IT, or information technology, is a broad term that includes different technologies used to create, store, exchange, or use information. Today, IT has not only been essential for the daily operations of general contracting businesses, but it has also helped businesses in this industry to achieve massive growth and success. However, this is only if it’s effectively utilized.
Successful general contracting businesses don’t consider IT to automate their processes, but they rely on it to open new avenues of doing business. Thus, digitizing your general contracting business has positive effects on the business’s operations. It doesn’t matter the size of your business—IT has both palpable and impalpable benefits, which can help you make more money as you continue to meet your clients’ needs. Digitizing your general contracting business can affect the company’s efficiency, relationships, and culture. Besides, it has effects on the security of your business information, as well as trade advantages. So, how can IT for small businesses help your general contracting business?
Thanks to IT, businesses can use websites and social media platforms to create their brands and market their products and services. The process of creating a website isn’t difficult—you can find templates online that you can customize according to your preferences, vision, and target audience. Also, with the right skills and knowledge about tools like Photoshop and other software programs for graphic design, you can create digital marketing materials yourself. Regarding social media platforms, these are free avenues where you can share updates with your clients—as well as potential clients. With effective branding on your website or social media profiles, you don’t have to spend so much on advertising. You have to be constantly active in managing your digital presence.
The contractors at AFS General Contracting say that businesses that rely on paper as the main source of documentation may take a longer time to finish tasks, even if they’re easy jobs because it takes up more time and effort and costs more money for photocopying and printing papers. With digitizing your general contracting business comes advantages such as an improved workflow. Since paper documents are now stored in a data format, you can retrieve them quickly to use as a reference or comparison with other project information stored in your device or server. Thus, you won’t have to worry about losing documents, a common problem among small businesses. Also, designing apps according to workflows will help managers and employees easily navigate through different processes of the company—in turn reducing mistakes and ensuring the quality of work.
Improved security and data protection
The cost is a major consideration for small business owners when investing in IT. However, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t always require the purchase of expensive hardware and software. There are still affordable options to help you digitize your business for improved efficiency and data protection. With security cameras installed at key locations such as parking areas (for construction sites), rooftops, hallways, entrance/exit doors, etc., you have an assurance that your employees are safe from hazardous conditions or criminals—as well as physical damage to the company equipment and tools they use to complete projects. Aside from these, most businesses now implement a 2-factor authentication protocol for electronic and digital security.
Trade advantages and improved business relations with associates and clients
Another common challenge for small businesses is the lack of resources that could help them express their concerns when they encounter trade barriers in importing raw materials they need or exporting finished products they produce. This situation can be addressed with help, such as through enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which can help you track down open purchase orders, workflows, inventory, financial status, etc.
With proper ERP integration, you no longer have to call your distributors to ask about available purchase orders —you can see if there’s a delay in production because of late payment from clients before contacting them. Also, the software will help you keep in touch with your clients and business associates through a single database that can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere—whether they’re in another branch of the company or another country altogether.
Boosting online presence for businesses
In general, when it comes to marketing a product or service for small businesses, there are many options where ongoing costs are minimal compared to traditional strategies such as newspaper ads and billboards. One way is by boosting your website’s search engine rankings through the use of SEO principles: content creation based on keywords that describe your business products and services; linking relevant pages together, so search engines have an easier time crawling them; building backlinks from other websites to point to your online assets. This way, you’re sure that all the time and money you invest in IT leads to better results.
Mobile apps for increased efficiency
While free IT options are available, some options may require a monthly or annual subscription fee, which can be quite costly for small businesses. One option is developing mobile apps that you can download from an app store, especially if it helps increase productivity while keeping operational costs at a minimum. For example, GPS tracking tools allow you to monitor where company vehicles are located during deliveries. This reduces the need for manual updates about estimated arrival times of employees when they get off work, allowing them to do other tasks while waiting for deliveries to arrive.
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