A common complaint of both tradies, and small business owners in general, is how much time it takes to keep a business up and running. When you’re not physically working, you’re either trying to attract new business, or spending all your hours chasing up invoices and working on your books. Here are five ways you can save time and gain a few hours back each week.
1 Say no to freebies
When you’re starting your own tradie business, you may find your services to be quite attractive to eager family and friends. And while it can be hard to say no to loved ones, you need to, especially if they are asking for a freebie or low-cost deal. Now’s the time to hustle and build up a real, profitable customer base, and your time is valuable. Once you start saying yes, it can be hard to stop the demands as time goes on.
2 Get on top of your paperwork
Paperwork can be almost a full-time gig in itself and if you don’t get on top of it at the start, it can quickly spiral out of control. Set your business up for success by using accounting software, like QuickBooks, that can sort your expenses, monitor your cash flow and help with tax obligations. You can also send invoices directly from your QuickBooks app while you’re at work, instead of letting them pile up and only getting to them in the evening or at the end of the work week.
3 Go online
Competition is fierce and it can be especially daunting when you’re first starting out. To make sure your tradie business stands out from the crowd, it’s worthwhile getting your business online. It will take time to set up a website and social media channels, but it can be an excellent way to market and grow your business long term. And it will save you constantly hustling for new business. Ask loyal customers to leave positive reviews on Google and Facebook to help build credibility and trust with potential customers.
4 Hire help
No one said you had to go it alone and there will come a time when you need to bring help on board. It can seem like a hassle at first, but in the long run, having extra help can save you serious time and effort. You may want to bring on contractors to help with your workload, or perhaps you could hire a part-time bookkeeper to help you manage your paperwork. You could even turn to a virtual assistant for help maintaining your website, your social media channels or even your emails.
5 Master the art of invoicing
It’s no secret that invoicing and getting paid on time can be a serious pain point for tradies. While you’re waiting on others to pay you, you can’t pay your suppliers and contractors. In order to save time, you need to set up some sort of invoicing system. Use technology to invoice constantly, while your out on the road, instead of saving it all up for Friday nights. Schedule automatic reminders and chase-up emails so your clients are aware of their deadlines ahead of time. Once you get your invoicing under control, you’ll be able to master your cash flow more easily.