As the majority of users of this site will know, working as an independent contractor often means that you are the only person running the show. You might have an apprentice or two to help you out with the legwork from time to time, but the business side of running things will likely fall to you and you alone. This can put a lot of contractors in a difficult position, particularly when it comes to trying to coordinate new work when you’re already in the middle of an existing job. If you’re wondering how some tech can help you balance this out, read on for some easy to implement solutions.
Create a Website
If people are unable to get a hold of you by phone, their next port of call will likely be online. If someone puts your company details into Google, you want to be sure that your website is the first thing that they see, lest you lose work to a competitor. To many of us, setting up a website sounds like a daunting task, particularly if you don’t have a background in working with computers.
Luckily, site platforms like Wordpress and Wix have been created to make the whole process straightforward, even for beginners. From here the site can do a lot of work for you. You can list services, show examples of previous work, and most importantly leave an email address for enquiries. Getting people to email over job requests instead of calling you can allow you to reply to them at your leisure.
As stated before, a common difficulty that lots of contractors face when it comes to managing enquiries whilst on the job is being at the other end of the phone or an email at the point when a new customer needs them. While the use of a cell phone can help in a lot of cases, it can be hard to digest the specifics of a new job while you’re in the middle of an existing one. And the last thing a client wants to see is their contractor chatting on the phone about other work before the current job is finished.
An effective way around this, in combination with the aforementioned website, is the use of a cloud computing network to back-up your online data. In using one of these secure computing networks you will be able to gain remote access to your data, which could include any enquiries that might come through your site. You can catch up on these on-site, when you have a moment on a lunch break, etc.
People are becoming increasingly expectant of instant gratification when it comes to needing information. The smartphone generation is used to getting answers at the drop of a hat and it is our role to adapt to this new way of dealing with enquiries. On the one hand, we can be stubborn and work the old way, but all it takes is one competitor to figure out how to work faster, and they will take business right out from under you.