1. Modern Accounting
By modern, I mean that your accounting software should easily give you job costing, and other logical reports at the click of a button. Technology that works is expected in today’s world so don’t settle for an accounting system that doesn’t. At BOLT, we recommend QUICKBOOKS for the average subcontractor. At the time of this article, they are the only software for contractors that has made the transition to the 21st century and done it the right way. All the other software you use in your company should easily integrate into QuickBooks. However, if you are a large subcontractor or have multiple shops, you may want to consider Sage 300 and Spectrum Dexter + Chaney. We have integrations with both programs. Pro Tip: if an accounting software doesn’t have API’s, run away. None of your other programs will communicate with it, and custom made integrations will be a pain to work with.
2. Operation Software
Here is my shameless plug for BOLT. Currently, were the only operation software that is a turnkey fit for the trades in the homebuilding industry. There are other software’s out there like Service Titan, or ESub which are better for trades that do service or commercial work. Tip: read some of the other BLOG ENTRIES on our website. You will learn more than you even need to know about Operation Software. You need to get this option right because it will be the hub that runs your entire company.
3. GPS Locating
Verizon bought Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion because they see the value in this industry. It’s invaluable to know where your assets are at all times of the day. At this time, Bolt will tell you where your crews are located, and our geo-locating also helps when validating payroll.
4. Customer Portal
See if your operational software gives your customers a place to interact with you. This cuts out missed communications and can save on customer service overhead. Worst case, pay your web developer to build you a contact form that populates requests from your customers through your website.
5. Automated Processes
This will take time. Write down the process that every employee goes through to complete a task, and keep them secured online in a document. Every great company has their processes systematized. This will allow you to look for productivity bottlenecks and will expose areas where you can use technology to automate a process here or there.
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Get a ZAPIER account. Trust me. Zapier is a web app that makes it easy to automate tasks between web apps. This will allow you thousands of integration opportunities and will help with automating your business processes.
7. Modern Sales
Get a CRM software. Good news is that there are free CRM’s like HUBSPOT that will do the job. Sales need to be organized and systematized and with a good CRM you don’t have to leave your sales up to chance. Tip: some operational softwares will have this included.
8. Photos and Videos
Take lots and lots of photos and videos during your work process and have a singular place to host and share them throughout your organization. This eliminates he said she said conversations. Enough said. Cover your back. You’re not liable if you have photo or video proof that you did the job correctly.
9. Company Phones and Tablets
It speeds up communication. If you’re on a budget, used phones and tablets are pretty economical to purchase. Your cell provider should be able to bundle you into a group discount. We see companies that average 2G of data per employee on the high end.
10. Digital Media
Start publishing information on your social media sites that helps your market. Give, give, give, and give information to your customer base. It’s what we’re doing right here. The more you can do to build up your market, the more they will do to build up your business. Take a look at our journal entry, “HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS CHANGING THE SUBCONTRACTING INDUSTRY” for an introduction to understanding how you can take advantage of social media. Start with Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Tip: search Youtube for digital media tutorials.
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