How to utilise technology as a trades business

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By John Armitage

When it comes to running a trades business, technology can become your right-hand man, helping you with basic tasks that would usually mop up your time, as well as finding new customers and markets, organising payment systems, and planning your time efficiently.

By using these handy tips, utilise the power of technology and see your business fly.

Stock Taking

Knowing how much stock you have and where can be one of the trickiest parts of running a trades business, especially if you’re operating on a big scale. Tracking inventory is vital so you can accurately project earnings, plan ahead, and spot theft. Not only this, it is vital in organising warehouses (if you have one), it builds on customer trust and increases productivity by eliminating tasks that have already been done and highlighting the urgency of others.

Excel is a great low-cost, inventory management solution. A basic template will work fine as it has tools, features, and formulas already built in. Utilise spreadsheets for materials like treated timber, use the formulas to calculate numbers on your total sales, profit, and organise your inventory based on this. Functions like SUM, SORT, and RANK do exactly what they say on the tin at the touch of a button.

Marketing

In this modern world of marketing, social media is key. Word-of-mouth recommendations and ads in the local papers will only get you so far. First, make sure you’re listed on a web directory site such as Yelp or Dentons so people can find you easily. Then go official on Google with Google My Business. It takes just a few minutes and makes you a verified business that customers will trust.

Finally, take yourself to the top of Google Search with some failsafe SEO, gain reviews from past customers and make sure to communicate with your following on social media. That means answering questions customers might have, sharing images, and joining Facebook groups with common interests.

Managing payments

Manually issuing and chasing invoices can be time-consuming, so investigate creating an automated payment system. Most payment management systems are built with an automated paying system, meaning that you can schedule the payment and the application will do the rest. It also serves as a handy storage box for all past and present invoices and accurately calculates tax obligations too.

Planning your day

Finally, invest in your and your team’s productivity. Technology can streamline all sorts of processes like purchasing materials and creating bids, as well as decreasing paperwork and finding solutions to common issues on online forums. Now, logistical and administrative tasks that used to take up most of your day are sorted, leaving you free to make your business even better.

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