Please do not think of software as an expense. Software is an investment. Every single software tool is like a physical hand tool in a tradesman's tool box.
It may get a ton of use, or it may be a specialty tool, but each tool is better than the alternative - wasting time or not getting the job done at all.
Quickbooks (or Xero) Accounting System
Problem That is Solved: Tax Liabilities and Business Financial Performance
Review:Are we biased here putting this #1? No.
Your business is about making profits for whatever purpose you choose.
If you do not know where your profit is coming from, you are bound to lose track of it and it will decrease over time.
As well, what about keeping track of bills paid, invoices that are due, customer names, and how much you owe in taxes? You simply cannot get all this information efficiently off of a bank account statement.
Get yourself Quickbooks Online Basic or Xero at a minimum, sync it with your bank account, and then use that data to accurately sort your financial information to see where your business is at.
We recommend Quickbooks Online because their automatic bank account sync is more robust than Xero aka it covers more banks. Without the auto-sync much of the advantage is lost.
Sign Up for Quickbooks
Sign Up for Xero
Problem That is Solved: Branded Communications and Document Management
Overview:Google Workspace is an amazing value. You are able to buy a domain, set up a branded email address, and have the capabilities for document sharing and team chat all for about $20/month per person.
The branded email alone will show professionalism in your business.
Along with the document management system, Workspace will also easily connect to a host of automation tools, allowing it to sync tasks across your network.
Google Workspace Sign Up
Problem That is Solved: Eliminate Duplicate Data Entry / Move Data Between Systems
Here's what Zapier does: it connects 2 software's to each other using a technology called an API. For example, say you get a new work request into your gmail from a form on your website.
With Zapier, you are able to set up an automation that will automatically text your sales staff the contact info of the new lead so that they can follow-up automatically. There is so much you can do here to save a tremendous amount of time. If you are thinking of hiring an administrator at least try out Zapier first! At $15/month, you'll be saving big.
Zapier Sign Up
Problem Solved: Audit Compliance & Transaction Tracking
Did you know that if you get audited, you have to present documentation for every transaction you ever had?Every....single...one...
How do we know this...it happened to our founder!
And guess what, if you are not ready for it - it'll suck!
Veryfi helps solve this problem.
Specifically, you can take a picture of a document of a transaction whether it is in a checking account, credit card account, money going in, or money going out. The fact alone that is works with your checking account is a surprisingly rare feature that can help you and your team get accurate deposit data matched up with open invoices fast.
Pro tip: Hook it up to Quickbooks Online and all of your customer names will go to Veryfi. Then you and your team can add in which client the expense or deposit was for, as well as the category of the transaction (roofing, field production, sales) all from their mobile phone.
Problem Solved: Receipt Tracking for Big Teams with Multiple Credit Cards
If you have a team that uses a company credit card, you know the headache this causes.
"Did Jane buy those flowers for a customer or for her own personal business?""Did Dave buy a pack of smokes with his gas at the gas station?""How many receipts do I have missing?!?!?"
In short, your audit liability goes up, as well as (in our experience) your stress level, as your hard earned business cash is being used by others and you want to make sure it's being used appropriately. Expensify solves this problem. With it, your credit card users are required to submit a picture of the receipt of each of their purchases, along with the customer and cost category for that expense. Then, someone on your office staff is able to see who has outstanding receipts, and for what.
Expensify Sign Up
When I Work / T-Sheets for Time Tracking
Problem Solved: Time Tracking for Employees
If you have staff and are running a service Business, then you know the pains of scheduling.The above two tools solve this problem. With mobile based easy to use scheduling, shift swapping, and time tracking, it can get you accurate data to plop in to your payroll system every week as well as keep you and your employees organized.
Also, as an added benefit, if you are job costing then you are able to add in the name of the job the employee is working on along with their time spent.
This helps you get job profitability, which helps you make a whole host of important business decisions.
When I Work Sign up
T-Sheets (aka Quickbooks Time) Sign Up
Problem Solved: Paying People, Unemployment Insurance and Workers Comp Reporting
If you have not done it before, setting up and tracking and paying the right state government organizations the right rate at the right time based on which employees worked where at what time for how long and at what rate is.....a real pain in the ass.
Gusto solves this. It automatically sends direct deposit payments right to employees, while also automatically calculating, collecting, and then subsequently sending the correct amount of unemployment insurance and tax information to the right government organizations on your behalf.
Secondly, as an added and nice benefit, Gusto is super easy to use (compared to ADP / Paychex which are relatively ancient), and your new staff can onboard and manage their account themselves!
This means no more "Can you change my withholding from 2 to 1" or "I got a new bank account, can you update it?" questions. Your new answer is - "Yup, you can update that in Gusto, let me know if you have any questions!!"
Sign Up for Gusto
A CRM Tool
Problem Solved: Staying Organized While Servicing Clients
When servicing clients, you are going to be dealing with a lot of details: what is their address, what did they order, is the job done, have they paid, when are they going to pay, how much do they owe, who is going to be performing the work and when, are they working with others, are they any notes we need to know about the task to share with clients, and on and on and on.
You do NOT! want all of this information held up in your "Steel Trap"! The human brain is quite forgetful and you want to maximize your brain power for things that matter like being present on sales calls and preparing for production. These tools can be pretty comprehensive. You want to pick one that is specific to your industry. While we have experience with many of these tools, here are a few we would recommend based off of experience and client reviews:
If you and your workforce perform services on site at different locations throughout a specific geography, this is a great tool.
This is a great tool if you work in any of the following services (or similar)
- Landscaping / Lawn Care
- Handyman Services
- Window & Exterior Cleaning
- Snow Removal
- Residential Trades (HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, etc.)
- Doggy Doo Doo cleanup (this is big business by the way!)
- House Cleaning
In short, anything that works with residential or commercial services would work well here
Sign Up For Jobber
SportsNgin / LeagueApps
If you run a sports club / team / organization then the hassles of parent and player registrations, team tryouts, league management, and tournament management can be handled using these tools.
We have personal experience with LeagueApps, which has a nicer interface and just rolled out a mobile app that can be branded for parents and team communication. SportsNgin has been around a long time as well and while we do not have personal experience, we know many who use it and swear by it.
If you run a business that is appointment based and also has some sort of health and wellness portion, Jane App would work great.
They will help clients schedule with you, take payments, set up recurring appointments, and are HIPA compliant if that is important to your business. Not to mention there is in-app scheduling for your staff and similar features that can help see revenue by service type so that you know where your money is coming in from
Problem Solved: Staying Organized on Time Based Tasks
Asana solves problems like these:
- Did anyone run payroll
- Did someone run the weekly jobs report
- Who is in charge of setting up the monthly team event and when is that due?
- My team was supposed to have their hours submitted by this date - who has done this?
- When are my Sales Taxes due and am I doing them or my accountant
- When should I be reconciling my bank account transactions
- When am I supposed to file my sales to my franchisor and who does this task and when will it be done?
- Did anyone set up the social media posts for this week
Check out a screenshot of the interface
We use this tool heavily with our bookkeeping automation clients to solve many of these problems and keep our remote team in line. Without it, the details get overwhelming.
Problem Solved: Sharing How-To Knowledge Internally
Notion is like having your own copmanies internal Wikipedia.
You can create certain pages around tasks, HR processes, culture, and how things are done.
You can see below a quick snapshot of the interface. It is an amazing tool for training new employees and also remembering how to accomplish certain tasks that you may not do that often.
You can also house employee handbooks, job site processes, and supplier contact logs. It is a very flexible tool and helps decentralize the information that you and your team need to get the job done.
Here's a quick overview of what it looks like on the inside
Again, another tool here that removes you as the owner / operator from just having everything stored up in your head. You must write down adn create processes in order to hire and scale, and Notion is where you write things down!
Bonus #11 - Loom
Problem Solved: Explaining How Processes Work and Training New Staff Quickly (Using Video Recording)
Got to the end of the article and had to include Loom. Loom is an A W E S O M E tool for training and how to knowledge.
Have you ever written our in a document a 25 steps process that involves clicking through multiple softwares on how to get thigns done? Like how to send out a customer survey and when, or how to run payroll?
Well, doign it with a zoom recording is much much much easier and stores that information very easily for your team to perform tasks it needs to get things done.
Great way to use this tool: Record the tasks you need done, pop them on to the Notion Page for that relevant project, then monitor the progress of the task on an interval basis using Asana.
These tools, when used in combination can help you scale your business without increasing costs at the same amount.
Check out this sample video below
Summary - Software Is Your Friend!
Hopefully this guide has been useful to help you plug some holes in your administrative processes and lower your time spent not selling or producing.
Now, when you begin implementing these tools, take your time and do things one at a time.
The goal is to have new Jobs creating in Jobber automatically be added to Quickbooks Online, Expensify, and T-Sheets using Zapier.
This enables job specific time clock punches and relevant expenses that can then be added in to your Quickbooks on a weekly basis by your administrative team.
You can monitor these tasks using Asana and they have a simple guide you created using Loom Videos which stored in a Specific Notion page relevant to the client.
When the job's completed, you get an automated email out of Gmail to check Gusto to ensure the Payroll is correct for this week.
You check this on a Google Drive Link of the payroll overview your team completed that is attached to your Notion page on your payroll.
What does this give you?
A fully functional system with the majority of your administration decentralized and automated so that you and your team can focus on getting more clients and servicing them better!
Thanks for reading and don't hesitate - get started on these today!