Building Your Contractor Business With the Right Tech Chris Lonergan March 19, 2020 Share: Technology has gone from helpful additional tool to bare necessity within the blink of an eye. When contractors and home services providers could rely on only word-of-mouth referrals and carbon paper invoices within relatively recent memory, just about all businesses now recognize that having the right technology in place. Why Do I Need New Tech When I'm Doing Just Fine? At the end of the day, most of the actual work that contractors do for home and business owners can all be completed with the right physical tools and a bit of pencil and paper. But taking advantage of the right technology can help to take your business to the next levels of productivity, communication, and visibility. While you don't necessarily need every shiny new piece of tech out there, it is important to recognize where you could improve your business. In the Office – Technology Streamlines Your Workplace Phone calls, emails, and scheduling can most certainly still be done old school. But having the right technology in place can make those processes easier and faster. Dispatching & Job Details More contractor specific software, like Housecall Pro, has been hitting the market to make life easier in the office. With dispatching software that can determine all tech availability at a glance, you can have a more immediate answer for a prospective customer's scheduling questions. Details about job orders and inventory can be managed and reviewed near instantly. Increased Scheduling & Communication More advanced systems can even send appointment reminders and travel progress reports, to improve your successful service call communication. With some scheduling set-ups, a nightowl customer who is up at 3 in the morning can select the time for tomorrow's service call, all while your staff is asleep. With some online chat services, you can have automated messaging services running 24/7 as well. In the Field – Billing, Invoicing, and Reviews in Your Hand If you can equip your on-site employees with iPads or other internet-capable tablets, you open up the ability to more rapidly complete a variety of tasks – getting you paid faster and getting more responsibility off of your in-office staff. Immediate Payment for Services Rendered There is a sea of online payment vendors available that help you swipe your customer's credit card on the spot instead of calling in for authorization or taking down billing information for later submission. Completing payment and digital invoicing on the spot reduces the downtime between job completion and money in your account. Moving Your Reviews Online If you are still using paper comment cards, recycle them all now. The effort you and your customers put into completing paper comment cards is wasted – from a marketing standpoint. According To BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Using a reputation management system (like the one provided by Footbridge Media!) allows you to push your happy customers to the places on the internet that your prospective customers are going – like Google. Using our Review Management System as an example of how good technology helps to build your business, you can use an iPad to capture contact information to be used in review generation before you even leave your customer's property. It automatically communicates with your client to ask for a review, and also takes care of follow-up communication about online reviews. Technology can change rapidly. Be warned that sometimes the first people on new technology benefit greatly and other times they get burned (think about all of those people who bought Betamax, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD players out there). You shouldn't invest in new tech just because it is there. Make sure your technology selections make sense for your business, and that you complete your cost-benefit analysis before you go all in. In the end, the goal of technology is to take manual tasks and make them easier. That gives you more time to work on your business and your customers instead of sending additional hours behind a keyboard or on a phone when you don't have to be. About Chris Lonergan Chris Lonergan is the President of Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations. Recent Articles The Importance of Reputation Management for Contractor Businesses What Makes Your Business Unique - Discovering & Defining Your USP 7 Proven & Effective Ways to Improve Online Presence for Your Contractor Business 5 Tips for Positive Brand Building for Contractors Successful Ways to Earn Repeat and Referral Business Is Your Contractor Marketing Plan Up-to-Date?