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Key Strategies to Keep Your Construction Workload Steady

Construction work is happening at all times – it only takes a quick drive through any town to notice it.

Running a successful construction company, however, goes beyond an owner’s ability to perform quality construction work. The constant demand for work does not mean someone can simply start a construction company and expect the business to reach and continue its success.

According to ConstructConnect, the construction industry has grown for 7 consecutive years, with 2018 spend nearing $1,313.3B. To keep up with industry demand and rising competition, construction companies must plan and put strategies in place to guarantee a steady workload. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the construction business for years, use these guidelines to keep the work coming long-term (and ensure you have the resources to keep up!).

Invest in Technology

Providing estimates, invoices, and storing customer information may seem easy to complete manually at first. If your goal is to grow the business, though, embracing technology to help do this work for you is crucial.

The construction industry requires managing a lot of information – bookkeeping, resources, workflows, deadlines, and invoices are just the start. Mobile business tools and construction management software will allow your company to provide timely and accurate information, so more of your time can be spent on the business versus in the business.

Although very few construction companies are comfortable using technology, you will notice the largest and most successful construction companies rely on technology to manage suppliers, projects, resources, employees, and even the payment process. Technology is not only helpful to you but also to your customers (for example, imagine getting paid on the spot instead of waiting for the paper invoice to process!).

Payment solution software, such as what ClearGate offers (and their new app, payup℠, coming soon), works with companies to implement digital solutions from initial pricing proposals and business support to data security and online reporting. Given the time, cost, and chance of error included while doing these processes manually, digital solutions are worth the investment.

Invest in Your People

Finding and hiring qualified, dependable employees is only half the battle. Construction is a fierce business, and it is just as important – if not more important – to know how to keep your employees.

Your people and their skills are the bread and butter of your company, so first put the right strategies in place to ensure you are hiring the right candidates from the start. Do not forego scheduling a traditional job interview, as this provides the best chance to understand how the potential employee’s previous work, skills, and personality and culture fit your business.

Once a good hire is made, providing competitive pay is only a small piece of securing an employee long-term. You want to build a company and culture that your employees want to be a part of, so ask their opinion, listen to their ideas, and help them understand how their skills and career could grow. Set goals, and work with your team to help them understand how to reach them. Show employees you appreciate their hard work. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way, as do flexible Paid-Time-Off and family policies.

The construction business typically pays well, and it is easy for employees and company owners alike to focus most of their energy there. However, according to Forbes Top 10 Factors for On-The-Job Employee Happiness, an attractive salary ranks at a lowly 7 out of 10. Appreciation for work, good relationships, and work-life balance rank in as the top 3 factors driving employee engagement.

In today’s world of technology, a construction company’s success depends a lot on two things: its systems and its people. With a whopping 52% of field service companies still doing things manually, taking advantage of digital solutions (to support both your people and your customers) is a surefire way to get ahead of the competition and ensure a steady and successful workload for years to come.

Trends Every Small Business Should Be Paying Attention To

As we move into 2020, small businesses are taking advantage of technology now more than ever.

From finding new ways to connect to customers to implementing digital payment software, small investments in technology are showing big returns for small businesses across America.

Every New Year brings new opportunities for you and your business to learn and grow. As technology continues to transform the way we work and interact with others, follow these trends to set your business up for success as we enter the next decade.

Small Businesses are Going Digital

“Going digital” is a popular statement in the business world today. Although some businesses are skeptical about digital solutions, they fail to take into account the technology tools they already use to operate their business.

If your business uses email to communicate or conferencing software to meet with multiple parties around the world at once, your business is already on the path of going digital. Finding ways to advance the way your business uses technology does not have to be difficult or expensive. Whether you just launched your business or are looking for ways to stay ahead, technology is constantly growing and providing small businesses with opportunities to improve efficiency and increase profits.

Small Businesses are Using Social Media

It is nearly impossible to scroll on any social media platform without noticing promotional or branded content. Not only can small businesses save time and money by using social media to advertise, but they can also reach a larger audience than what is possible with traditional advertising methods. For example, a Facebook ad is much more likely to save money and reach a larger audience than a traditional billboard advertisement.

Advertising on social media also allows your business to reach a more targeted audience (those that are more likely to be interested in your product or service). Unlike commercials and newspapers ads, social media platforms use special coding methods to place paid advertisements in the right place, at the right time, in front of the right people. Social media comes with its share of pros and cons, but small businesses will find more benefits than risks in terms of advertising their business and connecting with customers around the world.

Small Businesses are Accepting Digital Payments

When it comes to accepting payment methods, the data speaks for itself: accept digital payments or continue to lose profits. A May 2012 survey by Intuit GoPayment, a credit card processor, found that while only 45% of small businesses in the U.S. accept credit cards, 83% of those small businesses make more revenue than their competitors. Implementing digital payment software is not only more convenient for your customers and business, but it also helps drive revenue and capture more business.

A number of studies have shown that consumers are likely to spend up to 100% more when using a digital payment method versus cash or check. Digital payments are becoming an essential part of any successful business, and the digital processing fees amount to far less than the amount of lost business. As Philip Parker, founder of CardPaymentOptions.com, says, “…The consequence is lost sales. This is a fact.”

Thankfully, payment solution software is both affordable and widely available from industry-leading companies, such as ClearGate’s easy-to-use software, payup℠ – a new, free app. Their software allows businesses of any size to process payments, check payment statuses, and create custom reports at the touch of a button.

Small Businesses are Securing Their Data

As mentioned before, the days of cash, check, and swiping your credit card are over. Along with the rise of technology comes the rise in large-scale data breaches and identity theft for businesses and customers worldwide.

Card companies have met this challenge by implementing chip-enabled payment technologies, while small businesses find ways to further secure their data with software programs, much like Cleargate’s Payment Solutions. Outside of offering a virtual terminal for processing payments, Cleargate also uses a unique combination of two data security techniques – encryption and tokenization – to ensure small businesses receive the flexibility, reliability, and security they need.

Whatever method of digital payment software you choose, securing customers’ sensitive financial information is of the utmost importance.

Technology is becoming a critical component of any successful business. As consumers continue to give way to the latest trends in technology (social media and eWallets, for example), they are also paying attention to how businesses are – or are not – using technology to enhance security, convenience, and communication.

Staying in tune with technology trends is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but increasingly considered a ‘must-have’ for any small business. As technology becomes the new standard, keep an eye on digital trends to ensure your business does not get left behind.

6 Small Steps to Modernize Your Business for 2020

Starting a business is hard, and maintaining a successful business is even harder.

As a small business, it is important to understand the latest technology trends to stay competitive. You are no longer just competing against businesses that are bigger but also businesses that are more modern. Instead of viewing this negatively, consider this: a small business is able to easily change and adapt to the latest technology, while large businesses typically struggle to implement change.

Finding ways to modernize your small business does not have to break the bank. To reach success and continue growing, consider these 6 small steps to advancing your business in the New Year.

Embrace Technology

The most important step? It is time to accept technology and learn to love it. In the 1980’s and 90’s, taking your business digital was only a suggestion. Nearly 30 years later, 94% of small businesses are mobile friendly. With businesses flooding the internet, choosing to resist technology is also choosing to give your business a death sentence.

Choose the Cloud

Where do you house all of your business and customer information? Hopefully your answer is “The Cloud” and not a row of filing cabinets. Customers expect to interact with you and your business any time, anywhere, and from any device. Get comfortable with using web-based platforms and software applications (including mobile apps!) to meet your customers’ needs.

Keep it Secure

Keeping important and confidential information on The Cloud instead of filing cabinets and spreadsheets may feel risky, so choosing the right software and security package ensures your customer data is safe. Cloud-based solutions save time, effort, and allow you to provide a better customer experience. Security is key when it comes to building a trustworthy relationship with customers.

Start Automating

Say goodbye to bookkeeping and invoicing by hand. With the right software application, you can manage your work and process payments with increased speed and accuracy. The software automatically does the work for you, and customers should hardly notice the difference (but you will!).

Automating your business processes also allows you to save time and resources on administrative tasks to free up time to grow your business and profit margins. From automatic emails and social media posts to data entry and scheduling, allow technology to do the work for you. Your time is better spent on the business versus in the business.

Think Mobile

In today’s society, mobile devices come first as a means of communication, media coverage, and information searches. Have a question? Google it on your phone. Need to chat with a friend? Give them a call or text from your mobile device.

If your company is not using software and tools that allow for easy use on a mobile device, you are giving customers a reason to look elsewhere. By allowing customers to find and interact with your business quickly from their mobile devices, you are marketing your business and increasing the chance they choose your services over the competition.

Accept Mobile Payments

Upgrading to mobile payment software is a great first step in automating your business and becoming more mobile-friendly. Mobile payment applications, such as payup℠, allow you to process automatic estimates, invoices, and payment collections on the spot. Only 23% of people use cash for point-of-sale transactions, so businesses that do not accept mobile credit payments are severely limiting themselves to a small demographic. With mobile payment software, estimate and invoice accuracy increases and wait-time for payments decreases. A win-win situation for any small business!

If you want to meet the demand of current customers (and remain ahead of the game), modernizing your business is no longer just a suggestion – it is crucial. Thankfully, upgrading your business’s technology and digital solutions does not have to be expensive or complicated. In the long run, going digital with mobile solutions will allow you and your business to save time, money, and build a better relationship with customers.

Learning to accept technology as a business norm is half the battle. Mobile business tools are ready and available to help streamline your business’s workflow anytime, anywhere, from any device. It is time to make a decision for your small business: are you going to embrace technology or get left behind?