Australia is a nation of more than 250,000 residential trade businesses. Just as staggering this figure sounds, it’s surprising to see how so few have befriended technology as a means to run their day to day operations and communicate with their customers, resulting in as many as 20 hours a week lost to quoting, sorting out paper work and actively looking for new leads.
At the consumer's end though, the picture is a few shades brighter.
With 9 in 10 Aussies owning a smart phone and seeking every information to be on their fingertips, the Trusted Tradie Economy is flourishing.
i4Tradies Customer Experience Management app has hit the market at a time when digital disruption is taking over businesses while changing consumer behavior is playing the role of a catalyst making it happen at a speed never seen before. So what are some of the changes that have been reshaping the Aussie trades industry, especially in the residential sector and what role technology pioneers like i4Tradies are playing?
Let’s have a look.
With so many customers becoming a victim of substandard work done by dodgy tradies, this comes as a no-brainer. We all need peace of mind when dealing with someone we have met for the first time, after all it’s our home we are trusting them with!
So, it’s important for customers to have a platform to check if their tradie is licensed and insured, look at their past jobs completed and read customer reviews in order to make an informed decision.
Surprise costs of the job is something customers hate. They want to know what each process and each component costs of the hefty renovation they are undertaking, not just a lump sum.
Whether it’s an initial quote or a final invoice, it’s important for customer to feel they are in control and knowing that they are getting value for money.
The cash economy is dying and for better not worse. With scams such as the one in which some Tradies used another business’ ABN to dodge ATO and accepting cash payments thus leaving no trail whatsoever, customers know their responsibilities now. Not accepting cash and asking their Tradie to give them a tax invoice that can be paid via credit card is what’s taking over the industry right now.
But the digital shift is not inclined towards addressing consumer demands alone. It’s also addressing the growing concerns of Trades business owners revolving around late payments, losing work due to delayed and non-precise quoting and not being able to efficiently carrying out admin tasks such as managing jobs and handling paperwork.
Most Tradies leave the invoicing part for weekends even if the job was completed last Monday. With so much work to keep up with, we don’t blame you. But this one bad habit is one of the biggest reasons that triggers habitual late payers to delay their dues even further.
The truth is that the faster you invoice the sooner you will get paid. And that’s exactly what technology is now helping you do by creating and sending fast electronic invoices as soon as the job is completed and accepting credit card payments on the spot.
As a first contact with a potential customer, how you quote can say almost everything a customer needs to hear. Keeping them waiting for a response is only telling them that they are not a priority, which is the last thing a business would want.
Yet putting all work on standstill and going out to quote can be a tough calling. But, not when the customer has attached photos of the job they need to get done. All you need to do is to quickly have a look and provide the closest estimate possible. The customer gets their request answered and you get the first-mover advantage. A win-win for both.
Tax and payroll are some of biggest headaches for tradies. So a number one goal is to ready the business activity statement before it’s already due. But this means pulling out data from various places such as business receipts and tax invoices before you can even start to calculate the GST. However with i4Tradies being linked to accounting softwares like Xero, all your invoices and payments can be in one place and when its tax time again, meeting your financial obligations is just a matter of few clicks.
Sleepless nights and back aches and still so much work to do! Tradies lose innumerable hours to admin tasks such as allocating and scheduling jobs, keeping tabs on job progress, following up on quotes and preparing invoices. Actually they don’t have to.
Because the technology is willing take all the load off their shoulders and put it on its own. You can now actually run your entire business on the go with one app to do it all for you.
With over 70% of trades services business owners confessing that the right field management, accounting and CRM platforms have saved them as much as 20 hours on admin and lead generation work every week, technology does seem to be the obvious answer if you want to redefine what success really means for your business.