The time of briefcases and paperwork is in the past. You can now carry an incredibly powerful lightweight supercomputer with you anywhere you go. And yes, smartphones nowadays also apply under this category, but as practical as they are, for working on the field they might be a bit too small and finicky.
Enter the tablet — the perfect middle ground.
Even the cheapest and smallest version on the market right now can do a lot for you — just as easy to use as a smartphone, but with the benefit of a bigger screen and support to pencil, another tool that can do wonders.
Important: This post is not sponsored and has no endorsements of any way. All suggestions are based on providing you options based on solid research and contractor advice.
With that out of the way, let’s see how a tablet can help you on the job!
Take project pictures
Naturally, you can do this just as well with a phone camera and these crucial tips. The same tips apply for using a tablet!
It’s always a good idea to take project pictures since they can be used as portfolio and as a reference for later. For example, in case you forgot or didn’t notice something you need to write an estimate, you can look back at the picture you took when you were there.
Likewise, you might encounter a customer who says you forgot to do something (like cleaning the job site). In those cases, you can refer back to the picture you took, showing you did, in fact, deliver as promised.
But that’s not the only use for the pictures you take.
Display your portfolio
It’s very easy to create an album with your best project pictures so you can display them for clients because one of the best ways to display your portfolio is to use it as reference. For example…
A customer tells you:
— I want to paint this wall black, but I don’t know if it would look good. Might look too heavy on the eyes.
— Well… — you say while going through your pictures on your iPad. — Just last month I got a job painting an entire bedroom wall black. Here, I can show you.
And that builds trust, helping the homeowner make a decision and helping you by showing that you are an expert on the field.
Another way to use photos is to show the client that you have done the service many times, showcasing your experience and that you can be trusted with the job.
And just like that, you’re on your way to making a deal.
By simply showing the client an image you’ve simultaneously:
- Shown you can get the job done
- Proven you have satisfied customers
- Demonstrated you’re organized and proactive to solve problems
Not to mention it’s a fantastic conversation starter to talk about other projects — the client may ask about other projects your previous clients have done, and you can show the results to them right away, getting them more excited to work with you.
Take notes, many notes!
Note-taking on the field is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated.
And we don’t mean simple strings of text — you can take a picture, sketch over it with arrows and circles to points of interest, scan documents, record audio notes, map annotations, and so much more.
The native Notes app for iPads and iPhones does this very well, but you can also try Evernote, one of our favorite apps out there that works on any type of device.
Making sure you get places on time and stay organized is made easier with a tablet in hand. Obviously, you can rely on the same set of tools a smartphone provides — reminders, tasks, alarms, the whole deal.
It’s just made easier to visualize and keep track of on a more comfortable screen. You can see your entire week outlined, as well as all your tasks.
With the help of a calendar app, you can attach notes, images, people and alarms to every meeting. For example, a simple “Meeting with John” can let you know in advance when to leave based on travel time. So it doesn’t matter if you’re currently busy with another client, you’ll receive the notification and know you need to wrap it up. Better yet: with traffic conditions taken into consideration automatically.
Similarly, since you can actually attach the person you’re meeting on the event, you can easily access their contact information right there — in case you need to call and say you’ll be a few minutes late or simply know where they live.
Let’s say you’re talking to a homeowner and they ask how much would they spend on materials. To give them a ballpark, all you need to do is open Amazon (or your preferred store) and look it up — you’ll both know it right away.
Perhaps looking at the prices on offer you can even tell if you know a place that can offer better value, which ultimately gets the customer on your side since you’re helping them spend less.
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