How to Stay Organised as a Small Trades Business Owner
Whether you are starting out or have run your business for years, learning to plan effectively can help your business blossom. We hear countless stories of tradesmen and women stressing over different aspects of their business. Don't spend another moment worrying. We have your back!
From handling your marketing goals to customer service, aftercare and more, we have found the best ways to organise your trade business. Not only is Rhino Trade Insurance a leader in protection for the trade industry, but we share helpful content daily. Let's see how we can help you today.
Plan your time well.
As a busy tradesperson, it's best to give yourself some time to plan every week. Whether with software or not, sitting down with a brew and keeping up-to-date with your workload and what's coming down the line is key to organisation and staying in control.
A simple change you can make right off the bat is to use online calendars to block your time. This lets you digitally map out your schedule so that you have a bird's eye view of the demands of your business.
Tradesmen and Tradeswomen still love a good wall chart in the office to help them plan work, but as you will see in our 'go paperless' section, it may be time to consider your online options when managing your workload and customers. All in all, it will help you plan your time better.
Streamline your business processes.
Automation is a business buzzword these days, but what it entails can improve productivity in your workplace. As a sole trader or business owner, your time is your most valuable asset. We want to help you spend less time focusing on mundane tasks that keep you away from earning real money. Let's consider what you can automate right now:
- Taking care of bills: office rent, council tax, van tax etc.
- Schedule standing orders with your suppliers or wholesalers
- Setting up any recurring invoices, meetings or reminders you may have
- Tracking your sales, workload and to-do list.
- Sending out emails to clients or updating them.
Tradespeople (like most) aren't that interested in admin work; they want to be out doing what they love! With that said, it's best to stay ahead of the curve and avoid letting paper documents pile up. Why not then consider becoming paperless?
There are several positives for this:
- Keeps things stored safely and avoids losing essential docs.
- All of your files and paperwork stay crinkle-free (because they are online), professional and presentable
- Save time from searching high and low for a document or invoice
- Admin can be sorted on the job
- Most customers would rather have an email with any documentation
But how can you become paper-free? What is the best course of action?
Start by organising and digitalising all of your documents and contact info:
Whether it's from the outset or a business change, consider utilising management software to control your customer contact information, staff details, suppliers, third parties and more. The ease of this is that you can use apps on the go to take down details instead of searching for a pen and paper. Some recommended software include Asana, Method and Monday.
Control your project management:
With the above tools, you can also use their task and project management boards. This is helpful as it keeps all your jobs in one place and makes it easier to track and manage where you should be and on which day. It also is handy for anyone with a team so that you can keep track of which projects certain people are working on.
Integrate accounting and emails.
If you are looking for tools that integrate with your accounting programs, then look no further. These apps all seamlessly work together and can extend to your email inbox. That means if you need to arrange a callback with a customer, you can set reminders and link them straight to your email calendar.
Assists with storing data
The last point of going paperless and using a management platform is that most will offer cloud protections. This means if anything ever happens to the hardware in your office, all of your most important files are stored on the cloud or in a data centre. With break-ins rising, it makes sound business sense to cover yourself with an up-to-date piece of software like the ones mentioned.
To get an idea of other tools, why not read our article dedicated to trade apps?
Plan effective marketing
In this day and age, relying on word of mouth only gets you so far. If your mission is to grow your company beyond you and your van, then working on ways to reach new customers is vital.
Developing a sustainable and goal-driven marketing plan will help you to focus on other areas of your business. Whatever you want to achieve from your marketing can help with the ways to promote yourself.
Your targets could include the following:
- Raising brand awareness
- Building a more extensive client base
- Showcasing your work to build trust
- Give your business an online identity
How you achieve your goals can differ. You could build social media channels to show your company's work, thus instilling trust with prospective customers looking for work to be done. Customers who can visually see what projects you have completed are more likely to hire you than someone without an online profile.
You can also utilise websites like YouTube to create videos that share your expertise and experiences. This will help to build your credibility in the trades and your contact base among like-minded professionals. Being active on social media these days is vital for any business. To get an idea of how to market your business, consider some of these worthwhile courses from Hubspot.
Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?
Nobody likes admin work. It takes time and effort that you would rather spend on more exciting tasks. Adding insult to injury, tradesmen and women often take on this work in their spare time, which can add stress and pressure to you. We want to create a pain-free working environment for you; not only can you get quality insurance from Rhino Trade Insurance, but we also offer valuable information for tradespeople.
Putting the tips in the article into practice will no doubt help you spend more time on the things you love and less time doing boring admin.
If you are looking for a tailored trade insurance policy, then get in touch with us today. Our policy experts can help arrange the right cover for your business, leaving you with one less thing to stress about. Call us on 0116 243 7904 or visit our website.