Now more than ever, technology is changing the way all industries are doing business, and the tradie sector is no exception. Technology's evolving at an incredible rate - it seems like every day there are new innovative solutions on the market. And while it might seem a bit intimidating, the reality is that if you want your tradie business to keep up and stay relevant and competitive, you need to continue to explore tech solutions so that your business runs smoothly and productively.
Think of the smartphone. It has changed our lives in a really short space of time, and the technology behind it got really clever, really fast. Think about how it’s already transformed areas of your business management – can you imagine your workflows running as smooth without one?
That's the attitude you need to have about other tech solutions - keep an open mind and embrace new and better ways of doing things. Digitisation is transforming the way most businesses operate, and organisations across all sectors are taking advantage of tech solutions to better manage their tasks and processes, from admin and finance to bookings, websites and social media.
That said, you don't want to get bogged down by investigating every new gizmo that's designed for the trades industry. That's a waste of time and you can easily become overwhelmed. Setting up technology to work in your business isn’t as simple as downloading an app and off you go. The integrated nature of apps and software these days means that there are many things to consider when planning out the technology that will help transform your operations. The toughest task is often choosing what tech will be best for you.
We've created the Tech Toolbox Guide. It is aimed at helping you build out your tech toolbox and deciding what is the best tech for your trade business. The guide covers five key areas:
1: Devices - what devices should you buy?
Whether it's a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. This section outlines those considerations as well as essential features like backups and mobile device management solutions.
2: Internet - what sort of internet do you need?
Not all internet providers are created equal. It's worth shopping around for a good deal because many telcos have business teams that will put a package together for you that suits your needs. This section outlines the importance of having a good internet connection, and what considerations to take into account, such as the areas you work in.
3: Comms and cloud storage - what communication platform and cloud storage is best?
Much like choosing an internet provider, deciding which comms platform to go with is down to what would suit your business best. Considerations like your business website, email addresses and cloud storage are all essential factors. This section also outlines the main players when it comes to cloud-based business-grade email.
4: Software - what software should run your business?
There are a lot of business management software solutions out there these days, aimed at taking the hassle out of admin and finance, and streamlining your business processes so that you're more efficient and productive. It's the core of the Business Technology Platform and really important to get right. This section will help you work out which solution is best for your needs, including what to look for in operational software and financial software.
5: Training - what sort of training and education will help me?
This section outlines why it's important to invest some time and money in the necessary education you (and your staff) will need to get your head around the new tech. Tech can be frustrating if you don't take the time to learn about it, and that's the last thing you want when the whole idea was to make life easier.
We round off the guide with a handy checklist so that you can keep track of where your tech toolbox is up to and what you still need to do.
If you're new to the trade business, now is the perfect time to embrace technology so that it's supporting your business from day one. If you've been around for a while, don't get sucked into the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset – there is always room for improvement and introducing tech to your business can help keep you ahead of the competition.
And remember, we are here to help. We're a technology training organisation built by tradies, for tradies, and we'll help you transform your business operations so you can enjoy life-changing efficiency and greater personal freedom.