Posted on: 01 August 2018
From business plans to budgets, there is much to be understood, prioritised, and organised in the day-to-day work of a contractor. One of the best ways to ensure you tick all of these boxes is to utilise technology, and, more specifically, apps which can be used while you are out and about.
To help you grow your contractor business, we’ve listed some of the top online apps every contractor should know about. Scroll through some of our favourites, below.
Square Point of Sale
This handy app tracks all your sales in one place, and can be downloaded to both a mobile or tablet. Within the app, you can take payments, store digital receipts, save open tickets and generate reports, amongst other things. Best of all, there’s no training necessary – you can just plug in the supplied card reader and get started.
Popular with contractors who do not have the infrastructure to make credit card payments, iZettle provides an on-the-go point of sale system for when transactions need to be made quickly. For example, if you have a painting and decorating business and work with customers who would like to pay using a credit card, IZettle could be the perfect payment solution for you.
Using the iZettle Card Reader and iZettle Go App, business owners have the freedom to use their mobile phone to complete transactions. The card reader is specially designed so that merchants can easily plug their device into smartphones and tablets, and purchases can be signed for on the spot using the app.
While this service does charge merchants a 2.75% transaction fee on every sale, iZettle estimates its card reader has helped European businesses to grow by three times the average rate.
Used by 173 million people worldwide, PayPal is a useful tool for contractors who send and receive online payments. Rather than entering financial details for each individual transaction, PayPal saves card information, so all you need to do is enter a username and password.
As well as being efficient, PayPal is known for its rigorous safety measures. Using 24/7 data encryption and anti-fraud technology, PayPal protects and tracks your money - just in case you encounter any problems. Refunds are also requested and processed through the app, so there’s no need to contact the supplier should the worst happen.
Evernote is a cross-platform app that serves several purposes: namely, storing details, taking notes and assigning projects. Similarly, there are options to download browser extensions and save web pages for future reference.
Once you have downloaded the app, you’ll receive an Evernote email address which receives notifications directly. You can also sync your Evernote account with other devices and share content from other services, such as from Google Reader. If you’re interested in the app, there is a 30-day free trial, which is followed by a paid for monthly subscription or a free version of the service with access to basic features.
When you start a contractor business, it can be difficult to keep all aspects of a project in one place. Marketing campaigns, PowerPoints and lengthy email threads, for example, can be difficult to juggle at one time.
Basecamp allows you to keep all correspondence in one place, and provides a platform to efficiently delegate responsibilities. Along with multi-channel access, Basecamp dashboards have 500GB storage space, so you can share complex projects with as many users as you like.
With options to save notes and build personal to-do lists, Basecamp is a useful tool for contractors who are eager to organise the inner workings of their business.
When you’re managing multiple work projects at once, Wunderlist makes it easy. For use on smartphones, tablets and laptops, Wunderlist hosts all your communication in one place so you can easily share your to-do lists with colleagues. You can also group related lists into folders, set due dates and assign reminders so that nobody in your team misses a beat.
One of the neatest features of this app is the hashtag filter option. Just write a hashtag before your task’s title and easily manage group tasks which share the same tag. You can also filter your most commonly used tags to see which tasks are highest priority for your contractor business.
Scannable is a useful tool for contractors who wish to store and share files which exist in the real world. Using a mobile phone camera, Scannable recognises the text and image of a picture and turns it into a “flat scan”.
Along with storage, Scannable makes images usable in the online sphere. Meeting notes, for instance, can be shared automatically with attendees, and business card information can be saved to your contacts list. Best of all, the app is free to use and can meet your contractor business needs whether you’re a roofing contractor, a carpenter and joiner, electrician or you have a cleaning business.
Dropbox is a fantastic tool for storing important documents and sharing data online safely. Once you have made an account, you can access a history of your files; even those which have been deleted.
One of the best things about Dropbox for contractors is how efficiently it allows you to share files with colleagues and clients. As long as they have an account, files can be easily shared and stored collaboratively. You can also set a password on important files as an additional security measure.
If you’re looking to access files any time you’re out on a job, you should try Google Drive. This app offers unlimited storage with unlimited access, so you can store any and every file on the internet, without the risk of running out of space.
Additional add-ons include Vault for Drive, a system which allows users to archive corporate data from associated G Suite products, such as Gmail and Google Groups, while another add-on, Quick Access, uses signals from natural language search to predict your needs. Similarly, there are hundreds of integrated apps and plug-ins you can use on Google Drive to expand your horizons.
Protect your business
Now you know just some of the online apps for which could help you run your businesses, you need to ensure your contractor business is fully protected. Protect your business and your customers from accidental injury, damage to property and other unforeseen circumstances with contractor insurance arranged by Premier BusinessCare. Browse our contractor insurance covers today to find the policy that’s right for you.
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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Knowledge Centre.