Running a trade business? These 4 start-ups are solving problems for tradespeople

Whether you’re in the process of starting a trade business or you’re an established tradesperson, there are several new solutions on the market that will make your life easier…

As a tradesperson, you’re going to come up against a number of issues and obstacles on a regular basis; whether it’s chasing up invoices, creating quotes for clients on the move, or dealing with increasing insurance costs for your van or commercial vehicle.

The good news is that there are start-ups-ups that can help your trade business because they are based on innovative thinking and new approaches to old problems.

You don’t need to re-invent the screwdriver because someone has already done it…

Paperwork overload

Paperwork problems are everywhere for tradespeople: mobile quoting, estimating and invoicing, accounts, chasing crews for current locations, and waiting for job completion reports, are just a few examples.

TradifyHQ.com offers an app that lets you do all this. It works best if all your employees have the app on their phones.

The Tradify app lets you generate quotations while you are on your client’s premises, email them and lets customers print the receipt off.  Previously, even if you had each sale 90% made on your first face-to-face visit, if you walked away and sent a quote that evening or th next day you would typically have to start the sale process all over again.

Additionally, the app notifies you as soon as your team say they are leaving the customer’s premises which lets you phone up to check everything is as it should be. If there is even a slight problem, you can go and fix it immediately to ensure the best customer service is provided.

Cloud accounting software is the way ahead, and this app is part of that change.

Late payments

Large clients improve their cash flow by keeping the cash in their own accounts for longer and delaying payment to small contractors. They do this on principle, even though it kills their suppliers.

Previ.se has a payment system that lets you get paid immediately when your work is complete rather than two months down the line. This means no more overdraft fees to cover the shortfall in your cash flow and no more time wasted or stress caused by chasing payments.

The Previse app lets you get paid before your customer has even approved the invoice for payment. The company behind the app uses artificial intelligence to decide whether to pay an invoice and removes all risk for your customer because Previse carries the risk.

Computer Security

GDPR has taught us all the importance of computer security to safeguard our customers’ data.

Authorised users are behind many data leaks, and this type of data breach is well-nigh impossible to protect against.

Perhaps someone is planning to leave your trade company and decides to download your customer database, or an employee loses a company-owned tablet and somehow has the user’s password. The potential damage from this kind of event could annihilate your trade business.

Darktrace.com markets an AI computer security app that learns normal user behaviours on your network and on each device: Any deviation from the norm results in a lock-out, your data and network are secure, and no customer data is lost. It works in the same way your body’s immune system recognises threats, even if it has never encountered those threats previously.

Darktrace detects unusual user patterns and behaviours and prevents a data breach rather than notifying you after your customers’ confidential details have already beenexposed.

Road traffic accidents

As a tradesperson, you’ll have a van or commercial vehicle to get around. You’ll know that insurance for your vans goes up every year, especially if your drivers have an accident.

Nauto.com offers a dash-cam that employs artificial intelligence (AI). The device reduces accidents by monitoring driver behaviour as well as driving hazards. It checks drivers’ eye movements and alerts them if their attention is distracted, or if a collision on the road is imminent.

Your drivers learn from this, and so accidents happen less often. Your insurance company is happy, you have no accident excesses to pay, and your vehicles don’t lose value due to dings and dents.

You also save on van hire costs to replace your own van while it is off the road being repaired.

And, of course, it reduces the number of employees injured in road traffic accidents, so your customers are not inconvenienced.

In brief

If you run a trade business and come across a  problem, there will be an application that can help solve it. Each app has a cost, but work out the Return on Investment (ROI) to understand its real value.

Just by combining the apps featured here you can regain time, reduce stress, improve cash flow, eliminate data loss events and reduce vehicle accidents.