Many small and medium business in the trades and services sector such as plumbers, electricians, cleaning organisations and maintenance and repair services to mention a few, express the annoyance that they spend far too long performing menial tasks that bear little or no relation to the core process of the service that their business actually offers. For new owners, it’s particularly challenging as they’re suddenly expected to become accountants, HR managers and advertising specialists all at the same time.

We see this especially in trades and services businesses where often the business owners are spending their evenings and weekends completing paperwork and sending out invoices. For these reasons, it becomes essential to find ways to cut down on the time spent on these tasks and maximise the actual productivity of the business.

We’ve compiled some top tips on increasing the productivity in your business utilising some technology and changes in thinking.

Embrace mobile technology and get your systems in the ‘cloud’

It is now possible to run your business from the palm of your hand using a smartphone or tablet device. Sure it takes some getting used to and perhaps a change to your systems, but so does working less and going on more holidays. With GeoOp you can easily create, assign, quote, cost and invoice all of your jobs from your smartphone or tablet. There are a number of other apps you can use to keep an eye on your business as well including accounting and invoicing apps, stock and inventory and CRM systems depending on your requirements. All of these increase your productivity and allow you to access up to date information in real time, from anywhere.

Invoice right now, yes now!

One of the biggest headaches for tradies is the financial side of the business. Especially managing the time from job completion, to invoicing and finally being paid. Making things like invoicing easy and enabling the capability for the business owner to be able to choose when they’d like to invoice with the instant availability of the job details and charges through a job management system like GeoOp enhances productivity. If you wish, you could really speed cash flow by enabling staff to invoice once the job is completed.

However, if you wanted to conduct any checks or you didn’t want your staff to see the final charges being invoiced out, you or an accounts person can invoice at regular intervals, as all the information is available on hand. Just ensure you set specific times whether it’s daily or weekly to ensure it’s done regularly. GeoOp integrates with great cloud accounting solutions so you can seamlessly have your invoices in your accounting system, saving you needing to duplicate the information. It also allows for your general ledger to be updated and your profit and loss reports done.

Take payments on the road

Talk to your bank about setting a mobile EFTPOS facility or if they have a payment app available so your staff and contractors can take payments and deposits while out in the field speeding up productivity. GeoOp integrates to payment solutions such as St George Bank and DPS Payments as well, so any payments taken out in the field are correctly reflected against the job.

Outsource

Spending hours a month doing your books and GST, or are you missing opportunities to bring in new business because you’re out fixing up mistakes? Look at what you can outsource to so you can spend more time on billable hours and leveraging the time you do work to the fullest.

Automatic customer scheduling

If you’ve got regular jobs you complete for customers, you can create recurring jobs in GeoOp and set the frequency as well to save you time inputting them. You can also grant your customers individual login details to be able to input, edit and see the status of their own jobs. With website integrations available too, even new customers who have just found you can request a job. Enabling these features means increased productivity for you and your office staff and increased communication and transparency with your customers as well.

Talk less

Improving communication between team members and access to information on clients can vastly speed up productivity on the job. Often previous job history is needed while on the job and many phone calls are needed to find it. With GeoOp you can bring up a full job history of the client while on site and move onto fixing the problem straight away.

Get online

With majority of customers now turning online to find their next tradie, their local tradie or references for a businesses’ work, you must get online. Whether its through a website, social media channels, blogs etc you need to ensure its easy for your customers and potential customers to be able to find you and find out about you.

GeoOp is complete job management all wrapped into a low cost, easy to use service with premium support. It’s wherever you and your team are and can be used on any device. For your free trial click here.