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Benjamin Dyer is the CEO of Powered Now. Powered Now aims to take the pain out of admin and paperwork for trade businesses like gas engineers, electricians, builders, and many more. www.powerednow.com


IT


Tech alert - How to be a winner using tech


TECHNOLOGY always leads to change in the long run. For instance, the car gave rise to ever more suburbs in cities, out of town shopping centres, supermarkets and more.


The latest technology will impact the trade. Already, there are smart tools that make taking measurements easier and more accurate. “Augmented reality” has opened up a whole range of new possibilities, where a manual and fault- fi nding guide will be able to be displayed just by pointing your smartphone at an appliance. The “smart home” is already here and increasing numbers of tradespeople are having to get to grips with being able to connect products controlled by a smartphone.


Some of this is in the future and it will take a while to arrive. But one thing that is already a reality is using your smartphone, tablet and computer to help run your trade businesses and eliminate paperwork.


Yes, it is quicker and easier to create quotes and raise invoices once you are used to a system. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


When you fi rst start your own trade business, a system that allows you to keep records on a computer saves a big learning curve with all of the rules.


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The Government's “making tax digital” initiative is now in full swing. With a system in place there should be no further work to comply with future stages as they roll out. They will have the force of law and will compel every business to keep their records in digital format if they have more than £10k of annual sales. So, there’s no avoiding this.





relationship management, chat and shared diary management. In addition, a lot of the specialist paperwork unique to diff erent trades can be handled too.


Yes, it is quicker and easier to create quotes and raise invoices once you are used to a system. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


My company, Powered Now, has a series of apps that run on iPhone, iPad, Android, PC or Mac. Of course, there are other companies doing similar things. Although our system creates great looking quotes and invoices, it also does a lot more management functions to help to run the business.


This includes things like staff tracking, project management, customer


The end result is that everything is in one place. That means no hunting around for lost bits of paper. Everyone is up to date. And there’s less chance of that most annoying of things – duplicated eff ort where two people are working on the same issue.


There are also lots of little time saving features like looking up an address from the postcode, never having to re-key a customer name or address after the fi rst time, or copying information from your address book.


At the end of the day Adoption of mobile phones was only 7% after ten years, but what trade company would be without their mobile today? In the same way, it is inevitable that the trade will adopt technology to address their paperwork.


In this case it’s good to be ahead of the game.





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