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The Role of Job Management Software for Tradespeople

Rhino Trade Insurance 25 June 2024

What is job management software? We’re glad you asked. It’s a nifty digital programme which takes on most of the time-consuming tasks associated with running a small business. 

Tradesman job management software could revolutionise your business, leading to streamlined administration, improved customer service and more efficient job scheduling. And the best part? It can help you grow your business into something more profitable while you concentrate on the tools. 

So, grab your wetsuit and pressure gauge – we’re going on a deep dive. 

Job Management Software for Tradespeople – What Is It?

Business administration is essential but can rob you of countless precious hours each week. But what if we told you that things like scheduling jobs, producing invoices, and managing customer enquiries can all be outsourced for a small fee? 

While traditionally, paperwork was a real burden for any business owner, job management software truly turns it into a doddle. Basically, you’ve got everything at your fingertips. Specific job-related information is all in one place, and boring, repetitive tasks like acknowledging a customer’s enquiry or generating an invoice are fully automated. 

Plus, instead of trying to keep track of a hundred different systems, job management software keeps everything in one place. With job management software, all the information you need to manage your trades business will be there whenever you open your laptop, fire up your tablet or even pick up your smartphone. Plus, those things you never seem to manage to keep on top of, such a re-ordering supplies, tracking tools and equipment and generating financial reports? Your job management software can take these off your hands. 

With things kept ticking over in the background with minimal input from you, having job management software is like having a robot assistant. And who wouldn’t want one of those?

The Growing Need for Job Management Solutions in Trades

Tradespeople are busier than ever. You’ve probably heard all about the skills shortage in the UK right now, with the demand for reliable, skilled tradespeople far outstripping supply. As a result, your admin could be piling up and getting in the way of actually doing your job. The methods of the past just won’t cut it – modern problems require modern solutions!

Before the digital revolution, tradespeople had to juggle spreadsheets, notepads, pay stubs, and other systems to keep track of the business side of things. Doing ‘the books’ would take hours each week, and if a tradesperson wasn’t the organised type then they risked run-ins with the taxman, poor customer service and even losing out on work. 

But don’t worry – as they say, ‘the future is now’. By harnessing the power of digital job management solutions, you can execute and control a huge array of business functions at the touch of a button. 

Even if you’re just starting out – with the right job management software on your side – you can run your small trades business like a slick corporate giant.

Key Features to Look for in Job Management Software

So, what are the key features to look out for in job management software?

  • Scheduling

Whether you’re a lone wolf or running a team, job scheduling can become a mammoth task using traditional methods. With a digital scheduling function, you can instantly see the time and resource you have available, making slotting jobs in simple. Look for handy drag-and-drop functions and interfacing with your smartphone, so you can switch things around at the touch of a button wherever you are.

  • Job tracking

From quote to invoice, keeping track of your jobs is a key part of managing your overall workflow. Therefore, job management software should offer robust job tracking. Not only will job tracking help you identify a likely finish date and ensure on-time invoicing, but analysing the time and materials you’ve spent on a job can help you quote accurately and increase efficiency for the next one. Plus, if you’ve got a team at your beck and call, it will make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. 

  • Invoicing and payments

Invoicing and payment processing is an integral cog in the machine for any tradesperson. However, filling in an invoice for each job and ensuring it’s correct down to the last number can be a drain on your time. Choose a job management software that offers automated invoicing which generates an automatic invoice pre-populated with the details of the job so it’s right every time. Also useful is a payment chaser function, so you don’t have to spend time hunting down customers for non-payment.

  • Customer feedback collection

Requesting and managing customer feedback is highly valuable to growing your business, but it takes time and effort. With the right job management software however, it’s easy. A great function to look out for is automatic feedback collection following a completed job, with the customer being sent a link to a short survey or star-rating system. 

  • Automatic replies

Potential customers are an impatient bunch, but you can’t craft a timely and appropriate reply to your latest query while you’re half-way up a ladder, or elbows-deep in someone’s soil pipe. OK, you can do it later, but that would cut into your time off and probably drive your partner and family mad if you’re glued to your smartphone all evening. A function which sends an instant, polite acknowledgement of the potential customer’s query will buy you a day or two before you need to reply, which you can then do at your leisure. 

  • Integration 

One of the most useful things your job management software should be able to do is to integrate with other systems. For example, your smartphone or your online accounting software should be compatible with the software so that information inputted into one system (e.g., a purchase of materials) it should be uploaded across all systems (e.g., your purchase ledger and job invoices).

Top Software Recommendations for Tradespeople

Here’s our list of job management software options that are well-suited for tradespeople like you. 

  • Tradify

Tradify’s slogan is ‘master your business like you mastered your trade’. Here at Rhino HQ, we think that has a great ring to it. Tradify is a great all-in-one job management software which brings together inquiries, estimates, quotes, jobs, staff, invoices and more, across all your devices. With must-have features like job scheduling, tracking and customer query management, you won’t go far wrong. It’s low-cost, too, pricing starts from around £21 per month per user.

  • Jobber

Jobber is another great option for an all-in-one solution to your business management woes. Great for small to medium-sized enterprises, it offers features including scheduling, payment processing and customer management. At £110 per month, it’s on the pricier end. The best thing to do is get in touch with them directly and see what they can do for your business. 

  • Joblogic

Billing itself as the ‘UK’s best field service management software’, it sounds like Joblogic might be just what you’re looking for if you’ve got a team to manage. They offer the full roster of services to make your life simpler, from route scheduling, job tracking and progress management to staff management and customer communications. With prices from £39 per month per user, Joblogic will help you plan, manage and optimise your entire business operation in a single system.

  • Onsite7

This job management software claims to boost profitability and reduce customer disputes via better customer communication and minute-by-minute tracking of projects. With features including customer feedback and online signature function, this is a good option for anyone who is sick of misunderstandings with customers. Pricing is from £100 per month for ten users – sounds like a good deal to us.

  • Workever

A job management solution which can take that pesky business administration off your hands. With Workever, you can streamline your entire process and easily create quotes, convert them to jobs and produce invoices in just one click. Workever starts from £29 per month per user.

Remember, most good job management software companies will offer a free demo so you can see first-hand what’s on offer before taking the plunge.

Top Benefits of Job Management Software

Still on the fence? Consider these benefits that job management software could bring to your business:

It will save you time

By automating your least favourite admin tasks, job management software is a huge time-saver. Instead of having to look at your upcoming jobs and resources before creating a schedule, job management software will do it for you in a flash. Similarly, no more generating individual invoices or chasing customers around in circles for payment. Chill – job management software has already done it for you. 

It can save you money 

You know the old saying – time is money. Your time is valuable, and without so much pesky admin, you can book in more jobs. But, it goes even further than this. The software can generate detailed reports on job progress, time spent and other metrics, helping you analyse where your business is being cost-efficient. For savvy tradespeople, this will save you a packet by helping you streamline your operations. 

You can keep hold of your customers

One of the key frustrations for customers when they’re searching for a tradesperson is non-responsiveness. Potential customers want to see a reply, even if it’s just a holding message letting them know you’ll be in touch as soon as you can. If this message includes some information about the type of work you do and a few outstanding customer reviews, even better. Customers are a fickle bunch, and they’re often sending dozens of messages to see who will reply first. Job management software will act as a polite receptionist, keeping customers on the hook for you while you get around to responding. Plus, when the job is finished, job management software can help your customers attract new ones by automatically gathering feedback on your behalf.

It helps you plan for the future of your business

Job management software does more than just shoulder your admin burden day-to-day. It can also help you plan for the future. Automatically-generated business management reports can help you see potential areas for growth, and help you understand your financial position and potential for capital purchases, investments or the hiring of new staff.

It will help build your brand 

You may not see your sole trader operation or small trades business as a ‘brand’ with a ‘corporate voice’. But whenever you quote for work, send an invoice or update a customer about a job, you’re telling people about your organisation. Tradespeople don’t always have time to make logos look pretty or check the tone of every message they fire off to customers when they’re in a hurry. But with job management software, everything is automatic and perfectly pitched so customers get a 5-star experience when they communicate with your ‘brand’.

Navigating Common Challenges with Job Management Software

It all sounds pretty amazing, but what about the downsides? 

  • User resistance

This is a fancy way of saying that you and/or your employees might not want to switch from the current way you’re doing things. This is common but usually only lasts a few days! Job management software systems are specially designed to be user-friendly and make your life easier, not harder. So, have faith that it won’t be long before you will look back and wonder how you coped without it. If you’re still struggling to adapt after a few days, sort out a staff training session (even if it’s just for you!) which is usually offered free through your job management software provider.

  • Data security concerns

Job management software may seem great and all, but do you really want to hand over all your business (and customer) data to a tech company? This is a legitimate concern in this day and age, but with a few checks you can ensure the software you choose has robust data security which will enable you to sleep peacefully at night. Look for security features such as encryption, strict user access control (such as password protection and two-step verification), data backups to a secure server and ISO 9001:2015 verification.

The final word…

Tech has advanced rapidly in the past decade or so, with the trades sector being swept along with it. Although smart tech can’t install a boiler or construct a conservatory, it can certainly make life easier and more profitable for the person who can.

And finally, don’t forget your insurance. Tradesmen and women will always need a robust set of insurance policies to underpin their business, so talk to Rhino today about getting your trade insurance sorted before you do anything else. Give us a call on 0116 243 7904 today.

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