The hectic schedules of today’s contractors leave little room for researching new technology and learning how to use tricky software applications. Yet, having these proven programs in place can be crucial for effectively managing and growing your business.
Fortunately, advancements in online technology have made it much easier (and affordable) for contractors to utilize cutting-edge software applications for managing their businesses. Whether you’re a solo contractor or a multiple-office business with numerous employees, software-as-a-software (SaaS) programs can help you run your operations more efficiently, productively and, ultimately, more profitably.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a term given to Web-based software applications accessible through any Internet-connected device. Instead of purchasing “boxed” software from a department or electronics store and installing it on an individual computer, SaaS applications are accessible in the same manner as e-mail, Facebook or Amazon. All you need is an Internet connection. And in most cases, they’re as easy to use as the aforementioned examples.
Because they’re not confined to an individual computer or network, these programs can be accessed from the field by any employee granted access to them. This is a true benefit for professionals who spend most of their day outside the office, as they can use their smartphones or tablets to utilize the programs.
Instead of purchasing the software outright, most SaaS providers offer their service for free or for a nominal monthly fee. This makes the software especially appealing for cost-conscious contractors, who now have an alternative from the pricy software systems of the past.
Types of SaaS Programs
The explosion in popularity of SaaS programs has resulted in a wide variety of programs for contractors to choose. Regardless of the type of software, chances are there’s a SaaS version of it.
Among the SaaS offerings of interest to contractors are:
• Customer relationship management (CRM) for managing interactions with current and future customers.
• Online scheduling that provides online customer self-booking and instant access to calendars and work schedules.
• Accounting programs for managing your bookkeeping and financial records.
• Document management for storing, sharing and maintaining project plans, agreements, customer quotes and bids, invoices and other records.
• Workflow management of current and future projects.
When it comes to selecting software, mobility and affordability are usually the top requirements for contractors. That’s what makes SaaS applications so appealing to today’s contracting professionals.
Eric Richard is the senior public relations specialist at Appointment-Plus online scheduling software. For more information on Appointment-Plus, visit www.appointment-plus.com or call 800.988-0061.
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