If you have trade and construction clients, you’ll know how busy their days can be. Some are so bogged down with paperwork, they find it impossible to fit into their workday. So to compensate they burn the midnight oil, or give up their weekends to ensure staff and invoices are paid on time. Sound familiar? These clients are often crying out for better efficiency, but many are in the dark about how to improve their processes.
That’s where you come in. By recommending the right apps you can put your clients on the path to success, while removing their admin headaches. In this blog, I’ll cover some of the common challenges to running a successful trade and construction business and how apps can help. Plus, I’ll cover some key announcements from my recent talk at Xerocon Brisbane that will help you get started with recommending the right apps to your trade and construction clients.
Trade and construction challenges
Running a trade and construction business can be demanding. As well as the need to improve work-life balance and manage admin smarter, trade and construction clients often need help with understanding profitability and improving their workflows.
For your clients to maximise profit, they need a more detailed view of their business than the bottom line alone. By being able to view time spent on each individual job, plus their customers, debtors and suppliers, your client gains a much better understanding of how profitable they are, and what levers are available to them to improve profitability.
Many trade and construction businesses use subcontractors, making workflows increasingly complicated as the number and type of employees vary from project-to-project. Paper-based systems can’t keep up, making managing these type of jobs even more challenging.
So how can you help?
With the right Xero-integrated apps, it’s easier and faster for your clients to quote, invoice and accept payment. This not only gives them their evenings and weekends back, but also helps them become more profitable and reach their goals. At the same time, you can strengthen your suite of advisory services to grow your practice’s revenue.
“Many of the clients who come to us are running paper-based systems with lots of duplication.” said Diana Siddall, Cloud Advisor at AccountsConnect. “Once we get clients set up with the right software their efficiency greatly improves. With the right apps, communication becomes easy and because everyone in the business has access to the same real-time information, they’re all on the same page.
“With the right apps, clients can access this real-time information and run their business on the go, via their smartphone. For example, it’s possible to invoice onsite. This gives these clients so much more time back in their day so when they get home they can ‘turn off’, which is great for their work life balance. With online payment facilities set up, they can get paid faster too.”
How you can start implementing app advisory for trade and construction
You may already be recommending apps to your clients. Or if you’re like roughly half of Xero advisors, you want to get started, but you don’t know where to begin. No matter where you are on your journey, we want to make it easier for you to build a repeatable, scalable process to successfully deliver app advisory.
With that in mind, we’ve just launched our Xero U course for Trade and Construction. On this course, you’ll learn how to profile your clients’ needs and find the right app for their business, with help from case studies and comparison matrices, so you can recommend apps with confidence.
We’ve also introduced a Xero U course, specifically focused on learning the fundamentals of app advisory. It will show you the steps, to bring app advisory into your practice and make it work for your unique goals and resources.
Earlier this year we introduced Xero’s app playbook series, including our app advisory and trade and construction playbooks. The Xero U courses builds upon the content in these playbooks. So if you haven’t read them yet, I recommend you take a look at them today. They’re a great stand alone resource and can also be used as reference after you have finished the Xero U courses.
Gaining your trade and construction industry specialist badge
Once you complete the trade and construction course in Xero U you’ll receive an industry specialist badge on your advisor directory profile. As long as your practice has three clients tagged within the industry, including at least one client using a trade and construction app, your practice will also be awarded a trade and construction specialist badge. So you can start reaching new clients and growing your practice’s revenue.
You may have also heard about our new in-app marketplace experience available via Xero HQ Explorer. This provides you with four tailored app recommendations for each of your clients, based on their industry, helping make choosing the right apps for your trade and construction clients even easier.
These new resources, combined with your expertise and skills, can help you successfully build app advisory services into your practice, while enabling your trade and construction clients to run smarter, more profitable businesses – without the late night admin. We hope they help you on your journey to success with app advisory.