Contractors that go digital stay relevant
What do trees have in common with a company going digital? A well-known proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Change is hard but the companies who fight it, don't often survive. Humanity has seen a faster exponential technological growth in the last century than ever before so if you haven't yet made the digital switch, the best time is now.
Set up a contracting CRM software
So how do you start the move into going digital and clear your desk of paperwork, clutter, disorganization that's costing you money? You start by centralizing your data. [insert anchor link to "centralizing your data" to "why contractors need a centralized point for client data" blog post] Find a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that works for you so that you can eliminate or reduce other methods, especially paper methods, of record keeping. Make sure your CRM has the following tools:
- It is customizable
- It is easy to access
- It is easy to maintain and get tech support
- It can store historical data
- It can create manual reports and show your data in a visual dashboard
- It offers integrations with your existing systems, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel
- It is optimized for mobile usage
Creating contracting employee buy-in for digital change
After getting your CRM up and running you can begin the important process of creating buy-in from your employees and coworkers. The best way to initiate a digital change is with a top-down approach, that leaves room for employee input. Followup CRM offers virtual training courses to help you introduce your team to a new, more efficient way of doing business.
When leadership is motivated to go digital, employees will follow suit. Incentives are a useful tool to encourage learning new software, and if you select Followup CRM as your tool your team will be happy to know the learning curve is not steep.
It is important to create a space where your employees feel comfortable giving pushback or voicing concerns. It is equally as important for leadership to address those concerns and provide adequate training and resources to help everyone, including less technology-savvy employees, transition over the digital divide.
Entering data into a new CRM system for continued growth
Part of the process of going digital for any company means digitizing their files and other data. Since Followup CRM integrates with several other programs like Microsoft Outlook and Quickbooks, so you can focus on transferring non-digital data. Dedicating some time initially to parse through your files and being entering valuable information will allow you to pull up reports and dashboards reflecting long periods of time. You can also choose to start your CRM without transitioning over your paper files, though you may miss out on additional reporting benefits.
Understand your contracting client demographics
Specialty trades like roofing, remodeling, HVAC, and more work with a lot of different types of clients. It is important to consider your audience when going digital and how to best transition in a way that still feels accessible to your loyal clients while appealing to younger generations.
If you find that your high quality clients are receptive to opportunities to engage digitally with you, then create avenues for them to do so. You can encourage clients to log into a client portal hosted on your CRM [I have no idea if Followup CRM can actually do this, please remove if it’s not a feature], use social media, or ensure that your website is easy to find, read, and use, especially on a mobile device.
Winning friends and influencing people is not a dead art, just one that's changed along with our digital world. It’s a hard line to tread between being familiar to more traditional audiences, and being accessible to those with buying power. This is the nature of contracting work, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Followup CRM can provide all the tools you need to go digital today.