Business admin is one of those tasks that seems simple at first. But, it can quickly snowball into a time-consuming and repetitive process that takes you away from doing your trades work. By using digital tools to complete your business admin, you’ll save time, help your business run more efficiently and reduce the risk of losing important documents. Check out 5 top digital tools to help you do just that, below.
1. To-do lists
As a tradesperson, you’re used to taking mental notes whilst you’re on a job. But, when it comes to business admin, there’s lots of tasks that can slip your mind. So, set some time aside to write down the admin tasks that you need to complete that week or month. These could be things such as:
- Submitting your Self-Assessment tax return (the deadline is usually 31st January).
- Completing your VAT return every 3 months.
- Providing your employees with payslips on or before payday.
It’s best to use a to-do list app, as these give you additional functionalities that a pen and paper can’t. Free apps such as Asana and Monday let you share and assign tasks with other employees and automatically set recurring tasks, for example.
2. Lead organisers
Keeping track of your leads from beginning to end helps you to know what work you’ve got coming up and therefore plan your availability for future customers. Use the Lead Tracker in the Rated People Trades app to see the details of all leads you’ve bought, won and done at a glance. You can add in leads that you got from outside of Rated People, too.
3. Accounting software
To meet HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital rules, you need to keep digital records of your earnings, receipts and expenses in order to submit your VAT returns. Check out HMRC’s list of recognised software, which includes solutions that are tailored specifically to the construction industry, such as COINS.
4. Contact management tools
As your business grows, so will your contact book of prospective and existing customers. To win new and repeat work from these customers, you need to keep in touch with them. Use a contact management system to view their contact information, set up reminders or automated follow-up emails/calls and track all your interactions with them.
You might store this information on your phone or laptop hard drive currently. However, if you lose or damage these, the contacts you’ve spent time and effort collecting could be lost forever. Instead, consider using a cloud-based contact management platform, like HubSpot, so your contacts’ information will be stored in secure online data centres.
5. A Virtual Assistant
Sometimes, there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done. If the balance between your admin and trades work is getting out of hand, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to free up some of your time.
A VA will help you out with business admin tasks such as invoicing, payroll and inventory management. They cost less than hiring a full-time, in-person employee, too, as many VAs can be hired to complete ad-hoc jobs. Some VAs offer marketing support, too. Post your VA vacancy on LinkedIn or a freelancing marketplace such as Upwork.