Tips and Advice Tradie 3 December 2021 The amount of paperwork and administration that tradies have to do is out of control. Creating quotes, confirming bookings, scheduling staff and jobs, keeping timesheets, sending invoices, keeping track of incoming and outgoing stock, capturing sign-offs, and completing compliance certificates. It all takes time – time where you could be in front of a customer, working your craft and earning a living. Fortunately, there are many apps for tradesman that will take care of this for you. Lets have a look at five examples of software or apps for tradesman that will save time, increase productivity, and give you peace of mind. It should come as no surprise that XERO accounting software tops this list. Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Xero is one of the fastest growing software-as a-service companies globally. Xero leads the New Zealand, Australian, and United Kingdom cloud accounting markets, employing a world-class team of 4,000+ people. Forbes identified Xero as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015. Xero is beautifully designed and intuitive to use. Xero is an online, cloud-based accounting system that makes all of the standard business processes so simple. It will even do a lot of it for you. It will automate your invoicing and reporting. Monthly reconciliations are a breeze. It can even automatically email your clients who are overdue with paying their bills. Filing you end-of-year tax returns becomes effortless and so, so fast. Your bank transactions are imported securely into Xero directly from your bank accounts, which makes reconciling transactions so easy, and as a result you can see an up-to-date picture of your cash flow at any time. Your accountant and staff can access appropriate levels of information at any time so that you can work together and see the business grow. You can use Xero on your mobile and there are other apps that integrate with Xero seamlessly to help increase its effectiveness. Pricing Plans Starter $29 NZD per month excluding GST – Good for sole traders, new businesses, and the self-employed. Standard $62 NZD per month excluding GST – Good for growing small businesses. Premium $78 NZD per month excluding GST – Good for established businesses of all sizes. Xero is surprisingly affordable given the extent of its features, the value that it brings to tradies, and the time it saves in admin. iTrade is the pick of the job management software apps for tradies. It has been designed by tradies, for tradies, and is regularly reported by users to be the easiest job management software for tradesman out there. iTrade is fully featured job management software for tradies at an unbeatable rice It is a fully functional app with all the features you would expect: Easy to use job costing and quoting system Intuitive job scheduling including closest available technician Booking confirmation by email or SMS Van restocking lists for staff and direct to suppliers Dispatching options Initiated jobs in the field on staff mobiles On-screen client signature capture Interactive maps replace all those map books Printable job cards for those who don’t use iPads Full staff management and reporting Automated timesheets Worker and job analysis including turnover and profit GPS job tracking and reports Quickly and easily produce compliance certificates from within a job Unlimited custom fields for sites, staff, suppliers, etc Custom job forms and templates Manage materials from supplier price books Recurring jobs and job templates Maintenance reminders directly to customers $US, $CA, $AU, $NZ, Pounds, Euro’s and Rand Fully automated backups Integration with Xero That’s an impressive list, but its iTrade’s pricing plans that really make them a great option for tradies. Price Plans One-man-bands $0 per month. Includes all features. Standard $20 per user, per month for the first 7 field staff. Includes all features. Unlimited users. Discounted $10 per user, per month for additional field staff (after the first 7). Corporate / Large Teams $20 per user, per month for the first 7 field staff. $10 for each additional field staff.Unlimited number of teams, each with unlimited number of field staff. Includes all features. Managers who are not field staff, always FREE. Admins always FREE. This represents incredible value for money, and enables solo operators to access all the features they need for free. The app then scales with the business as it easily manages an unlimited number of field staff in an unlimited number of work teams. ActiveCampaign gives you the email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tools that tradies need to create incredible customer experiences. But beautiful email marketing is only the beginning. ActiveCampaign also allows you to create brilliant newsletters and messages targeted specifically to each contact’s interests. ActiveCampaign is ranked #1 by G2 in Marketing Automation and ranked #1 by TrustRadius in Email Marketing. 150,000+ Small, medium and enterprise businesses, from every industry and 170 countries, use ActiveCampaign to win B2C and B2B customers’ hearts and minds. Here’s why. The tools within ActiveCampaign use precise targeting to help you find the right prospects and grow your audience. Their extensive templates make it easy to capture the attention of potential customers with messages that match who they are. ActiveCampaigns help you to generate and capture targeted leads Then you can nurture the relationship with your audience by providing tailored guidance. ActiveCampaign will help you to help prospects discover the products and services that you have available to address their needs. As you continue to provide individual audience members with well-timed calls to action to take the next step with you, ActiveCampaign will guide you to delight each customer – knowing what they want, when they want it. Price Plans Prices are determined by how many contacts you have. For a tradie with 500 contacts prices are as follows: Lite $9 p/mo. Includes marketing suite and sales suite: Marketing Automation and Email Marketing Drag & Drop Email Builder with 125+ Email Templates Send Newsletters and create Subscription Forms Segmentation Site and Event Tracking Campaign and Automation Reporting Plus $49 p/mo. All the features in Lite plus: Landing Pages with 50+ Templates Facebook Custom Audiences Contact Scoring SMS Marketing Automations Map Conditional Content Advanced Performance Reporting Custom Branded Forms and Landing Pages Professional $149 p/mo. All the features in Plus with the addition of: Website Personalization Predictive Sending Predictive Content Marketing Attribution Split Automations Attribution Reporting Site Messages Enterprise $258 p/mo. All the features in Lite plus: Custom Reporting Custom Mailserver Domain Custom Domain Free Design Services Unlimited Email Design Testing Social Data Enrichment Custom Objects Plus, many other sales related features and customer support options. Microsoft Teams helps bring people together so that they can get things done. It’s the only app that has chats, meetings, files, tasks, and calendars in one place—so you can easily connect with people and bring plans to life. What does this mean for tradies? The Microsoft Teams app lets you meet your teammates, field staff and even clients online. Set up a video meeting within seconds and invite anyone by sharing a link or calendar invite. Microsoft Teams includes task lists that help you you to stay on top of work projects or plans. You can assign tasks, set due dates, and cross off completed tasks to keep everyone on the same page. File sharing in chats makes it easier to coordinate on work assignments. Cloud storage makes it easy to access shared documents and files on the go. When on video calls you can easily share your screen, use a whiteboard, or breakout into virtual rooms to get most out of your work meetings. That’s pretty cool. Microsoft Teams is almost as good as meeting in person with your team or clients If you are avoiding in-person visits to clients, set up a video call over teams. Its almost as good as face to face. If you need to ask questions or make suggestions to a smaller group in your team, start a group chat. If you want everyone to join you for a team meeting online, send them a calendar invite and watch the ideas flow. Do you need everyone to edit the same version of a document? Send them a link to the file and start collaborating. Price Plans Microsoft Teams Free Unlimited group meetings for up to 60 minutes Up to 100 participants per meeting 5 GB of cloud storage per user Unlimited chat with coworkers and customers File sharing, tasks, and polling Data encryption for meetings, chats, calls, and files Microsoft Teams Essentials NZ$6.00 user/month Everything in the free version, plus: Unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours Up to 300 participants per meeting 10 GB of cloud storage per user Anytime phone and web support Microsoft 365 Business Basic NZ$7.60 user/month Everything listed in Microsoft Teams Essentials, plus: Team meetings recordings with transcripts Web and mobile versions of Office apps 2 Expanded cloud storage of 1 TB per user Business-class email Standard security Microsoft 365 Business Standard NZ$18.90 user/month Everything listed in Microsoft 365 Business Basic, plus: Desktop versions of Office apps with premium features Webinar hosting Attendee registration and reporting tools Manage customer appointments Dropbox gives you secure access to all your files – yet its much more than that for many tradies in NZ. You can access any of your files, on any device, anywhere. Turn up to a job site and you have all your job notes, progress reports, building plans, compliance certificates, and so on – right there on your tablet or phone. Here’s how Dropbox can help: Store and sync: Keep all your files securely stored, up to date, and accessible from any device, anywhere, anytime. Share: Quickly send any file—big or small—to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. Don’t get stuck with the file size limitations of some email systems. Stay secure: Keep your files private with multiple layers of protection from the service trusted by millions. Collaborate: Manage tasks, track file updates, and stay in sync with your teams and clients. Dropbox is trusted by over 600 million users and 500,000 teams – does that help? That’s amazing! And here’s the thing – you can start for free! The free plan only includes 2GB of storage, which will quickly run out for a busy tradie team. But it does give you a chance to get it up and running before you pay a cent. Here are the plans you need to know about. Price Plans Professional $20 p/user/month. For individuals and includes 3GB. Standard $15 p/user/month. For smaller teams and includes 5GB. Advanced $25 p/user/month. For larger teams, with unlimited storage.