed its structure just a bit.
These days, consumers will check out company websites before making contact with an individual. They’ll want to review everything from your previous projects and customer reviews to team profiles and a list of services. Having a website for your contracting business can also be ideal for scheduling appointments, answering common questions, and advertising promotions.
Contractor Referral Platforms
If someone were to mention your name or company, what would they say about you? Your brand’s reputation is vital to your success. While having previous customers write or record positive reviews for your website is an effective practice, you should also look to external platforms. There are referral platforms like HomeAdvisor that fill that void. They essentially connect reputable, licensed, and qualified contractors with homeowners in need of their services.
If you check out HomeAdvisor reviews, you’ll see that consumers love having a place they can go to read and connect with other homeowners that provide authentic stories about their experiences with certain contractors. In addition, it saves them time and money by helping them narrow down their options by location, affordability, and positivity rankings.
Project Management Software
Client acquisition and marketing are the only back-end tasks for home improvement contractors. Once they’ve secured a contract with a client, they are responsible for managing and completing the project from start to finish. Tasks can range from project design and budget to employee and time management. Trying to keep up with all these things the old-fashioned way increases costs, slows project timelines and leaves too much room for error.
Project management software remedies most of these problems. It’s easy to install on laptops, smartphones, or tablets and accessible from anywhere with internet service. In addition, such tech tools incorporate management and collaboration features to make completing projects more efficient. For example, contractors can use the software to set up new projects, establish a budget, delegate tasks, track progress, communicate with customers, manage inventory, and more.
Beyond keeping a renovation within the client’s budget, contractors must know how to manage, spend, and save the revenue they generate. Unless you’ve had some prior experience, training, or education in accounting, keeping the books in order could prove challenging. You must keep track of sales, expenses, profits, and savings.
If you have employees or subcontractors, there’s also managing and distributing payroll. Not to mention the annual (sometimes quarterly) task of generating financial reports for taxes. Essentially, installing the appropriate accounting software can streamline these processes saving time and reducing clerical or financial errors.
The home renovation industry brings in more than $400 billion every year. With that type of financial potential, professionals in trades ranging from general contracting and construction to plumbing and electrical work are establishing their own businesses. As being successful in this field requires more than trade-specific skills, many rely on technologies like those listed above to help them reduce stress, improve productivity, and provide an overall positive client experience.
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