How to Run a Successful Skilled Trades Business
When it comes to skilled trades, business is booming. There’s plenty of demand, which means it’s all-too-easy to work yourself to the bone.
Then, there’s the administrative side of things — those pesky tasks that can quickly eat up time that would be better spent on the job site. When you work in the trades or run a company that provides skilled trade services, you need to worry about:
- Answering client calls
- Quoting jobs
- Scheduling jobs
- Scheduling the right employees and subcontractors at the right time
- Invoicing clients
- Following up with potential clients to build the business
- Paying suppliers on-time
- Receiving checks
Clearly, running a skilled trade business takes more than skill. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the admin side of running your company, it may be time to bring in some extra help.
Fortunately, there’s an easy and affordable way to get the administrative support that builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades entrepreneurs need to thrive: Virtual assistant services.
What can virtual assistants do for businesses in the skilled trades?
A virtual assistant can handle all of the administrative tasks that are required to keep a skilled trades business running smoothly and efficiently. Basically. the right virtual assistant makes it possible to delegate common administrative tasks.
These tasks can quickly eat into your day, and they often feel never-ending. With a virtual assistant, though, you don’t have to worry about:
- Answering the phone. A virtual assistant can screen calls and assist with appointment scheduling, client questions, and more. You’ll never get interrupted by a telemarketing call, either.
- Project management. Extra project management support can help keep jobs organized and on-schedule (so your project manager can focus on daily site operations).
- Customer service. Let someone else send appointment reminders, follow-up with clients, track invoices, and answer questions. If your input is needed, your virtual assistant will let you know.
- Calendar Management. Scheduling can feel like a game of Tetris. A virtual assistant can make sure employees and contractors are scheduled properly, keep track of permit deadlines, and anything else you need to keep your calendar correct.
This list is just the beginning, too. Virtual assistants are flexible, and they adapt to your company’s needs and workflow. Many can comfortably work with your chosen CRM and field management software, and they’ll get to know your business and its customers.
Before you know it, you’ll have someone who functions as an extended member of your internal team.
Choosing the right type of virtual assistant for your skilled trades business
The term “virtual assistant” can mean several things. For example, some small business owners rely on support from overseas assistants who work online from their home country.
This solution can be incredibly affordable, but businesses in the skilled trades will likely experience problems with this arrangement. For starters, you won’t work with an assistant who understands your local market (and the people who live there).
When people call your company, they’ll instantly know they’re speaking with an outsourced assistant. This can be problematic for trades businesses, especially if customers expect to work with a homegrown team.
How to find an affordable, and local, virtual assistant
Not all virtual assistants work online from faraway lands, though, and it is possible to find support from someone who understands your region. The key is to find a virtual assistant provider with strong local networks across multiple locations.
That’s the model we use here at Intelligent Office, and over the years we’ve learned that it’s a great fit for businesses in the skilled trades.
Our network spans the U.S. and Canada. So, when you join your local Intelligent Office, you’ll work with a team that understands what it’s like to be a business owner where you live. Each location employs virtual assistants (aka Intelligent Assistants) so members don’t have to worry about hiring and basic training.
When you choose this type of virtual assistant set-up, you’ll receive top-notch support from professional assistants. The price is far more affordable than you might think, too.