When you start a small business, time and money are your most precious assets. It’s hard to stay on top of everything with so little resources at your disposal, and if you have any extra hands on deck, you’re one of the lucky few. 60% of small business owners don’t have employees. So chances are, you’re tired as hell.
You’re already working hard to keep everything afloat, from booking jobs to making sure clients pay on time. Now it’s time to work smart. While there’s no magic tip on how to make easy money, there are plenty of small business ideas that make your current resources go further. So that you don’t lose another footy game or barbeque to the dreaded pen and paper, here are some killer tips that will help you win back your free time.
Get your payments sorted
Offering a service, such as repairs or cleaning, is often viewed as the best type of business to start. That’s because it requires a lot less money to get off the ground compared to other small businesses. However, there comes a time when there are so many bills and expenses coming and going that it becomes a real headache to manage.
Small businesses wait an average of 34 days to be paid on a 30-day invoice. This leaves you short for cash at the worst possible times, and constantly chasing up overdue payments instead of enjoying your weekends.
While late payments will happen from time to time, the best way to reduce them is to get your payment system sorted. Accounting software makes managing payments easier by instantly emailing invoices to your clients, and giving them a nudge using an automatic reminder if a payment is late. There are a lot to choose from, including Xero or QuickBooks, which means you can pick the one that suits your needs. Ultimately, getting your payments under control is not only a timesaver, but will save you from going grey with stress.
Reduce the paperwork
Paperwork sucks. Sending invoices, tracking down payments and filing expenses eat up precious hours in the day that could be spent with your family or mates. On top of that, with different files scattered across your desk and saved on your computer, it’s easy to double up on work or lose a document along the way. That’s why one of the most simple tradie tips for saving money and time is to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to do.
The best way to give paper the flick is to swap it out for job management software. A job management platform lets you to run your service business using one platform, which is accessible no matter where you are. By emailing quotes and invoices directly to clients in the app, you save yourself the headache of having to search for invoices and receipts when it’s time to balance the books or gather up your expenses. Putting everything in one piece of software also means your information is stored in one place and ready to be viewed in just a few mouse clicks.
Provide real-time updates
Nothing beats the customer service of a small business. You work hard to build your relationships with them and deliver amazing service. But maintaining this level of trust and high-quality service is a constantly juggling act. It’s tricky when it’s just you, but even more so when you’re running a team.
Say a client calls wanting to know if your team is on their way to do the job. You need to call or message your team to see where they are and, if they’re en route, they might pull over to take your call—delaying their arrival even more. You then have then call your client back to give them an update. If you’re running a team who are heading out to jobs for different clients, this quickly becomes a headache to manage and you feel like you’re constantly the middleman, not the boss.
This is where real-time tracking can help you and your team out.
Using the power of smartphones and GPS, real-time tracking shows the whereabouts of your staff on Google Maps, so clients stay updated on the progress of their job and instantly know if there are delays. Not only does it save on time-consuming back-and-forth—it also means clients aren’t left in the dark about who is where and what’s going on. It’s that little extra bit of visibility that turns customer service from good to great.
Invest in job management software
Being a one-man team, you have to do everything from finding clients to running your company Facebook account and chasing up finances. It’s rewarding, sure, but it’s also tough, especially when you’re starting a small business. You’re constantly learning new things, putting out fires, communicating with clients, following up late payments and training your staff. While you have more freedom to be your own boss, often that also means putting in time over the weekends or evenings just to get everything done.
Because of this, one of the best pieces of small business advice for tradies is to bring their business online with job management software.
Think of job management software as your virtual helping hand. Rather than calling up a tradie to brief them, you just create a task in the platform and assign it to a team member, who gets the notification on their mobile. When the job’s done, you get a notification directly in the app. Job management software also works with accounting apps for invoicing and paperwork, so all the information on your business is available in one place.
Ready to save time and money with job management software? Geo is here to help you get more out of your small business. Get started with a free 30 day trial here.
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