Busier Than Usual? 5 Ways Workflow Management Can Help You Keep up With Demand
This year has been full of ups and downs for businesses of all shapes and sizes. One group that has seen a marked uptick in demand for their services is contractors, as companies look to cut the costs of full-time employees but still want the work to get done.
If you work as a contractor and have seen your appointment book filling up more quickly than usual, you may be worried about balancing all your duties without something falling through the cracks. And, if you’re out and about frequently, you know whatever solution you choose has to be flexible and portable, allowing you to take it with you no matter where you’re working that day.
For those contractors debating whether a workflow management system is right for you, here are 5 ways choosing the right system can help you keep up with demand for your services:
Keeps You Organized
Are you one of those people who keeps everything in physical file folders, meaning you’ve always got stacks of filing to be done and you have to carry a file box in your work vehicle wherever you go?
Not only is relying on a physical filing system inefficient and time-consuming, it’s also incredibly expensive. You have to pay for all the paper and ink you use when printing all the notes, purchase orders, contracts, and other paperwork you keep in your filing system, and you have to pay for the time - yours or another employee’s - to maintain the physical filing system.
Having a web-based workflow management system that also integrates document storage, such as Toki, allows you to keep all the information you need for each individual client close at hand without having to spend a ton of time or money creating a system. Simply scan or upload individual documents - initial quote request forms, signed contracts, change orders, materials invoices, and more - into each client’s file, and you can search for any document right when you need it in just a few seconds’ time.
Keeps Your Calendar Uncluttered
Your schedule can change drastically from day to day, hour to hour, and even minute to minute. Rather than having a paper appointment book full of crossed-out appointments and smudged eraser marks, digital workflow management software allows you to quickly and capably manage your calendar.
Say a client emails you requesting a change to an appointment on the fly. If you’re nowhere near your physical appointment book, you can’t make a new appointment until you’ve got your schedule available, leaving the client hanging. And, if you forget to write down an appointment, it’s very easy to double- and triple-book yourself if you’re making appointments on the go.
But with a cloud-based workflow management platform, you have access to your calendar anywhere you need it.
Sync your personal and work calendars together so you never miss that long-avoided doctor appointment or your kid’s baseball game. You can even attach key documents directly to a calendar entry, meaning you have easy access to all the information you need for the meeting no matter where you are.
Manage Your Time
Have you ever grossly underestimated the amount of time it will take you to complete a task, leaving you running behind on everything else for the rest of the day as you finish up?
When you don’t have any sort of system in place to track how much time you spend on certain tasks or to predict how long something may take you, you can very easily get bogged down in tasks that take up a ton of time but that don’t really make you much profit.
Using online workflow management software such as Toki allows you to track how much time you spend on each task, including administrative duties such as answering emails and compiling invoices, so you can see just where all your work hours are going.
Keep Track of Important Tasks
We get it - You love writing down lists of tasks that need done and crossing them off with a pen. There’s just something so satisfying about the feeling of putting pen to paper and making a check mark when you’ve finished a task.
But your paper lists are only as good as the amount of time you spend keeping them updated, how well you prioritize the tasks on them, and whether or not you carry those lists around with you. Everyone has been in a situation where they sit down to work and can’t find their most recent to-do list, leaving them grasping to remember all the tasks that needed to be done that day.
Keeping your task lists in a digital format, such as in a workflow management platform, allows you to keep them with you wherever you have internet access.
You also can reorganize and reprioritize your to-do list as new tasks come in, keeping you from trying to decipher a mess of crossed-off items and arrows. Attaching due dates to any tasks you put on your to-do list also helps you naturally prioritize them, and the flexible nature of the software allows you to shift and change those dates as other priorities arise.
Also, you can easily create and assign tasks to other members of your team, more effectively taking things off your plate and delegating them to others to help free up your time.
Many contractors are stuck in a never-ending email loop with email strings ticking into the thousands of replies.
Not only are these excruciatingly long email strings inefficient, they’re ineffective as they make it much easier for important information and requests to be lost in the shuffle.
Additionally, long email strings make it difficult to integrate notes from other types of contact you may have with your clients, such as in-person talks or phone conversations. This makes it more likely something will slip through the cracks and the consequences will fall on your shoulders.
Instead of doing things the old way, with emails and handwritten notes shoved in paper files, using workflow and client management software can help keep all this information together in one place, and make it easily searchable. This allows you and your team to keep track of important information, set calendar dates for deadlines and meetings, access all crucial conversations regardless of who is included in an email, and more, making your work run more smoothly and efficiently.
Cloud-Based Workflow Management Software for Contractors
Whether you work in the field or out of your home, being a contractor can leave you pulled in a million different directions. With Toki from @Assist, you can keep track of all your important appointments, manage client information and communications, track your time, view your to-do list, and more from anywhere you have internet access. Try Toki today!