Tips to improve your business processes
According to our recent Tradify Pulse Survey, 69% of trade business owners in Australia said they often or almost always feel in control of their business. In New Zealand and the UK, the same statistic sits at a close 66%. But that still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
One of the biggest issues tradies face is getting on top of their admin. When we asked more than 300 Pulse survey respondents what makes a great trades business, operating efficiently came out on top.
Interested to know how your trades business stacks up compared to other tradies in terms of how much time you spend on admin? Take our 60 second quiz.
Here are the five admin tasks trades business owners want more control over – and tips on how, with a few small improvements, you can increase the overall efficiency of your business.
1. Managing jobs efficiently
Most trades business owners are confidently managing their workload, but as your business grows, and you take on more jobs and staff, a manual system can quickly lead to things falling through the cracks.
In the UK, 44% of tradies spend more than 12 hours a week on paperwork (in Australia 40%, New Zealand 33%). That’s time that could be spent on the job, making money. Using the right technology tools can help your business work smarter and faster.
“You can keep a track of things – anything you’ve said to people, the things you’ve used, hours. If you’re doing lots in a day, it’s really good being able to schedule it in and see it all,” says Australian electrician Kiah Frederiks from Connect 2 Electrical Solutions.
2. Getting invoices out on time
One of the best ways to ensure cash is flowing in your business is to invoice as soon as possible. Waiting to tidy up your paperwork when you’re back in the office slows the process. So do chasing timesheets and deciphering notes on pocket paper.
“Tradify has made invoicing so much easier – it’s a seamless, easy process,” he says.
The faster you invoice, the quicker you get paid. With the right system, you can invoice as soon as you’ve finished a job, while still on-site. Also, a system that records time and costs every material makes invoicing easier – and helps you avoid leaving money on the table.
3. Finding new work
Although the majority of tradies surveyed know marketing and sales are an inevitable part of running a trades business, it’s not their favourite task. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective forms of marketing, but having an online presence is also essential.
You spend half your day on your mobile, and so do your customers. This doesn’t mean you need to be everywhere all the time, but it’s important people can find you in the online world – whether that be on Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
For tips and tricks on marketing your trades business, download our Marketing Toolkit
4. Knowing how you’re doing financially
To keep your business on track, understanding your current financial position is key.
When you have a clear picture of the cash moving in and out of your account, it’s easier to predict what your business will look like in the future. There might be a month where you need to focus on acquiring new jobs, bring on a new team member or reassess your expenses.
Knowing how they’re doing financially is something tradespeople want more control over, especially those in the UK and NZ.
Looking to get a better handle on your cash flow? Use our cash flow template and guide to get started.
5. Getting quotes out on time
Top of the priority list for trades business owners around the world is getting quotes out on time. For the tradies surveyed, this is the one admin task they unanimously agree they want more control over – and for good reason.
Getting quotes out quickly will give you a leg up on your competition – and directly boost your job win rate.
You need a system that allows you to rapidly process enquiries, pull in materials, labour and other costs, and hit send – ideally from your phone and maybe even while you’re at a worksite. Be sure to follow up any outstanding quotes as well.
“I used to spend so much time…only to provide a pretty generic quote. Now, they’re custom for each client, more detailed, and I can send them straight to the client.” - Craig Gifford, Gifford's Electrical, United Kingdom.
What are you doing to reduce admin?
For trades businesses wanting to be more efficient, and ready to handle anything that comes their way, slashing admin time must be the place to start. Too much time spent on paperwork is money down the drain, so even the simplest changes can help you significantly improve the efficiency of your business – and give you back time you can spend on the tools or doing something you really want to do!
Get the full Tradify Pulse Survey and see for yourself how Tradify can help you get your admin sorted with a 14-day free trial.