If you are considering working in the trades, you might find the idea of traveling from job to job every day somewhat daunting. Sometimes, you will need to zigzag across a town or city to get all of your jobs done and you will likely be solving a new problem in each location. Unfortunately, there will also be days when it feels like no matter what job you go to, something will go wrong.
The good news, however, is that with a little research and preparation, you can prepare yourself for traveling from job to job and the challenges it brings, including preparing yourself for when things inevitably go wrong.
Review local legislation
One of the first steps you should take is to review the relevant local legislation and licensing requirements. Depending on the role you are interested in, there may be certain qualifications or licenses that you need in order to begin work and carry out house visits.
The US Small Business Administration has a number of helpful guidelines on how to apply for licenses and permits on a state-by-state level. Permits can also have expiry dates. It is important to stay organized and aware of the various expirations of your permits so that you will be able to renew them on time, without having to put your work on hold in the future while waiting for permit renewal.
Organization is key
If you are not organized, one of the most time-consuming elements of a job involving house calls is scheduling the various visits. However, with a little organization and planning, scheduling can be done easily, and your timetable can be arranged to minimize the time you have to spend driving between different jobs.
There are a number of different software providers on the market that allow you to schedule jobs, assign employees to specific jobs, arrange house visit arrival windows, and chat with employees in one platform.
If you prefer to use pen and paper, or organize your schedule yourself, you can certainly do so without investing in a new software platform. It can take longer, but scheduling the old-fashioned way is just as effective! Once you have a number of employees, however, it may be more efficient to use a software platform so that everyone is updated in real time about any potential changes to jobs or last-minute cancellations.
The importance of insurance
No matter what job you have, or the size of your company, insurance is essential. No matter how careful you are, there is always a chance that you or your employees will make a mistake. When this happens, if you have insurance, you can call your provider for guidance rather than panicking about huge expenses or potential lawsuits.
When choosing what insurance provider and plan to go with, it is important to do your research. One insurance company that specifically tailors its packages and support to self-employed workers in a wide variety of fields is nextinsurance.com. Next Insurance has a comprehensive list of different types of insurance packages, so you can find something that works best for the unique needs of your workplace.
Next Insurance has a number of insurance plans that are tailored to suit different industries and small companies. It also offers competitive workers’ comp insurance plans, which are ideal if you are looking to expand your company and hire employees or apprentices.
Also, some states have particular insurance requirements depending on the kind of work you do, or the number of people you employ. It is important to review your state’s requirements regarding insurance and to stay up to date with any regulatory updates or changes in the industry.
The tools of the trade
One of the most important things about having a job that involves a significant amount of travel from job to job is ensuring that you always have the tools you need for each job. This is also an important part of organization and, at least when you are just starting, can involve a significant amount of planning. Starting a job only to realize midway through that you do not have a specific tool you need to finish the job will slow you down and will also disappoint your clients.
It is worth investing in a good set of tools and creating a checklist of the tools needed for specific jobs. You can then simply review the checklist in the morning before starting out for your round of jobs for the day.
Using checklists like this will also be useful if you expand your company and have a number of employees working for you. It can be very difficult to give over control to employees when you have built your company up from nothing, and it can be stressful knowing that those employees are representing your company. By using organizational tools such as checklists, you can rest assured that your employees are prepared for the jobs ahead.
Remember to take care of yourself
It can be tempting to race from job to job all day long and overschedule jobs. Especially when you are starting out, it is very difficult to say no to any offers for work. However, it is important to create a schedule that is sustainable in the long term.
If you are working extremely long hours and racing between jobs, you will likely burn out quickly, and you may not have time to take care of the other important aspects of business ownership, such as customer care, marketing, organization and hiring.
When you are building your schedule, make sure that you are not regularly overscheduling yourself; that you are making time for regular bathroom, coffee and lunch breaks; and that you have time in the evening to unwind and spend valuable time with family and friends. By taking care of yourself, you will be helping your business to grow in the long term and prevent yourself from burning out.