Contractor Corner

If you’ve been in the contracting business for decades, you know how technology has changed the business.  If not, you rely on technology that has become second nature to you.  So what technology has helped shape contracting today?

Portability

Computers have been around for decades and many businesses have used them.  However computers have become smaller and more portable.  Contractors today can use their mobile phone, a tablet or small laptop on the job site to keep in contact with their office, check their schedules, log expenses and invoice a job right on site.  It is possible to run an “office” without a full staff.

Communication is instant

Contacting customers and prospects can be done from anywhere with cell phones.  Staying connected to your techs to find out the progress of jobs is instant with cell phones and GPS trackers.  This all can give you the assurance that your customers are being given the service they and you expect.

Your schedule

By using your cell phone, tablet or laptop you can be in control of your schedule as well.  Or you could allow an outside service company the same access to handle your scheduling and dispatch for you.  Being able to be in that “in the moment” in control of your time.

The same goes for your accounting

Programs like QuickBooks allow you to add and track payments to you, expenses and pay bills with a click of a button on your smartphone, tablet of laptop.  Instead of taking time to sit at a desk and log each payment or receipt you can do it on the fly.  Again, you can also hire a customer service company that also handles QuickBooks for you.  Either way it will save you time.

3 Ways Technology Has Changed The Contracting Business

As a contractor, you know that keeping on top of your books and ledgers is important. It takes time daily to keep things up to date and that may be something you just don’t have the time, or know how, to do. So what do you do?

You can hire a bookkeeper but that still means you have to do the final steps or also hire an accountant to give you the total picture you need. You could also hire a service that gives you a full service QuickBooks Team. So which is best for you? Depends on what each provides to you, the business owner.

Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper is a person, employee or outside person, who is responsible for recording all your business transactions. When you send an invoice, they record it. When you receive a deposit or payment, they record it.

They could use your QuickBooks software or their own system. They have some knowledge about accounts, sales, receivables and maybe even payroll.

It still leaves a lot of work for you. You need to set up and manage your QuickBooks software, produce and send invoices, send your payments, reconcile your credit card statements and analyze the financial information.

QuickBooks team

A full service QuickBooks team such as Contractor In Charge will be able to do a lot more for you. They will do the setup and management of QuickBooks and manage your accounts receivables and accounts payables.

This includes doing your invoicing, cash receipts and payment posting as well as managing your vendors and posting and paying invoices to your vendors.

The team will also reconcile your monthly bank and credit card transactions and close out each month for you. After that they will provide you with monthly analysis of cash flows, monthly financial statements and do your sales tax reporting and filing.

Sounds like the Contractor In Charge team would take a lot of things off of your plate, letting you do what you went into business to do… serve your customers.

If you’d like more information about a QuickBooks Team visit our In Charge Services Page!

What Is the Difference Between A Bookkeeper and A Full Service Quickbooks Team ... As a contractor, you know that keeping on top of your books and ledgers is important. It takes time daily to keep things up to date and that may be something you just don't have the time, or know how, to do. So what do you do?

One aspect of business that is so important to keep up to date and accurate is your bookkeeping and accounting. As busy as you are, it’s hard to keep up with that part of your business. Instead of hiring someone, friends have suggested using Quickbooks, but you aren’t the most computer savvy and really don’t have the time to use it anyway.

Some options

Bookkeeping is really important. It directly affects your business in so many ways. Not only in paying your taxes, but also in planning things like growing your business, purchasing new equipment, hiring staff or techs and so on.

Putting it off isn’t an option. So what can you do? You could hire a bookkeeper, but that entails benefits and all of the things hiring an employee entails. You could hire an outside bookkeeper, but then you are one of many clients.

The solution

Use an outsourcing virtual service that handles your front office and back office as a unit. Why? They already know your business. You were careful to find a service that knows contracting inside and out. They already have access to your scheduling software and have done a great job taking care of your clients and getting jobs on your calendar.

So why not turn over the invoicing and bookkeeping as well? Your scheduling software keeps track of the jobs in time and materials. They have what they need. It’s the perfect synergy!

Make your life even easier and outsource your Quickbooks today!

Start Outsourcing Your Quickbooks Accounting Today! Instead of hiring someone, friends have suggested using Quickbooks, but you aren't the most computer savvy and really don't have the time to use it anyway.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Everyone says that and as a busy contractor you couldn’t agree more. There is never enough time to get to those phone calls. Never enough time to schedule all those needed service calls. Certainly never enough time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So what can you do?

1. Schedule

First, the best thing to do is to schedule your time and stick to it. Too often you probably find yourself varying from the schedule to deal with some kind of emergency. How often does that happen on off hours you should be spending with your family? Blocking time and honoring those time blocks is key to balancing your life.

2. Staffing

Next, be sure you are adequately staffed. All those emergencies could be handled by other service techs instead of by you. If you are that busy, being a solo guy (or gal) is not the best use of your time and resources. Time to hire talented people who can help expand your business by being available when you aren’t. That also means that multiple techs can be on multiple calls, something you can’t do as a solo.

3. Your business number

You probably made the mistake of using your cell phone as your business number. Now there is never down time because all of the calls are coming to your cell at all hours of the day and night. While it probably seemed a good idea at the time, you now realize what a colossal mistake in judgment that was. The solution? Well there are a few, but the first would be go get a new cell for personal use and DON’T give that number to customers. The next is turn OFF the business cell when you aren’t working. It has voicemail so use it.

4. Emergency calls

But all those emergency calls!!! And what about the ringing phone that goes on non-stop during business hours? Well, the answer to that may just be that you need to outsource your customer service to an outside dispatching and scheduling company. Not just any answering service, mind you, but one that understands your business. This kind of service will be helpful to your customers by knowing how to help them technically. They will also understand that not everything is an emergency and schedule them accordingly. Oh, and yes, they can schedule you and your techs for you.

All of these will give you your best and most precious resource back… your time!

If you are looking for real help getting some of your life back, make sure to check out our In Charge Services

 4 Ways To Gain More Time For Your Contracting Business ... There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Everyone says that and as a busy contractor you couldn't agree more. There is never enough time to get to those phone calls. Never enough time to schedule all those needed service calls. Certainly never enough time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. So what can you do?

Customer service is important to any business. It certainly applies to yours and you take that very seriously. The thing is, that if your staff just consists of you that’s a problem. If you have an assistant, can you be there all the time to ensure that your customers are getting consistent customer service?

Outsourcing is the right solution

Outsourcing is a perfect solution for either scenario. No, you’re not sending your customers to an impersonal call center in New Delhi. The outsourcing you’ll be doing will be to a US company that understands your business and customers.

Knowledgeable and quick!

A customer service outsourcing company is there to do everything you can’t. A good one will respond to your calls in seconds, not minutes. They will be knowledgeable about what you do and how well you do it.

Great, right? It gets better.

They will be answering your phones pleasantly and professionally. They will never get sick and tired of answering the same questions over and over. Your customers get friendly yet professional service that reflects very well on your business.

Dispatch and scheduling

The elite customer service outsourcing company will also have access to your dispatch program and schedule your techs for emergencies and scheduled service calls. Your customers will get top notch service and have their needs met immediately. You will relieve yourself of the burden of being tied to your phone or office and worrying about how your phones are (or aren’t) being answered.

Don’t be afraid to look into customer service outsourcing. It could be the best decision you ever make.

Customer Service Outsourcing – How Can An Outsourcing Company Be As Good As You Are? | Customer service is important to any business. It certainly applies to yours and you take that very seriously. The thing is, that if your staff just consists of you that’s a problem. If you have an assistant, can you be there all the time to ensure that your customers are getting consistent customer service?

You are a busy contractor that needs help with the calls coming in. You aren’t sure if an answering service would be best for you versus a customer and dispatch service. So what are the differences?

What an answering service does

An answering service will take your calls and give you messages. More likely than not you wouldn’t have the same person answering your calls. It’s impersonal, but gets you the messages that you need. Then you or your office assistant call the customers back and find out whether the messages are for an emergency or a planned job. If you use an answering service you will need to hire an office assistant, or take time from your day to make return calls.

A customer and dispatch service is different

First, most specialize if servicing contractors and you can find one that will understand your business. So why is that important? Well, when customers call they will know if there is an emergency or not and how to help them. Having knowledge about plumbing or electrical or builders means that the person answering your phones will be able to offer a quick solution in emergencies and get you or your service tech there more quickly. You are also more likely to have the same person answering your phones. Because they also dispatch instead of just taking messages that service tech will get there fast.

Will you need an extra office assistant with a customer and dispatch service?

Probably not. Since the person answering your phones is knowledgeable and will dispatch immediately or schedule service calls the need to hire and pay an extra person is probably nil. The cost of the service will be less than the salary, benefits and taxes you’ll have to pay for an additional employee. So do your homework, but you’ll probably find that a customer and dispatch service will be a great fit for you.

If you would like to learn more about how a dispatch service can help you, give us a call today! (813) 438-3666

How Do Answering Services Differ From A True Customer And Dispatch Service Company? | You are a busy contractor that needs help with the calls coming in. You aren’t sure if an answering service would be best for you versus a customer and dispatch service. So what are the differences?