The last thing that most contractors want to do is spend time in their office. They’d rather be on the job site or spending time with their family and friends. The problem is that they often become trapped by inefficiencies in their own back-office.
There are steps that every contractor can take to make it easier to get out of the office and spend more time building your business.
To get started, here are four easy ways to escape your office.
1. Hire the Right People
When it comes to staffing their back office, many contractors tend to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Instead of spending more for a qualified construction accountant, or project manager, they tend to hire less qualified individuals to save money.
While this may save money in the short term, it can hurt contractors in the long run. All it takes is one change order not getting processed, one payroll issue or Department of Labor fine, or late fee on an invoice, and money saved on staffing can quickly disappear.
Instead, contractors should hire skilled individuals that can keep their business functioning smoothly, and who can anticipate the needs of both current and future projects.
When you can trust your team to do their work effectively, you can spend less time looking over their shoulders and troubleshooting problems.
That frees you up to build your business.
If you’re not ready to hire internally, this is where taking advantage of Cinium’s Project Accounting Service can help you to organize your accounts and better manage your back office.
One of the biggest problems for many contractors is a lack of compartmentalization. This is where contractors make payments for multiple projects from a single funding pool. Often, they do this without tracking whether or not they’ve received payment from the appropriate project owner.
Contractors do this because they assume everything will balance out in the long run.
However, if one project owner can’t pay due to bankruptcy or delays, and they pay vendors and subcontractors with funds that they are obligated to pay to other vendors and subcontractors, they may find themselves running short of the funds they need.
The solution is to make sure that all funds are carefully tracked by project. That way, if there’s one project that gets stalled or goes under it’s only that project that is affect
Keeping your projects compartmentalized may take a little extra effort at the beginning, but as time goes on, it means that you can spend less time worrying about juggling invoices and payments for multiple projects. It also helps guarantee less stress for your finances in the long run, which can also help keep you out of the office.
3. Upgrade Your Tech
When a business has done things a certain way for a long time, it can be hard to break out of old habits, even if they slow things down, or are counter-productive.
Maybe you’ve been using the same computer or office equipment for a while without incident. The problem is that if your computer system fails or software becomes corrupted, contractors run the risk of losing critical client and project information.
Upgrading may require some time and expense, but in the long run, it’s an investment in the future of your business that you can’t afford not to make.
Upgrading doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Technology updates mean that the power and memory of a top-of-the line system five years ago can be replicated with a low-to moderately priced system today.
Looking for a way to save on paper and storage space? Invest in a decent copier that can also serve as a document scanner. This allows you to convert your paper files to PDF. This cuts down on unsightly clutter, and also allows you to share paperwork with clients and Project Owners more easily. Instead of having to wait for a fax, or sending papers through the mail, you can do everything with a single click.
4. Make the Cloud Your Friend
Your documents and information have been scanned. Now imagine being able to check your financial statements, sign contracts, pay invoices, review plans and contract documents, receive up to the minute updates on the progress of a project, and close out a project without setting one foot in your office.
Five or ten years ago this would have been impossible. Today, the mobile revolution is making this dream a reality.
More and more contractors are investing in portable tablet computers that give them round-the-clock access to the internet, and cloud based solutions that expedite communications and allow them to review plans and documentation on the go.
As these solutions become more widespread, they also become more affordable and easier to use.
Put these solutions together, and you’ll never feel that you’re wasting time in your office again.
Ready to get started? Get your FREE bond quote today, or call (855) 4-CINIUM.