"Free" and "Best" - proceed with caution

There is a lot of "free" software popping up on the Internet. You may have noticed this - you may be using some of it. Or you may be looking for it.

But what about "free construction software"?

Consider: a software company invests time, a lot of $$, and has programmers, support staff and perhaps commissioned sales staff - and they're offering you something free. What's the catch? Why would such an animal be offered?

I think it's because they're kind, and want to give back to the industry, and want to offer you something with no strings attached.

Rubbish.

They want users. And they want to convert those users, at some point, to "paid customers". Otherwise, what's the point? They're in business to make money. They need revenue - it's gotta come from somewhere.

You have a product. You have a customer. In the middle of that, there has to be a "price", or there's no revenue.

And if it's totally free, the full version - you have to ask yourself some questions, like "how good is this", "what about support", "will it meet my needs", "is it worth the risk to spend time figuring this out, have my team run off it, only to discover later it's buggy, or deficient in some way"?

Some software companies may lure you into a free "limited" version of their software. But who wants to be limited? You get to see part of the picture only, then realize later that you actually need to "upgrade" to get the functionality you need. Can you say "bait and switch"?

Think about it. You're in business to make money. If you're a contactor, you "contract" to do something, get paid a fair dollar for the time and materials you put into the project. This is your livelihood. Can you imagine offering to do a job for free, or expect your subcontractor to do a job for you, for free? Shouldn't you expect that a software system you need to move your business forward, or solve some critical business problems, is worth investing in?

Enough is written about the "service" side of software. It's one thing to have a CD, or access to a web based application, it's quite another thing to get your questions answered, your problems solved. And the best way to do that is still picking up the phone, and talking to someone who can help. Try calling BuildIT at 1-866-585-5050 ext 1 and test us - we'll answer the phone, 7 days a week (or if you call us in the middle of the night North America time, you'll get a return call within hours).

As for "best", "best in breed", or "the construction industry's #1 software"... words are cheap. I actually read about a new kid on the block, a construction software company with a funny name. They are still in beta, have a few contractors apparently that are testing their system, and claim these contractors are "beta testing what can only be described as the best construction management software ever made".  Yikes - they don't even have a product available to the market yet, and somehow, they're the best. I'll give them top marks for self-affirmation, but really - it's not what they think about their software that matters.

The "best" construction software package is the one that you choose, use and get huge value from. The tragedy is the construction firm that spends $5 - $10K on a software product that never gets used. What a waste, and we see that all the time. That would buy a great vacation, why waste it?

Get some success under your belt before you buy. Take advantage of a free test drive. Make sure you understand the guarantee, if they have one. Ours is simple - if you don't think BuildIT is the best fit for your team in the first 30 days of being a customer, we'll refund your subscription, and part as friends. Period.

For the record, we've been around since 2000. We don't claim to be the best, or #1 anything (but many of our customers would make that claim about us ... see what they have to say on our proof page). But we have talked to 1000's of you over the years, have a loyal following of customers getting success with BuildIT, and have online scheduling, file management and communications nailed, with user feedback driving new development every week.

Wondering if BuildIT is "the best" for you? Take the next step - click the big green "Free Trial" button in the top right.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Why most software doesn't fit contracting businesses (and what to look for when buying)

Most software is designed for businesses that:

  • sell goods and services from one or more fixed physical location(s)
  • operate on a transactional basis (one sale at a time, one after the other)
  • have the same staff working day in, day out

Construction is different; it is a "manufacturing industry" that is:

  • mobile
  • works on a job-by-job basis
  • works in multiple locations
  • works with different people on each job

So, it is critical that information is managed, organized, scheduled, and communicated in an entirely different way on a job-by-job basis, accessible from multiple locations by the people that need to see it.

Software systems designed for "regular" businesses are simply not well suited for construction businesses.

To understand the three most common types of construction software (and the very big gap), click here...

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

How software systems help construction businesses sell faster (and for more money)

Over the next 10 - 15 years, 2/3 of all private business owners will be looking to sell out and retire. These 'baby boomer' businesses have only one place to look for buyers - the next generation.

However, the next generation has fewer people - that means a lot more businesses than buyers.

Whenever supply is greater than demand, prices are forced down. That means many businesses will never sell; they'll just close - not much reward for a lifetime of work.

What ingredient will set businesses apart from the crowd? What will make them sell faster and at a higher price?

Sure they'll have customers and be profitable (but so will businesses that don't sell). The magic ingredient is that they'll have good business systems in place - which will help them sell, while competitors shut their doors and close forever.

Construction software systems help businesses sell because buyers find business with good systems very attractive. If you were buying a business, which would you rather buy? A business with organized predictable ways of doing things or one without?

Systems create lasting value because the seller has a well oiled machine to hand over to the new owner - a predictable working systematized business.

Systems are the same magic ingredient that make franchise businesses and retail chain stores dominate.

More on the advantages of systems for contractors...

More on the advantages of tapping into proven business systems...

More on the advantages of web based construction software systems...

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1