There’s nothing more exciting than when your trade service business picks up speed and grows at a rapid pace. Many Australian companies often fail to reach this stage, but just because yours is a cut above the rest doesn’t mean you should be complacent. If you’re not careful, your company’s rapid growth may spiral out of control and cause you to miss critical opportunities. Fortunately, you can implement strategies to manage this growth and keep your business going in the right direction.
Analyse your growth
To sustain your company’s success, you should understand the reasons for your company’s growth and use those insights to make smarter decisions. The best way to accomplish these is to analyse your data.
Cash flow is one data type to watch closely because it shows you where the money is going. By analysing where your revenue is coming from, you’ll be able to identify your most profitable service offerings and promote them much more aggressively. At the same time, cash flow helps you pinpoint areas where the company is losing money, so you know how to manage your budget better. More importantly, looking at cash flow trends allows you to better anticipate seasonal demands and time business investments accordingly. For example, HVAC companies that experience revenue surges around December may choose to spend their money hiring seasonal workers and major capital investments.
Another key data point you should observe is your marketing performance. Find out which channels have helped you find the most business (i.e., social media, website, word of mouth) and focus your marketing efforts on those areas. You’ll also need to hone in on what sets your company apart from the rest and which demographics gravitate towards your business so you can improve your marketing strategies.
Update and document work procedures
Without a structure in place to guide your growing workforce, you can experience a host of issues. For example, back when your firm was smaller, it was easier to conduct safety training and have everyone follow established safety protocols. However, now that your firm is larger, you need to scale up your safety implementation measures, too. If you fail to do so, the chances of tradies suffering from health issues or debilitating injuries at work will increase dramatically. This not only puts people out of work, but it can also lead to litigation and penalties since you didn’t provide a comprehensive checklist. Plus, you’ll likely tarnish relationships with clients or project owners if important tasks for a job go overlooked.
It’s therefore imperative to document your work procedures as you take on more jobs and larger projects. Job management systems like WorkBuddy alleviate these problems by letting you customise checklists from hundreds of Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) templates. These checklists ensure tradies know what they’re supposed to do throughout the project and how to approach each task safely. These checklists also enable project managers to monitor job progress and safety compliance in real-time.
Provide training programs
Constant training fills widening skills gaps that come from implementing advanced technology and adapting to new industry trends. Training tradies on operating heavy machinery or drones, for instance, ensure that new equipment is handled correctly and safely. If you’re incorporating new software into your current workflows, training can ease the transition and increase efficiency levels. Additionally, improving your tradies’ skills will give your company a competitive edge. Some valuable educational resources include Lifestyle Tradie and TradiePad.
There comes a point in a company’s growth when it’s no longer feasible to do everything manually. After all, managing repetitive paperwork and coordinating dozens of jobs by hand is not the best use of time. Fast-growing trade businesses, therefore, need automation to address ever-increasing workloads and streamline processes. Business processes that are ripe for automation include job scheduling, compliance, accounting, and on-site operations.
With job management software, you can automate the process of dispatching work orders to the right tradies. WorkBuddy job scheduling tools, in particular, monitor your team’s schedules and qualifications to assess who is the most qualified and available to take on specific jobs. It even uses location tracking features to calculate distances between job sites and optimises travel routes so tradies can make their next appointment on time.
WorkBuddy comes with automated compliance capabilities to help you easily adhere to industry and government regulations. It automatically delivers the relevant safety and compliance forms to on-site tradies so they follow proper SWMS protocols at work. Automated job management systems will even send alerts to tradies and supervising managers of any pending tasks to ensure every task is crossed off the checklist.
WorkBuddy’s accounting integration with platforms like Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB Online simplifies various accounting processes. For starters, tradies can capture purchase receipts and other work-related expenses in your WorkBuddy and accounting platform’s shared database. Any information collected is immediately reflected in your company’s accounting dashboard, giving you real-time visibility over your company’s cash flow. What’s more, WorkBuddy can generate invoices on-site and send automated alerts to follow up on outstanding payments to ensure your company gets paid faster.
On-site inspection and operations
Tradies can leverage digital technologies like drones and autonomous machines to automate on-site operations. Drones can be used to automate site surveys and make it easier to inspect areas that may be too dangerous for tradies. Meanwhile, machines are now capable of performing repetitive concrete work with minimal human involvement. These technologies are beneficial for growing operations that are stretched thin and want their tradies to focus on more critical tasks.
If your trade company’s growth is overwhelmingly fast, WorkBuddy is a solution that will help you take back control. From job scheduling to safety compliance to accounting, our job management system will enable your business to perform at its best. Request a demo today to learn more about WorkBuddy.