Digital Strategies for Effectively Managing a Contracting Business

Contractors face certain hurdles that other types of businesses do not. For example, you must carefully estimate projects when the cost of supplies fluctuates regularly. Luckily, many digital tools can help you stay on track and maintain positive relationships with customers. 

Invest in Project Management Software

Most businesses today use some sort of project management software to keep things organized and ensure everyone is on the same page. For many, this is a general program, such as Asana. However, contractors have unique needs that this type of software may not address. 

Be sure to research full-featured estimate software for workshops, too. Once you do, you’ll see why it is worth investing in a contractor-specific program. The best ones have features that can help you manage everything from estimates to building supply lists to compiling project wrap-up reports. By keeping these tasks in one place, your projects are more likely to stay on track and budget. 

Start a Company Blog

While it may seem like Everyone has a blog today, many businesses aren’t making the most of this tool. Used correctly, a company blog is an excellent tool for brand building and customer engagement. Use this space to establish yourself as an authority in the industry. Share tips, explore current trends, and share special projects you’ve completed. 

Before you add a blog section to your website, it is a good idea to have several posts ready to go. You can write these yourself or, if you are more comfortable, work with a marketing agency to develop appropriate content. 

Use Customer Relationship Manager Software

If you aren’t using a dedicated software program to keep up with past, current, and potential customers, then there’s a good chance you are missing out on sales. CRMs are available with a variety of features and capabilities, so be aware of what you need one to do when shopping. 

A high-quality CRM provides insights into customer spending behavior and preferences. It can also track personal information, such as birthdays, to help you build a connection or offer personalized discounts. The best CRMs will also let you enter specifics about customers, such as how you met, comments made during a consultation, and proposed timelines for projects. 

Develop Email Marketing Campaigns

There’s a good chance you send and receive multiple emails during a typical business day. Now is a great time to start thinking more about all the messages filtering into your inbox. Many of these are likely generated by an email program, such as MailChimp, as part of a subscription program or marketing campaign. This is a quick and efficient way to reach a large number of people with minimal effort on your part. 

If you haven’t invested in an e-mail manager, research some of the top programs. Pay attention to who you are communicating with in each contact. For example, if you already have regular check-in emails set up with current clients, you can leave them off many promotional blasts. This will minimize email fatigue among clients while prioritizing attracting the people you are not currently working with. 

Use Mobile Apps on the Go

Web-based tools are excellent for day-to-day operations that get handled from the office. However, contracting can sometimes take you to areas with limited internet access. In those situations, you want a solution that is more flexible and mobile. The following apps fit the bill nicely. Making them part of your software toolbox can help keep operations streamlined and cost-effective.

  • DeWalt Mobile Pro is a handy construction calculator app available for download. The free version offers basic functions and can help you calculate measurements, dimensions, and supplies. Several trade-specific add-ons are available at an additional cost. 
  • GasBuddy is an excellent tool to save on costs when you find yourself fueling multiple trucks and heavy equipment. Use it to see gas and diesel costs at nearby gas stations and then plan your route accordingly. 
  • PunchList is an app that lets you quickly create lists and track progress. It works well for walk-throughs and project reviews where you might want to take detailed notes on the go. 

The right digital tools make running a contracting business easier. Email managers and CRMs are excellent, but you should also look for industry-specific software, such as estimating software and construction calculators, when possible.