With so many options on the market, choosing a job management system that’s right for your business can seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you go through the (often costly) process of setting your business up on an app that you’re not 100% confident with, set some time aside to work through what it is that you’re looking for, and which software best meets your needs. To make this process simpler, we’ve compiled a list of steps you can take before you make a commitment to any app.
To begin, reflect on what it is that’s making you wanting to switch from your current system. It may be that writing all quotes, invoices, notes and reports by hand and then maintaining that paper trail is just too much of a headache. Or, it could be that your current software doesn’t offer all the features that your business requires.
Before making your decision, sit down for a few minutes and perhaps have a discussion with your team to figure out what features are most valuable to your business. What are the features that your team currently use the most? What are the features you wish your current system had?
Write out a list with the features you have prioritised, and use this when searching for software. Even if you’re unable to find an app that matches your criteria perfectly, by creating a list, you’ll be able to easily identify which software will best suit your business’s needs.
Evaluate What’s Offered
Most job management websites clearly list which features their software has. This can either be found on the marketing website’s ‘Features’ page, or apps with different payment plans will often list a comparison of the features each level offers on their ‘Pricing’ page.
Alternatively, there are a number of comparison sites out there which take the work out of it for you. For example, GetApp allows you to quickly compare up to four apps at once by showing at a glance the pricing, integrations, and whether or not each software has the features listed (of which there are over 150). However, if an app that you’ve been looking into isn’t listed on one of these sites, don’t be discouraged. Smaller apps may offer you exactly what you need, it may just be that they haven’t yet had the platform to advertise it.
Try Before You Buy
The majority of job management apps have free trial periods, money back guarantees, video walk-throughs on their website or sharing platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo, or at the very least, will provide potential users with live demos. If you have the time and opportunity to, set your company up for a free trial to get a feel for the app. While it may seem on paper that one specific app is a perfect fit for your business, it may not be as user-friendly as you would like.
Also, if there’s a particular app that you would like to try out which doesn’t offer a free trial, reach out to see if one can be arranged – the worst that can happen is that they say no.
Compare the Costs
Once you’ve whittled the options down to a handful, it’s time to take into consideration the costs of each. Although tempting, it’s important not to start with this step. Higher prices for software may initially sway you away from an app that has everything you’ve been looking for, before you’ve had a chance to recognise the potential financial benefits that the software can offer your business.
Pricing for job management software is often complex, and varies greatly, so it’s important you’re aware of the potential costs before signing up. Some apps will be more straightforward than others, offering an all-inclusive monthly price, or pay-per use plan. While each app offers a different pricing system, more often than not, the software itself has different payment levels available. Generally the price will range across three or four different levels, and your access to features will be restricted based on what you pay.
On top of this, many apps charge per user. This charge can be for users in general, or specifically for admin/office staff or field users. Before making your decision, check how many users are included in the plan you’re interested in, and add the cost of any extra staff that you require to your running total.
Occasionally apps will also charge a one-time set-up fee, or offer “add-ons” which come at either a one off or monthly cost. These add-ons can include anything from accounting integrations, to the ability to accept credit card payments in-app or signature approval systems.
Before committing to one app, be sure to fully read through the software’s ‘Pricing’ page so that you aren’t caught out by any unexpected charges.
Changing the way that you manage your business is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightheartedly. It needs careful consideration, but following these steps will help to prevent you investing time and money into software that isn’t right for your business.
Quay Electrical is a small electrical business operating across the regions of Torquay, Geelong, the Bellarine and Surf Coast in Victoria. Prior to taking these steps, owner Liam had difficulty in balancing the labour and administration sides of the business. Using excel sheets, as well as multiple different softwares for quoting and invoicing, there was no consistent procedure in place and business suffered.
By taking the time to work through these steps, Liam was able to make a well-founded decision when choosing Trade Trak for his job management. The app has allowed him to streamline and manage his business at the touch of a button. Quay Electrical can now track their jobs through all stages from concept to completion, including quoting, invoicing, completion of reports and SWMS, and scheduling.
About the Author
Gabi Power is the marketing manager for Digital Basis. Although her copywriting experience extends to many areas, she specialises in creating content for the IT and trades industries.