In the trades, most of your time is spent on the tools, but there is also admin, marketing, ordering and more to think about and get done. These aspects can be time-consuming and lead to late nights buried under paperwork. Thankfully, that can now be a thing of the past!
Numerous apps for tradespeople are available for download to streamline your bookkeeping, improve your marketing efforts and cut down time spent searching for materials in merchants.
Bookkeeping & Business Management Apps For Tradespeople
Keeping track of your finances and creating and sending quotes and invoices is a must for anyone working self-employed in the trades, but it can become quite time-consuming. Thankfully, there are several different apps for tradespeople that you can use to save time on bookkeeping and business management.
Joist is purpose-built for contractors and can help you save time, get paid sooner and win more work. For example, you can send professional documentation to your customers quickly and easily, such as quick estimates, invoices, and payments. And, through finance offers for homeowners, you’re likely to get paid faster and win more upsells.
Not only this, but the app allows you to store client information securely, which you can access from your phone or via the web, making it easy to pull up information when needed.
You can try Joist for free or sign up for the Pro or Elite Pro service.
- Starter – Free
- Joist Pro – $13/month
- Joist Pro Elite – $30/month
Powered Now is the UK’s number one field service management software for trade companies. With a 14-day free trial available, you can try it out without spending a penny. And, if you’re an Options Skills student, you could be eligible for 12 months free!
You can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on admin by using the features provided on the Powered Now app. For example, invoicing and quoting can be done via the app, as well as expenses, purchase orders and costs so that you won’t be snowed under a mountain of paperwork. You can also keep track of your projects and jobs via the job management and scheduling tool, create fully branded templates to improve customer experience and much more.
- Starter – £5/month
- Business – £15/month
- Professional – £25/month per user
Quickbooks is accounting software that will help you manage your finances on a secure platform. Aimed at small to medium businesses, you can automate your books, submit taxes, get paid and manage your employees in one place.
- Self-Employed – £5 /mo in your first four months. then £10/mo. +VAT @ 20%.
- Simple Start – £7 /mo in your first four months. then £14/mo. +VAT @ 20%.
- Essentials – £12 /mo in your first four months. then £24/mo. +VAT @ 20%.
- Plus – £17 /mo in your first four months. then £34/mo. +VAT @ 20%.
- Advanced – £35 /mo in your first four months. then £70/mo. +VAT @ 20%.
Sage provides accounting, payroll and HR for small businesses. Their accounting software allows you to invoice quickly, automate bookkeeping, and track your finances. You can take the hassle out of payroll by using Sage to pay your employees securely and on time. And to onboard employees and automate the HR process of your business, Sage also has HR software.
- Accounting – from £12/month
- Payroll – from £7/ month
- HR – from £4/ month
Created by people in the trades for the trades, Tradify is online business management software aimed at businesses of 1-20+ people. Available online and as a mobile app, the all-in-one software helps you to save time on enquiries, quoting, job scheduling and tracking, invoices, payments and more!
Before signing up, you can choose your team size and trade to determine whether Tradify is a good fit for you and your business.
- £19 per user/per month
Xero is accounting software for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers. You can save time usually spent on admin and better spent on the tools, having confidence that your data is secure and trackable. Connecting your bank to Xero allows you to pay bills, claim expenses, and accept payments. Xero also calculates VAT and files VAT returns online.
- 30-day free trial
- Starter – £14/month
- Standard – £28/month
- Premium – £36/month
Directory Apps For Tradespeople
Directories are databases of various sole traders and businesses. Creating a profile on these directories will increase brand awareness and trust to help you find work.
Over 440,000 tradespeople are currently signed up to Checkatrade, using it to find work and grow their business. Checkatrade vets each tradesperson, ensuring they have the suitable qualifications, insurance and experience. On CaT, you can create your profile, share photos of previous work and find new work.
Starting at £30/month + VAT, you can choose from four different membership types:
Fixington helps homeowners find trusted tradespeople in their area. Their app allows tradespeople to create invoices and estimates and send them via email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc., for ease of use. In addition, you can keep track of jobs, scheduling them in your calendar along with customer details. And to make that end-of-year period easier, you can collate all invoices and payments for any date period.
MyBuilder helps to connect homeowners with quality tradespeople across the UK, boasts 4.7/5 stars on Trustpilot and works in a five-step setup:
- Create your profile, applying for trades that match your skills.
- Choose the leads that pique your interest and contact the customer.
- If you’re shortlisted for the job, you’re charged a shortlist fee and gain the customer’s contact details.
- Contact the customer to discuss the job further.
- If you successfully secure the job, the customer can leave feedback on your profile: the more positive feedback, the better your chances of being shortlisted for other jobs.
On Rated People, you’ll be assigned leads that match your trade. You can choose the leads you like the look of and receive the contact details to provide a quote. Once contacted, customers will decide whether they want to hire you. When the job is done, customers can leave you a rating and review, which you can share on social media.
The cost of Rated People varies as they tailor your membership cost to you. You’ll pay a monthly fee based on the number of jobs you want to do. Leads start at £2 and go up to a maximum of £75 for larger jobs.
Originally known as the ‘Yellow Pages’ in its print form and becoming ‘Yell’ when it moved online, Yell is now one of the UK’s leading business directories. You can set up a free business listing to allow customers to find you. There is also the option to advertise on Yell and partner with some of the leading providers of tools and solutions for SMEs.
Payment Apps For Tradespeople
Getting paid is an integral part of the job, so why not make it easier for you and your customers? Handle payment from your phone, no matter where you are and take the stress out of your day.
PayPal is used worldwide and allows you to send money in seconds via the web or mobile securely. With the Pay in 3 feature, you can split purchases into three interest-free monthly payments. With a specific business option for small-to-medium businesses, PayPal offers a range of payment options, allowing customers to pay you online, in person, via QR code, phone, or email.
In addition, you can access business insights with built-in reporting and analytics to help you get a clear view of your sales.
- PayPal is free to join, but you will pay a transaction fee for each payment you receive.
Stripe is a software tool that allows you to accept and send payments and manage your business online. Priding itself on providing a seamless checkout experience for customers, Stripe doesn’t charge hidden fees for businesses and accepts payment without errors or delay.
Businesses pay for the software via a per-transaction fee:
- 1.4% +20p for UK cards
- 2.9% +20p for international cards
Online Communication Apps For Tradespeople
With the pandemic causing many people to work from home, online communication software gained considerable popularity. Now, their popularity continues as we move forward with a hybrid working style. You can use different options on your desktop or phone, making it easy to keep in touch, whether in the office or on the job.
Microsoft Teams enables you to voice and video chat, arrange meetings, share files and organise your calendar in one place. In addition, you can create dedicated channels for specific topics or projects, organise meetings with external partners and share documents to collaborate with others.
Available on your phone and desktop/laptop, best of all, it’s free!
During the pandemic, Zoom saw a boom in popularity and has continued to be a favourite of many workers. You can chat, make audio and video calls, set up meetings and events and even host webinars from anywhere.
- Basic – Free
- Pro – £119.90/year/user
- Business – $159.90/year/user
- Business Plus – £185/year/user
Social Media Apps For Tradespeople
You can use social media for various things – socialising, sharing your hobbies and even what you’re eating but it can also be an incredibly effective tool for your business, and it’s easy to get started! While not typically thought of as apps for tradespeople, there are numerous ways in which you can utilise them.
Planning, creating and posting on social media can be time-consuming. Thankfully, Buffer enables you to plan and schedule social media posts from your desktop or phone, analyse their performance and respond to comments from Buffer itself – saving you plenty of time.
You can connect various social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, schedule posts and deep dive into how well a post has performed from one easy-to-use dashboard.
- Basic – Free
- Essentials – $5/month per channel
- Team – $10/month per channel
- Agency – $100/month for ten channels
Similar to Buffer, Hootsuite allows you to plan, schedule and publish posts across all your social media platforms in one place. In addition, you can analyse performance, including engagement, likes and comments, and monitor activity from competitors and overall market trends.
- Professional – £39/month
- Team – £129/month
- Business £569/month
- Enterprise – Custom
Most people have or have had a Facebook account at one time or another, but did you know you can use it for business? You can create a business page and populate it with essential details (Business contact numbers, opening times, etc.) and share photos, videos and updates.
Using their advertising suite, you can target specific audiences based on location, age and interests to help reach potential customers and grow your brand. A business page is free to create, and if you choose to go down the paid advertising route, you set your budget.
With photos, videos, reels and stories, there are plenty of types of content you can create and post on Instagram. The visual platform is great for sharing photos of your work, product reviews, tips and tricks. Many of our favourite tradespeople are sharing just that over on Instagram, and you can find them all here:
LinkedIn is aimed at businesses and workers to assist in networking and employment. Therefore, it’s a great place to connect with others in your industry, follow your favourite brands and merchants and grow your community.
If you’re looking to expand your team, you can use LinkedIn’s job advertising feature to find the right person to join you, or if you want to advertise your business offerings, LinkedIn has an advertising suite to help you do just that.
TikTok, released in 2016, is one of the newest social media platforms and is taking the online world by storm. Users can create short videos to share with their viewers on any topic they like, from how-tos to viral dance trends. At first, seen as a platform for the younger generation, more and more people are joining TikTok, and we’ve seen a considerable increase in the number of tradespeople getting in on the action.
TikTok is free to use. However, should you opt to use their paid advertising feature, the minimal CPM is $0.50 per mile – meaning you’ll pay 50 cents per 1000 ad views.
Twitter is a social network that allows you to post messages known as tweets with your audience. You can also share photos and videos and run polls! It’s an excellent option for getting immersed in your community, keeping up with the latest news and promoting your business.
Setting up an account won’t cost you a penny, but should you wish to reach a wider audience, paid advertising is available where you can choose your target audience and budget.
Tool Apps For Tradespeople
Working in the trades means spending plenty of money on tools, workwear and products. While an essential part of the industry, finding things in store can be time-consuming and difficult. Thankfully, some of the biggest stores have mobile apps to cut down your shopping time and simplify the experience.
Whether ordering an item last minute or filling your basket with £100s worth of tools and products, you can do it all from your phone via the Screwfix app. You can order an item for collection and check in when you arrive at the store, making the shopping side of the trades quick and easy – leaving you more time to focus on getting the job done.
Made by a tradesperson for tradespeople, Snap-It has changed the game. With the Snap-It app, you won’t have to leave a job to pick up any last-minute parts or tools. Through the app, you can place an order which is sent to your closest merchant; they’ll find what you need and assign a courier to bring it straight to you. It couldn’t be easier.
The Toolstation app lets you see the stock availability in your local store, quickly buy products, reorder previous baskets and checkout quickly with Trade Credit, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Free to download and easy to use, create an account and get shopping.
Not only does the Wickes app allow you to shop, search and browse their entire range, but you can also create project lists, helping you to stay organised. In addition, Wickes offers exclusive rewards and competitions to their members, and as a TradesPro, you’ll be eligible for a 10% discount on your orders.
Other Apps For Tradespeople
There are plenty of other tools and apps for tradespeople that can help you streamline your business and save time and money.
Creating graphics and imagery for your business can be daunting if you’re new to the world of online design. However, Canva makes it easy. The graphic design platform has free templates that are customisable for everything from Instagram and Facebook posts to infographics and YouTube thumbnails.
You can use it on your phone on your desktop/laptop to create professional business assets.
- Canva Free
- Canva Pro – £99.99/year/one person
- Canva for Teams – £129.90/year/5 people
Expert Trades boasts over 27,000 tradespeople using it to access tools, services and training to grow their business. Launched to fight back against the cost of winning work, insured tradespeople who join become Verified by Expert Trades. With this, you’ll be able to access several different perks. And, through your profile, you can showcase reviews, work and qualifications to help build trust with customers.
Makita Tool App
The Makita tool app is aimed at tradespeople and developed to aid you in your day-to-day work. You can have a spirit level, flashlight and levelling instrument in one place in your pocket – perfect for when you’re in a tight spot. With no adverts and being free to use, it’s a handy addition to your phone/toolkit!
TradeHelp not only helps save you time on the admin side of business with their TradeHelp app and desktop Office solutions, but you can also save plenty of money thanks to discounts from leading manufacturers and merchant partners. Not only that, but TradeHelp can help customers spread the cost of an installation with their customer finance assistance.
- TradeHelp Network – Free
- Office Pro – £10/month +VAT (60-day free trial)
- Office Heat Pro – £25/month +VAT (60-day free trial)
Trello allows you to manage your projects with personalised boards, lists and cards. You can customise your boards, track progress and collaborate with other users. It’s easy to use, offers automation, and you can connect it to other apps you use with ease.
It’s ideal for keeping track of what you and your team are working on, making it perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.
- Free – $0/month
- Standard – $5/month
- Premium- $10/month
- Enterprise- $17.40/month