If you’ve spread the word about your business, utilized lead generation techniques and have loyal customers, it’s likely that there may be a time that you must juggle multiple jobs at once. While the income is great, a small mistake can ruin your reputation with the customer or impact the overall project.
Taking on more than one job at a time takes careful planning, attention and communication. If you’re finding yourself in this situation, we have a few tips that may help you stay organized and be successful.
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Contractors who plan on taking on more than one job at once must be organized. There are many ideas out there for best practices, but you need to find a method you can stick to. For some, a traditional to-do list works while others like to utilize project management tools. Here are organization techniques:
Set A Reminder
If you need an alert when it’s time to start a new task or simply a note for later, utilize the reminder app on your smart phone. Simply enter the task and set the time. This could be anything from the time to call back a lead to the next step in a project. This is a simple way to ensure you don’t forget a thing.
Take your traditional to-do list into the digital world. There are many apps available based on your needs. If you want a central place for notes, consider using Evernote. This is an easy to use platform that enables you to use it how you need.
If checking off boxes and list making works best for you, try Basecamp or Asana as project management tools. Both are simple to use and allow you to list out every step of a project. Upon opening, they display your to-do list for the day and you can eliminate tasks as you complete them throughout your day. Utilizing one of these apps will help you stay organized and increase your productivity.
Manage Your Inbox
Have you ever opened your email inbox in the morning and felt overwhelmed by the amount of emails you have? You’re not alone! To help, set up filters for emails that you receive on a regular basis. They will sit in a folder so you always know how to access them. Create folders for receipts, trade information, current and previous customers, and more. Finally, unsubscribe from any newsletters you don’t read. These tend to fill our inboxes quickly and can make it hard to sort through for the important information.
There’s nothing wrong with using a trusty pencil and paper as your way to organize projects. Just be sure you have a system in place so you don’t lose a thing. File folders arranged by client is a great way to do this. Or, you can utilize small binders to keep everything together and have a surface to write on. Whatever you choose, just be sure it’s a system that works for you.
When juggling multiple jobs, the last thing you want to do is confuse projects or customers. Take clear and extensive notes on the project, labeling them appropriately. Ask the customer questions about project scope and be clear with them about your timeline. The more notes you have to reference later, the better.
Having great time management skills is vital when handling multiple jobs at once. You not only deliver on the final product, but you need to deliver on the agreed upon timeline. Be sure to clearly communicate if there’s been a change in plans and use a few time management techniques in your day to day work.
It’s important to plan a schedule in advance and stick to it. Depending on the project, this can vary by week. If you’re moving from project to project during the day, leave yourself extra time so you’re not running to the next job and risking a late arrival. Be cautious not to have your scheduled work overlap.
Work & Rest
Anyone who is working multiple jobs must know when to work and allot time to rest. If you don’t you’re risking burnout. Plan time for lunch breaks and know your days off. Spend time on project and hobbies you enjoy. This will help you keep a clear mind and do the best work possible.
Bid Out Work
In some cases, you may need to hire a subcontractor to help with the work. When hiring a subcontractor, be sure do to plenty of research on their work. After all, they will be representing you on the job. Explain the project as thoroughly as possible so they understand the work they will be doing. Always be available for questions if they come up on the job.
Sometimes when you’re busy, the quality of work you produce may suffer. While getting as much work done as possible is a great thing, if it’s not done well, you could be losing business. Always double check your work during and after the project. This is especially true if you plan on hiring subcontractors.
One thing that may get lost is providing excellent service to your customer. Never let your schedule change the way you interact with your customers. Respond professionally to any questions they may have and always show up on time. Providing great service is key to gaining a loyal customer service and even referrals at the end of a job.
Having multiple jobs at once can be a great thing for your business. However, it’s how you handle them that makes all the difference. Focus on managing your time well and product quality to be truly successful.