A contractor working on-site stands at a table and types something on an open laptop. The contractor is a man with dark hair and a salt-and-pepper beard; he wears overalls over a white T-shirt and has a pair of orange headphones around his neck. On the table next to the laptop are a large blueprint, a ruler, a level, a coffee mug, and a few other tools. Out of focus in the background is a mostly empty room with dust hanging in the air. Two other contractors in overalls and hard hats are adding wooden beams around the frame of a floor-to-ceiling window.
Tools for project management, accounting, and contract management are crucial to keeping a contracting business well-organized and flexible. — Getty Images/skynesher

A strong, cutting-edge technology stack may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of a general contracting business. However, more and more building trade contractors are turning to technology to streamline their operations and gain a competitive edge.

With the right technology tools, small contracting firms can enhance their agility, automate workflows, reduce errors, improve security, and achieve their business goals in a more seamless approach. From project management tools to CRM software, here are seven of the top technology tools that can help these small businesses thrive and better manage their operations.

[Read more: 7 Technology Tools to Help You Run Your Business From Anywhere]

Project management tools

Project management tools are crucial for contracting businesses, providing task management, scheduling, collaboration, and tracking features. These tools help manage multiple projects and remote teams and can be used to assign deliverables, track progress, and communicate within the platform. Messaging functions help everyone stay updated and make project management more efficient and effective.

Accounting software

Accounting software offers numerous benefits, including streamlined invoicing and billing processes, efficient time and expense tracking, comprehensive financial reporting, and more. By automating manual tasks, contractors can save time and focus on strategic activities to grow their business. Additionally, accounting software can provide valuable insights, prevent missed deadlines or breaches of service-level agreements, and support remote work, aligning with the post-pandemic business paradigm.

[Read more: 11 Entrepreneurs Reveal the Tech Tools They Can't Live Without]

Cybersecurity

Like any company, contracting businesses need to protect data, ensure network security, and maintain online privacy. With cyber attacks targeting small businesses, data breaches can result in the loss of customers, damage to the business’s reputation, and financial losses. Cybersecurity tools safeguard sensitive agency and customer data — including payment details and contact information — from online threats. Investing in reliable cybersecurity solutions helps protect servers, computers, networks, and mobile devices, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information.

Project management tools are crucial for contracting businesses, providing task management, scheduling, collaboration, and tracking features.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management, or CRM, software helps manage customer relationships, lead conversion, store contact information, track sales, and support customer service. With a cloud-based CRM program, contractors can efficiently manage business relationships with customers and sales leads, automate tasks, and streamline workflows. CRM software like HubSpot, Zoho, and Salesforce are popular choices to increase growth and optimize customer management processes.

[Read more: 5 Tech Trends Every Small Business Should Know in 2023]

Email marketing tools

Email marketing tools are essential for businesses to create, manage, and optimize their campaigns. These tools offer features like email templates, list management, automation, and analytics.

Email marketing tools can also help businesses streamline their sales and marketing processes, improve communication, and provide data-driven insights. There are even some tools that are specifically made for e-commerce businesses, offering automated campaigns, personalized messaging, and segmentation for increased customer engagement and revenue growth. Such tools simplify email marketing with customizable templates, contact management, automation, and analytics for better performance and results.

There are many popular options on the market, such as HubSpot, Omnisend, and Sender, to name a few. Utilizing these tools can save time and money, and improve the effectiveness of email campaigns.

Invoicing and billing software

Invoicing and billing software helps small businesses track projects and invoices to ensure timely payments. There are many popular accounting software with invoicing and billing features for creating professional invoices, tracking payments, and managing expenses in one place. Typically, these tools offer cloud-based invoicing and accounting designed for small businesses, customizable invoices, time tracking, expense management, and other benefits.

A cloud-based accounting software can also provide you with perks like automated invoice reminders, facilitate faster online payments, improve expense tracking, and provide tools for streamlined billing processes. Consider using invoicing and billing software like Intuit QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, or Xero.

Contract management software

Contract management software streamlines the entire contract life cycle with features like custom fields, automated approval processes, alerts, redlining, e-signatures, OCR capabilities, audit trails, and content repositories. These tools increase visibility and efficiency, saving time and resources. Features such as OCR capabilities and audit trails allow businesses to handle the entire contract life cycle — from document preparation to long-term storage — with increased efficiency and visibility.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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