"The value of an idea, lies in the using of it"- Thomas Eddison.
There are a lot of time consuming tasks in the field of contracting. The ones I will mention are what I consider the business side of being a contractor. There are estimating, planning, client consultation, communication with trades, sequencing, material management and the list goes on.. Not to mention completing the work to a professional quality... This eats away at a commodity that is not currently able to be replaced... Time. Time is a variable that is directly correlated with the duration of your life. If you can save time, you can in theory, save your life (yes I know I am reaching but hang in there). After reading this blog on innovation you will leave with a few methods to save you time in the future (depending on your reading speed).
Similar to how you save time by purchasing tools to complete work faster, there are tools you can acquire that amalgamate the business side of the equation. These tools come in the form of computer software. Yes, for some this may be boring, but it is vital, and as mentioned before it will literally save your life.
Benefits of these software's include electronic signatures, consolidated files, elimination of redundant steps in processes, organization, and professionality. Below there are a list of software's that I have found helpful with saving myself time, and also producing a better service for clients. Yes you have to pay for these software's. However, your time saved will be much more valuable than the money spent acquiring them. Add them into you business as overhead, and account for them accordingly in your pricing. These software's allow you produce a more professional and effective experience for your clients.
Software's: these software's have personally saved me time, and I would highly recommend them.
Quickbooks online: Great for organizing your books. Very versatile, allowing you to send estimates, invoices, and sync compatible with other apps. This is a hub for your business.
Joist: This is a fantastic sales app. It comes with electronic signatures on estimates, and invoices. You can attach other files in a consolidated manner within an estimate. It also allows you to keep track of sales items and clients. It has a built in deposit/markup/tax feature, and allows you to quickly create a professional and legal invoice. Comes with electronic payments via credit cards through PayPal.
Adobe Sign: A fantastic software for creating contracts and sending them off to be singed electronically. This also speeds up time when signing subtrade contracts and quotes, as well as other forms that come into your business such as accounting permission, and CRA requests.
Excel: Great for running numbers for what to charge, as well as easily providing figures in regards to allocating money to different sections of your business.
Microsoft word: Basic, but useful. Great for writing contracts, as well as documenting progress for clients. Also great for creating advertisements.
Most of these software's have a free trial. Give it a shot, take the time to learn them. It will pay dividends in the long run.. Start saving your life.