If you own and run a contracting or home remodeling businesses, you have to track and manage an enormous amount of information every single day. Fortunately, software is available to help you streamline each part of your project and keep you on schedule.
Estimates and Project Management
As a contractor, you may find that the easiest way to gather all your crucial information in one place is to use an all-in-one software program to manage estimates, bids, project management, financial tracking, and customer management. This way, you can track the moving pieces of a project easily — and that’s a huge time-saver when you’re juggling multiple jobs at once.
One popular option is Buildertrend, a cloud-based program that’s accessible from any device. Its estimator and proposal tools help you plan and win new jobs. Project management tools come into play after the contract is signed. You can use the daily logs and scheduler to manage your employees and tasks, while tracking material and labor costs with digital time cards and purchase orders. Buildertrend also offers customer management tools including its client portal, where your customers can log in to see the progress of their job or approve material selections. Maybe best of all, your employees can make updates from the field, ensuring real-time tracking.
Other software programs with similar features include BuildTools, Buildshop and CoConstruct.
As you’ve probably noticed, your clients sometimes have a hard time visualizing a room from nothing but a technical description. This confusion can lead to delayed decision-making and frustrating last-minute changes. Rendering software, which provides a realistic model of the finished product, helps your clients imagine different options. As a result, they can make more informed choices, and you can reduce the likelihood of delays.
If you’re adopting rendering software for the first time, a user-friendly option such as SketchUp can be a great place to start. This powerful tool helps you create 3-D models of any room, so clients can do a virtual walk-through of the space. You can apply different paint colors, wall coverings, tiles, cabinets, window styles and more with the push of a button — an invaluable tool for clients who need strong visuals to make decisions. Once you have a final design, SketchUp makes it easy to turn your 3-D models into drawings and schematics that your employees can use in the field.
If you tackle more advanced projects, sophisticated software programs such as Chief Architect and Rhino3D provide a dizzying variety of rendering options.
Your construction or remodeling business handles a huge variety of financial inputs on a daily basis. You need efficient accounting software for accurate invoicing, reporting, payroll and tax compliance. Options such as QuickBooks help you organize all of your business’ financial information, from expense reports to individual bank accounts. Powerful reporting options help you generate profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and payroll details in seconds. When you choose accounting software that integrates easily with your existing project management software, you streamline your processes, reducing the chance of costly mistakes.
Great software brings together the many elements of your contracting or remodeling business, making them easy to manage. With fast access to financial and project data, you can design an efficient workflow that keeps customers and employees happy.