You need more than just a good education in construction and contracting to begin a successful career. It's never been easier to build the skills you need to succeed as a business owner or subcontractor thanks to a wide range of apps and computer programs you can use to simplify certain tasks.
But if you're new to the trade, picking the right apps from the hundreds of options can seem overwhelming. Try out at least one app or software option from each of the following five categories to build a well-rounded selection of digital tools for growing as a contractor.
1. Bidding Software
Software that helps you design bids for winning contracting jobs, especially programs with built-in access to databases and lists of updated bid requests, is immeasurably valuable when you're new to contracting.
Anyone who's recently earned a license to work as a general contractor will need some way to build their connections for public and private projects, and tapping into an existing bid listing network is a quick way to do this.
Consider bidding software tailored to your particular focus in contracting, such as a system for concrete or general construction bids. You'll get more appropriate job leads and spend less time changing the bid templates provided by the program.
2. Estimation Apps
Many bidding apps also help you generate estimates, but it's even better to find a secondary program to handle creating accurate estimates. Even if you don't share these exact details with your clients, you'll want to know exactly how much you'll spend on materials and equipment for a specific job before writing a bid for it or sending a quote to a customer.
Estimate software wins over the old-fashioned way of checking books listing annual average rates for building materials and supplies. The best estimation apps are updated weekly or even more often, feature local costs rather than just national averages, and even notify you of price drops and increases so you can plan your quotes and bids accordingly.
3. Portable CAD Solutions
Drawing up new plans and making adjustments to diagrams on the fly is essential in the fast-paced world of modern construction. Whether you're relying on a smart phone or don't mind lugging around a rugged work site laptop, you can find plenty of simplified CAD programs that allow you to quickly create and edit important layouts and designs.
Touchscreen apps are particularly useful for this kind of work because you can draw new walls or erase part of a structure's frame with just your fingertip. Make sure these kinds of on-the-go plans are only used for prototyping and get a client's preliminary approval and that you have more professional CAD diagrams made before working from them.
4. Formula Databases
Einstein famously stated that he found no reason to memorize information you can easily look up, and modern apps containing hundreds of construction and engineering formulas definitely fit the bill when it comes to construction.
Whether you need to make a bird's mouth joint on a rafter or can't remember the weight-bearing calculations for the latest building code, you'll find it with the press of a button by using the right app.
5. Total Project Management Packages
Finally, don't skimp on project management software that handles all the little odds and ends of a construction job in one convenient place. A good project management software will help you invoice clients, track expenses, calculate pay rates, and much more. Make sure the software or app is accessible when you're at the job site as well so you can keep your data updated as soon as something changes.
Of course, no amount of apps or software can replace the knowledge you learn from us here at Golden State Contractors School. Reach out to us today to find out how our training and education can take you to the next level of your construction or contracting career.