Four ways how Builders can get there life back and spend more quality time together with their families.
- Turn your auto sync off on your phone email and check it irregularly. Do you know how many real emergency emails I have had in my years onsite that made me actually drop tools and leave site. NONE. I was assuming that these emergencies simply don’t happen to me? Luckiest guy in the world? No not really….. emergencies like real ones, (not my plumber is gonna be a day late) simply don’t happen all that often. So why do people think they need to look at every single email that ever comes through and respond within a 5 minute period. 99.9% of these can wait till after work, meaning they can be batched together to save time. The simple fact is that email is the best and absolute worst invention to ever happen to business. If you put a price on the hours spent on email per week you will quickly realise it is killing your business. So allocate one hour a day to address it. Tell all your staff that to become more productive you are only addressing email in this fashion. If you do this correctly your time saving will be massive.
- Get PlusSpec: How much time per year does your business spend quoting off plans? Or designing and/or altering new plans? Consulting with clients? If you’re anything like the majority of builders I would say a great deal, and generally not paid time. Although there is now a push within the industry to charge for quotes its not here yet. So we need to drastically cut down the time taken to complete these quotes and consult better with our clients. PlusSpec is a 3D modelling + Estimating program that uses real products to create a realistic virtual model so you can show your client exactly what their house will look like. You can then consult with them over the project in real time. Need to make a change, No issue. Client wants to change the bricks, done. All with the click of a button. And once the clients design changes or variations are completed simply hit the material takeoff button and PlusSpec will generate your quote…….with the click of a button. The benefits of this program cannot be understated, want to detect building problems before they happen? Do quotes in literally a third of the time? Show detailed excavation and site conditions? Draw Building documentation for submission. PlusSpec can do it all!! And the best part, it can do it all better than traditional methods, and in half the time. Visit www.constructionsoftwareaustralia.com.au
- Virtual online meetings: I personally live in Sydney and getting to and from one end to the other morning or afternoon in under 2 hours takes some doing. But then a simple solution came to mind. If most of my consultation is now done on the computer and all my changes can be made there. Then why do i physically have to drag myself all over town to see clients. Do they really want to see my face? No. Do they need to see anything that I cannot show them on a computer? Not really. So now i simply log on the virtual meeting (I use gotomeeting by citrix, but whatever works for your location and circumstance). Now I simply flick my clients and email and log in to a meeting online. They can see my screen and we can talk openly and clearly. So now my 3+hour drive across town is reduced to a quick email and ½ hour online meeting saving me 3+ hours every meeting.
- Get Client relationship Management software (CRM).
As previously stated email can be a real drain on your business, it makes smart business sense to streamline and automate a great deal of the time consuming activities. I have found that the use of a CRM can cut email usage and client record keeping in half. So what is a CRM and how can it help. Here are some of the way a CRM can help your building business:
- Easily store and file all contacts in specific fields, ie Quotes, jobs won, contractors, employees etc.
- Search for any contact quickly and easily, as well as see all previous correspondence. This save a mountain of time as once a client’s name is typed in all previous emails are shown.
- Track email: When they are opened and for how long.
- Send bulk emails to specific groups, need to update all staff and contractors at once. Email groups can be filtered and sent, track quickly and easily.
- Autoresponders can be set up to answer generic questions and welcome emails saving time .
CRMs can range wildly in price, however i have come across prosper works which link to google apps (see my other blog on why I think this is the best email service).This means all your current contact will simply and easily import and all emails uploaded. It is by far the easiest integration I have ever come across and with plans start from as little as $20 per month US it’s only a small investment that will make a great improvement to your business. Check out prosper works today