You might not immediately think that tech entrepreneurs or crazy-inventor types like Elon Musk would have a lot of professional needs in common with the owner of a mid-level construction firm, but the reality is that there’s plenty of overlap.
All business need, for example, a high level of efficiency. Invested resources need to yield the greatest possible return on investment. Waste must be minimised. A high level of competence must be maintained by all elements of the company, and branding must be immaculate and professional.
Of course, these are just a few examples. All of these things must be addressed in order for just about any business to be successful. If you are a tradesman, you need to be able to create a vivid picture for your client about how using your services can transform their life for the better.
As it so happens, we live, today, in a world of unprecedented technological advancement, where a new generation of tools are at hand to help the enterprising construction entrepreneur achieve their goals.
Here are some reasons why you need to take full advantage of these tools.
They can save you time and give you the room you need to manoeuvre around the competition
In construction, being slow off the mark is often enough to ensure that you end up handing contracts over to your competitors, or worse yet, that you project an image of incompetence that proves naturally off-putting to the kinds of people you most want as clients.
In the constantly connected world we all live in today, speed and efficiency are in high demand, and those construction companies who can operate lithely and quickly, without compromising on quality, are the ones who will inherit the future.
For tradesmen, much time is often lost in coming up with quotes for a job. With a simple estimation system for the trades, such as Rapid Quote, a huge amount of time can be saved, allowing you to offer your proposal to the client well before the competition.
They can create an invaluable degree of clarity and free up more of your mental resources
David Allen is famous in the business world for creating the innovative productivity and task management system known as the “Getting Things Done” method. According to Allen, the underlying assumption of this method is that the human mind is specialised in generating ideas, but does a very poor job of storing them.
The attempt to maintain a mental record of all ideas, potential tasks, and projects that could relate to the business, is, therefore, a source of much wasted time, energy, and stress.
Modern tools and services not only make it easier than ever before to implement David Allen’s own GTD methodology — services such as Nozbe and Microsoft To Do excel in this regard — but they also allow for the capturing of ideas and concepts as they’re generated, in real-time.
Evernote is one of the most popular digital services in the world, currently, and allows for the saving of text notes, photos, voice notes, web links, and more, either to a web browser, or mobile app. Once something has been captured in Evernote, it syncs to the cloud and updates across all linked devices.
In construction, you’ll have a lot of notetaking to do, and sometimes, you’ll have to take those notes in a hurry, on the go. Evernote is a perfect tool for allowing you to do that.
They can remove many of the issues inherent in project-management
Big projects, such as building an extension on a home, will involve plenty of planning and will naturally come along with various hiccups and issues.
You might, for example, have one big project due in the not-so-distant future, which requires a multiple detailed, written proposals, in addition to ordering in specialist materials, like fossil-containing stone slabs for an outdoor flooring project.
Traditionally, getting such a project completed without a hitch would be a long shot, and would require a high level of organisation and oversight in order to ensure that the various team members weren’t stepping on each other’s toes.
Trello is one example of a group project management tool which can relegate this issue to the past, as it allows for team members to be authorised to handle only certain, distinct elements of a project, and creates a clear, interactive, visual distinction between tasks that have yet to be attended to, those in progress, and those which have been completed. That way, everyone will be able to turn up to work and know exactly what they need to work on, and what they should leave alone.