I have been watching the growth of services such as Powered Now for sometime. Way back in the day, I used to run a physical magazine for my local town. I launched the magazine to prove I could build a physical publication from nothing and had a phenomenal time meeting the entrepreneurs and tradespeople in the surrounding towns and villages. I have therefore spent a lot of time with small businesses watching the absolute horror that is paperwork.
Paperwork is the lifeblood of a small business, particularly a tradesperson such as a plumber, electrician, builder or the like. Customers are highly unlikely to engage you to do any work if they haven’t at least got an estimate from you. And that estimate has to look half credible, irrespective of the actual price. And the estimate has to come promptly. But it’s often difficult to get the estimates and invoices out to customers quickly when you have to perform actual work, because you want to actually get paid. And so on.
It’s a flipping nightmare when you sit and watch it externally. Many of the people I met did the paperwork late at night often into the small hours. And then there’s the challenge with actually getting money transferred into your account and chasing payments.
One or two of the builders I met along the way had implemented nice, smooth systems for budgeting, finance, estimates and so on. Some actually hired help to take care of that part of the job. But the majority struggled continually. Adding a computer into the mix often just complicated things even more.
So the advent and introduction of systems such as Powered Now has to be good news — *IS* good news for those working on client premises. Have a read of the press release below and see what you make of it.
It looks pretty smart and rather comprehensive to me. The fact it’s made for iPhone and iPad is even better. We had a chap around the other day quoting for our kitchen refit and he brought his laptop with him. I can’t emphasise enough how unfortunate that looked. it was a 4 year old creaking huge Sony with a battery that didn’t work (“Sorry, er, can I use your power?”). We had to wait 5 minutes whilst he powered up the thing, logged into Windows and waited for all the bloatware to load before he could fire up Microsoft Word. He then had to open up a previous quote document from some other customer and replace the figures for us. He then said he’d email it when he got back to the office that evening!
Yeah. There is a better way.
Every success to the Powered Now founders Benjamin and Chris, I hope you can help a million tradespeople dump their creaking laptops and focus on getting the job done swiftly!
Here’s their release:
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Teignmouth, Devon – 28 May 2014 – Today sees the launch of Powered Now, the award-winning mobile admin app for iPads and iPhones that takes the pain out of paperwork and payment for trades people such as plumbers, electricians, builders and anyone who works in the field at customers’ premises.
The Powered Now app works on iPads and iPhones (with an Android version in the pipeline). It lets you do everything, from taking notes and photos of a job, emailing the estimate and letting the customer accept it, then managing the work right through to invoicing and taking payment (by credit/debit card or PayPal). Everything can be done while you’re with the client. All of your information is held in one place and it automatically backs up to the cloud whenever there is a wi-fi connection. Even if you damage or lose your device, you can download the data to the replacement, or access it via a browser. Full features and benefits are on the website.
There is a 14-day trial and a free edition of the app. The full version costs subscribers £49.99 per annum or £4.99 per month, including VAT.
Benjamin Dyer, the co-founder of Powered Now says: “No one goes into business to do admin; the field trade are best with their hands, not the books. When I was getting work done on my house I could see the headache that tradesmen had with customer details, estimating and getting lists of materials on separate bits of paper. I heard stories about the lost evenings spent managing paperwork and the frustration when things go astray. Powered Now stores everything in one place; it lets you claim your weekends back and spend more time making money.”
Electrician, Mark Box comments: “My paperwork took me a day a month and I always hated that day. With Powered Now the ease of recording work and providing invoices makes me more efficient and professional.”
This is what Powered Now gives its users:
- Saves time, so you can make money: Cuts the time needed to do your admin so you get to spend more time earning.
- Easy to use and fits how you work: Many software solutions force companies into a specific, prescriptive way of working as they are really built for the benefit of accountants or admin staff, not the business owners. Powered Now gives complete control so you can run your business the way you like.
- Minimum effort: Powered Now is built to minimise the amount of typing and number of times you have to input information. Notes can be turned into quotes or invoices with a press of a button and you can control how much (or little) information you show to your customers.
- Everything in one place: Instead of having customer details, costings, worksheets etc on separate bits of paper, everything is stored in one place, and is automatically backed-up in the cloud. Even if you break or lose your iPad/iPhone you can just log into a new one and go.
- You’re easy to do business with: Quotes, estimates and invoices can be sent to customers via email and text message. The customer can accept or reject quotes and pay an invoice online, speeding up a process that is labour intensive and sometimes complicated.
- Easy to take payment: Powered Now gives tradespeople the ability to accept payment via credit/debit cards or PayPal; there are no special hardware requirements or expensive monthly fees. And the reporting is accountant and book keeper-friendly too, including an option to extract information into a file that imports directly to the accounting system.
About Powered Now:
Established in 2011, Powered Now is a British company focused on developing software that makes life easier for business owners. The founders, Benjamin Dyer and Chris Barling have had previous success in the ecommerce industry, designing tools for small retailers to sell online. The company has been featured in the Startups 100 list in 2013 and 2014.
Powered Now is an award-winning mobile business administration application for iPads and iPhones that takes the pain out of paperwork for field trades people such as plumbers, electricians and builders. It is designed to make life easier for those out on the road, on site or back in the office. The app provides a comprehensive admin toolkit for every step from preparing an estimate through to taking payment online. In 2013 it won The Next Web ‘Best Mobile App’ award at the Microsoft BizSpark startup rally.