3 Ways to Ease Into Technology As a Tradesperson
Is your idea of “technology in the construction field” using an excel spreadsheet to do your quotes?
Mobile Devices and Cloud Technology are changing the face of the construction industry (whether you like it or not!!).
But all too often we make excuses not to keep up.
It is human nature to resist change, and it is also true that “change for change’s sake” is stupid!
However, IF the changes are simple to implement, and improve the way you do business everyday (a.k.a. make you more money!), then it doesn’t make sense not to at least ‘give it a go’.
Even if you don’t want to admit it, technology IS impressive.
There are so many new and exciting ways to use it for business.
You could do changes on a building plan and see how it looks immediately, you can take a picture of the site progress and upload it so the client can see it, you can notify your trades and suppliers of any schedule changes without having to call them all individually…
The opportunities are endless, and you can do it all with a touch of button on your smartphone or tablet.
Some people think that change is expensive, or too difficult for them and/or their staff, but with the right advice, the right software, and the right implementation and training, you can be amazed at the outcome (and how almost** pain free it will seem)!
** Anyone who says there’s no pain in implementing new technology is lying, BUT if you use an expert, they can minimise the disruption to your team and workplace, and get you using the technology with the minimum amount of time, and minimum disruption.
The fact is, technology MUST be simple to use AND easy to learn, otherwise the average person won’t have the time or the ability to implement them into their business.
So here are some ways you can ease into technology, and not waste time with all the complex and messy “solutions” that are in the marketplace.
1. Seek EXPERT Advice
Are you a tech-nerd with lots of free time on your hands?
How about your accountant?
The fact is, most tradies aren’t “tech nerds”, and they’re time-poor.
So it doesn’t make sense to try do this technical stuff yourself
It’s like a client building their own house… They’re not the professional, so things will likely get missed, forgotten, or be done wrong.
The same is true for your technology. Let the professionals find the right one for you.
Arguably the most important step in embracing technology is to find the software product(s) that will fit the needs of your business best.
Every business is different, and may even have different ways of doing the same processes.
Too many times businesses have ended up in a mess after having the wrong software recommended by a friend, colleague or inexperienced advisor.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of business related Apps and softwares available, so the search to find the right one for you can be extremely time-consuming and difficult.
To even get to the point of making a “short list” is generally beyond most people’s abilities or time constraints.
There are experts (and genuinely independent) Cloud Technology specialists who can provide you with the correct recommendation, and then provide tailored implementation, training and support for you and your team.
People like TradiePad and Tradeworx are even specific to Trades and Construction field. So be sure to do your research on who can help you best (rather than which technology… leave that to the professionals!)
2. Educate Your Team
Once you’ve found the technology that’s right for your business, you need to educate your team (starting with key personnel first) on what is about to happen and the changes involved.
You may have heard the saying “The tool is as only as good as the tradesmen”, the same is true for your technology. So get everyone on the same page.
Make sure your team understands what they need to do, how to use the new systems and where to go if they need help, this way they can use the new tools effectively and your investment pays off. Otherwise, your new tools will simply sit there unnoticed in your business.
Make sure your team understands what they need to do, how to use the new systems and where to go if they need help, this way they can use the new tools effectively and your investment pays off.
3. Give The Implementation & Training Your Full Attention
All too often this is where many people fail.
They’ve bought their new software and they book in for some training.
… But then the phone rings.
Or there’s an “emergency” on site.
Then it’s 6 months later and they decide “This software didn’t work, and it was all a waste of time, effort and money”
But really, they never gave it their full attention during the training and implementation process.
Technology is a big change, and it’s important that you lock yourself away and learn it during the beginning stages, otherwise you get the most out of your new tools or worse… Be stuck feeling like it didn’t work.
Don’t get left behind because of the fear of change, or because it is going to take some time.
Think of it as a tool, that, if used properly, can improve your productivity, save you time in the long run and, increase your bottom line.
Clinton Cowin, TradiePad founder and CEO, is widely acknowledged by industry experts as the pioneer of Mobile and Cloud technology for the Trades and Services industries.