By Diane Dennis
The availability of projects to bid on, and win, is still miserably inadequate to keep many of us in business. We need to do everything we can to get a "leg up" on our competitors and here's a way that's easy, inexpensive, and very secure - and it comes with a bonus ... No More Paperwork Nightmares!
One method that some contractors are using to beat out their competition is to share information about past projects with their potential customers - mainly that they didn't waste their other customers' money.
When bidding on new projects, you may find that you need to share your business records with potential clients. They want to see that you won’t be wasteful with their construction funds.
Being able to provide this information can help you generate new leads, build trust during the bidding process, and ultimately help you win the project - otherwise known as "beating out the competition"!
But how do you accomplish that while keeping all of your other information private and secure?
While it can be helpful to share information from past projects with your potential customers, you want them to have access only to the information that’s related to the project that you’re currently bidding.
A very easy, and secure, way to accomplish this is to digitize your data and documents and have it all stored “in the cloud”.
By keeping track of all of your digitized data and documents within a cloud you can quit digging through file cabinets, and file folders on your computer, and stacks of paper on your desk – and no one else will have access to those papers either!
Bonus! Having digitized data and documents "in the cloud” means:
Use a digitization service provider. They will scan your records to securely digitize all of your business documents - in less time than you can do it yourself and organized in such a way that you'll never have trouble finding what you need.
From bank statements to receipts and everything in between these service providers will digitize your data and documents - every single piece of paper - scraps included.
Imagine how great it would be to completely eliminate ALL clutter from your workspace and your computer.
No longer will those scraps of paper be stuck to other papers (or worse, stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe), and no more lost documents on your computer!
Once all of your data and documents are digitized you’ll have immediate electronic access to all of them.
You can then edit information, create labels and categories, generate reports, and export the data to anyone who needs it.
You’ll be able to pick and choose which financial information you want to share with partners, colleagues, current customers, and potential clients - all the while keeping everything safe from prying eyes.
It also makes doing your taxes a snap. At the end of the year, calculating your revenue, expenditures, and write-offs is literally as easy as clicking a button on your computer.
You'll get an instant snapshot of the financial health of your construction company with reports that you can share with your accountant and/or tax professional.
Shoeboxed is a service that securely digitizes all of your data and documents.
TRUSTe, the trusted leader in online privacy and security, has certified Shoeboxed as a site that protects your privacy, and it continually checks the Shoeboxed website to ensure that they’re following the necessary privacy policies. Read the Shoeboxed “Security” page to find out why it’s actually more secure to use Shoeboxed than to keep your documents at your office.
This is the easiest, most effective, most secure way to store your business records and to share them with potential clients and your accountant and/or tax professional, as well as with your attorney, insurance broker, etc.
You’ll be able to easily navigate through your digital records via smart filters that allow you to sort by date, amount, category, and/or keyword.
For example, your client may want to know how much your company spent on supplies or labor during a previous project. Simply search by date and category, and Shoeboxed will find all expenditures for that particular project.
Then with one simple click you’ll create a detailed report for your client.
Because you can easily edit the reports before downloading them you’ll be able to distribute only the information that is relevant to the project while keeping everything else private.
Getting your records to Shoeboxed is a breeze. You can either snap a picture of each document with the free Shoeboxed iPhone/Android app, or mail all of your documents in the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope.
If you mail your data and documents instead of sending images, the good folks at Shoeboxed will ship your documents back to you once they’re done or they’ll securely shred and recycle them – it’s your choice.
Shoeboxed has several different plans you can choose from based on what your needs are.
The lowest priced plan is $9.95 per month - and ALL plans come with a 30-day free trial (except the “Forever Free” plan which is free forever!). It never hurts to take a peek so go ahead and visit their website where you'll find so much more information that I can provide here.
Once you've tried it you'll wonder how you ever did without digitized data and documents!
And one final note… Shoeboxed works seamlessly with QuickBooks, Xero, Wave Accounting, Outright, ScanSnap, Evernote, and many other programs!
Although the above article addresses construction contractors, Shoeboxed is actually for all types of businesses - and personal as well.
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