With November here I know that many companies, including my own, are looking at their 2013 costs and revenue, and determining 2014 forecasts and budgets. This process is tedious, complex, and very important. Many aspects of your business have to be considered – your position in the market, possible threats based on competition and the economy, opportunities for growth and potential new work, etc.
Throughout the year, I talk to a lot of construction business owners and accounting staff who are considering a change in their construction accounting software. I’m occasionally asked by companies, particularly those on the proverbial fence, why they should make a switch. However, I like to approach the question a little differently, because while I like when companies choose my software, I want the change to be best for them. Companies should consider the reasons they want to switch – is there a specific reason or are they just going through the motions. Not every company needs to change their construction software, but there are some definite reasons to switch, and here are my top three.
I’m constantly amazed by the speed with which new technology and new devices are reaching the marketplace. It was only a few years ago that the iPad debuted, but tablet sales have grown so fast that now more than one-third of adults in the U.S. own one. Laptops continue to become lighter, hybrid tablet/laptops are available, and smart phones are becoming the norm. Not too long ago, Google released its Chrome Book – a laptop that runs everything in the cloud and doesn’t require any software downloads. Instead, users access their documents, spreadsheets, and other files in the cloud. As a developer of cloud-based software, I couldn’t help but try one out. In doing so, I came to several conclusions about how the cloud is shaping the behaviors of both software users and developers.
Not too long ago, our marketing director lost his iPad after leaving it in a rental car while traveling. For many, this would be a near catastrophic event, given the amount of personal (and often business) data that is often kept on any mobile device. Fortunately, he had installed an app that cleared all of his personal information and locked down the iPad. So he simply logged into a computer and secured the device. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to use the location feature on the tablet and lost it completely.
Now that it’s August and the start of school is right around the corner, retail stores are advertising “back to school basics.” Aside from the pens, pencils, and paper I grew up with, smart phones and tablets are now considered “basics” – how times have changed. All these promotions got me thinking about the basics of business, and particularly what makes a business successful. So, I’ve come up with my top 5 necessities for a successful construction business.