2024 looks to be busy for trades, survey finds

A new job management software specialist has marked its launch into the UK with a research report into British attitudes to hiring trades.

ToolTime asked Opinium to find out about a growing tendency to call on professional help for home services, with 18-34 year olds making more than twice as many call-outs as those aged 55+ in 2023. But it is not just the younger generation relying on UK trades. More than half of UK adults (51%) that have used tradespeople before expect to need their services again in 2024, and 37% are planning home improvements for the New Year – signalling a busy time ahead.

“With increased service demand comes greater organisational and administrative challenges for small businesses and sole traders,” comments ToolTime CEO and co-founder Marius Stäcker. “Our own research has found that the 150,000 companies in the finishing trades across the UK still rely on pen and paper or basic computer software such as Word and Excel to run their businesses. Clearly there is an opportunity for increased digitisation to bring an end to paperwork chaos, enhance efficiency and customer service, and save time.”

Key findings from the survey include:

•  51% of UK adults who have used tradespeople before will need to do so again in 2024, while 37% have planned home improvements next year.
•  The average number of callouts in the last year was three. This fell to just two on average among those aged 55+, and peaked at over five in the 18-34-year-old bracket.
•  More people who call out tradespeople value reliability over trustworthiness (75% v 73%), followed by professionalism (65%), experience (60%), and good reviews or recommendations (56%).
•  The most frustrating thing about hiring tradespeople is when they do a poor job (64%), followed by bad timekeeping (56%), costs going up (45%), and a lack of respect for the home they are working in (44%).
•  41% stated that a lack of transparency in quotes and invoices frustrated them. 83% of those who hire tradespeople check the costs of resources when they have a quote, while 47% always check costs.

Since its launch in Germany in 2018 and expansion into Austria earlier this year, ToolTime’s cloud-based web and mobile application is being used by 10,000 tradespeople. Developed specifically for home service trades, it can be used to digitise and centralise all company processes to simplify operations and find efficiencies, giving tradespeople the power to effortlessly keep track of work in real-time and from wherever they are, create administrative efficiency, and provide a smooth, more transparent service for their customers.

With reliability and timekeeping featuring highly in customer expectations, ToolTime’s appointment scheduling, free customer SMS confirmation service and map-based appointment visibility for easy operational planning can all help to ensure timeliness on the job and clear customer communications. Meanwhile job time tracking and documentation, and the ability to link these to quote and invoice creation, ensure transparency and professionalism.

Other key attributes of the ToolTime job management software include:

• Integrated plug and play web software with complete customer data transfer service and live team training, as well as ongoing dedicated customer support,
•  Customer signature capture for mobile application, with iOS and Android compatibility,
•  Configured for the UK tax system to allow financial information to be easily exported for hassle-free tax returns,
•  Recommended by Vaillant, a leading manufacturer of boilers, heat pumps & heating systems.

“Our mission is to simplify the work of home service industry businesses and free tradespeople from the time and effort involved in tedious administrative tasks. By doing so, they can not only create a better working environment for themselves and their employees, but also enhance the service they offer to their customers, overcoming many of the frustrations experienced when hiring tradespeople. By saying goodbye to paperwork chaos and investing in administrative efficiency, business owners can invest the time saved back into business growth,” concludes ToolTime CPO and co-founder Marcel Mansfeld.


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