Monthly Archives

June 2018

The Value of Taking A Vacation

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

You know that feeling, the one where you really, really need a break? Like work and life have you so busy and wrapped up in everything that you would love to just walk away from it for even a day or two? How often have you acted on that feeling?

We are going to guess almost never.

Why though, why do people never act on that feeling? Never take the break, the vacation that they know they need. If you ask, most people will say it’s because there is too much work to get done, too many other commitments, too much to do.

But people never acknowledge the value of taking the vacation, of saying this will all be here in three days or a week and I can deal with it then. While the lead up to actually taking a vacation may be stressful, and add to your work load, there are so many more benefits to taking the vacation than there for not.

1) Disconnecting

Taking a vacation allows you to disconnect. It lets you set your email to out-of-office, leave your work phone at home, and not have to deal with constant contact. It gives you a chance to exist outside the world of technology and enjoy the moments that you are in. While it is easy to ignore the emails and phone calls on the weekends, it isn’t the same as being disconnected from them altogether. Being able to not hear the phone ringing versus just ignoring it ring, gives you an opportunity to forget and let work go for a few days.

2) Time with Family and Friends

It’s easy to say you see your family and friends enough. You have dinner with your spouse and kids every night, you see your friends for happy hour every Friday, but there is nothing like getting quality, uninterrupted time with the people you love. Getting to spend a few full days hanging out, doing whatever it is you and your family/friends enjoy doing does wonders for your mental health, and gets you feeling happy and good again.

3) Re-Set Your Brain

Being able to turn off your phone, be with your favorite people, and re-set has unprecedented value. Everyone’s brain just needs a break sometimes, to think about things besides safety reports, spreadsheets, budgets, and the list goes on. Taking a vacation lets you re-set your brain, and do things you enjoy like reading a book on the beach, hiking until you’re too tired to string together a sentence, and not think about work. That way when you go back, your brain is refreshed and reenergized, ready to take on tasks and problems in ways you may not have thought of if you hadn’t had the chance to re-set.

4) Remember Why You Like Your Job

Even when you love what you do, sometimes you don’t love your job, and that’s okay. Work can be really frustrating, whether it’s the people, the deadlines, the tasks, or even your drive there every day. Taking a vacation, getting away from all those frustrations can remind you what you do like about your job. More often than not getting to take a step back, seeing what other people do and have to deal with, can make you appreciate your job more, and remind you why you like what you do. Getting to not think about work for a few days can help you remember which tasks you like, which people you need to work with more, what you can do to solve more problems, and make your job better for you.

Four Ways Scoperite’s Reports Function Can Help Contractor’s Marketing Efforts

By | Contractors | No Comments

The way consumers take in and respond to communications from companies has changed drastically over the years, from ads in newspapers, to radio commercials, and now to email and social media ads. Keeping up with these ever-changing marketing tactics can be a lot of work, and cost a lot of money, and many contractors would rather focus on their clients and their projects than spending hours planning and designing marketing materials.

Managing and improving marketing efforts doesn’t have to be endless amounts of work, if you have the right tools. One of Scoperite’s most useful features, are the reports that can be generated within the system. These reports compile customer data from all claims entered in the system, and give users an easy to read, sort, and analyze Excel spreadsheet.

These reports can be used for a lot, but specifically can help contractors advance their marketing efforts without having to use a lot of effort.

1) Targeting

Targeting is absolutely essential to marketing, without it you are just shoving information at people who don’t really care. Targeting for contractors can be a little complicated in the fact that the “target markets” are often broad such as homeowners with hail damage or people who want a kitchen remodel. These broad targets can make it hard for contractors to ensure that their message is getting to the right people, and that is where the reports can help.

The reports compile customer information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers into one sheet. This information can be searched, sorted, and analyzed however is easiest for you. Which means that contractors can use this information to look for trends within their customer base, and identify potential target segments. For example, the data could be sorted by zip code and you may notice that there are certain zip codes where you have done a lot of work. You could then use this to geographically segment customers in those zip codes, and target more customers who need or want your services, all while saving money by targeting areas you know are more successful for your business.

2) Brand Building and Customer Loyalty

For many contractors, their brand focuses, at least partially, on giving their clients the best experience, not just the best result. People will remember the very good (and the very bad), but the very good do more than just repair or renovate a home. The contractors that are remembered for being very good are the ones that follow-up, they give a company warranty, they are available to inspect and repair years after, and they are the ones that customers are loyal to.

Typically, when a job is finished, it fades from being front of mind, and those customers fall aside to new ones whose projects are happening now. But when all client information is accessible in an easy to read sheet, it’s easier to keep finished jobs at top of mind. You are more likely to see a name of a client from a few months back, and pick up the phone, check in with them, see how they are liking their new kitchen, or if there have been any issues with their windows. And that is what clients like: to be remembered and to feel important; it will make them more likely to call you for other projects, refer you to their friends and family, and leave your good reviews, all of which help build your company’s brand.

3) Email Marketing

Email marketing is truly one of the easiest ways to stay top-of-mind. It keeps your logo in front of customers, reminds them of your services, and sometimes triggers people to act. The reports function revolutionizes the ease of email marketing for contractors; all the email addresses of all the clients you have or have had are there organized into one single column, all you have to do is export them into whatever email marketing system you use and click send.

The emails can be used for whatever purpose you need; reminders to get inspected for damage after a storm, a deal that you are running, a simple reminder of what you do in case anyone needs it. All of these keep your company in client’s inboxes’ and minds, increasing your chances of having them call your or refer you.

4) Storm or Crisis Preparation

For some contracting companies, storms or crisis situations are where they make their name. This means that sometimes marketing efforts consist of getting out into neighborhoods quickly, knocking on doors, and getting signed contracts so you can stick your sign in someone’s front yard, and hopefully encourage their neighbors to sign with you as well.

Being prepared when storms or a crisis hits can be hard because you don’t always know exactly where it is going to be, and what the best way to approach a neighborhood might be. With the reports spreadsheets, you can sort your clients by city or zip code so that people who were in the storm area are easy to find. That allows you to send emails and make calls to people whose homes you’ve helped repair in the past and offer your services to them again before anyone else does. It also allows you to get into the damaged neighborhoods without having to knock on doors or make as many cold calls; you go out and help your established clients, and other people will see your logo and your process, and hopefully will choose to call your company to come help them as well.

5 Ways Scoperite Employees Deal With Stress

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At Scoperite, one of our goals for the software is to make life simpler for contractors and public adjusters who choose to use our system. We hope that by making life simpler, it will take some of the stress out of your day, because let’s face it, this industry that we work in, is a high stress one.

Finding ways to deal with stress isn’t hard. Finding ways to deal with stress that work for you is hard. There is so much information available about how to deal with and minimize stress, but deciding which methods are right for you and your job can be confusing.  Scoperite employees have all worked in the construction/adjusting industry, and know how difficult it can be to deal with sometimes. In this article, we will dive into some of our employees tried-and-true methods to reduce stress, and hope that maybe one or two of them can end up working for you too!

1) Setting Hours for Yourself

Many construction companies have broad hours that they designate as “business hours.” These are the hours that clients and potential clients see on websites and contact materials, and they can be long; 7AM-7PM, 8AM-6PM, 6AM-8PM, or even 24 Hours A Day. While it is important to be available to your customers when you say you will be, you don’t always need all those hours every day.

If you have the capability to do so, setting your own hours within the designated workday can alleviate the feeling that you are constantly working, and never taking a break. It allows you to create a routine for yourself (that may have to change sometimes) that makes it easier to plan your days, get everything done, and not feel like you are wasting time waiting for the clock to hit closing. In the experience of our employees, setting hours for yourself motivates you to get more done when you are in those hours, rather than letting tasks run on and on because you feel you have to be working for 12 hours each day. Obviously, there are exceptions to this where you might need all 10 or 12 hours, or there is a crisis that requires your attention outside when you normally work, but for the most part setting hours for yourself helps ensure that you get time away from work, and reduce the stress from feeling like you need to be working all the time.

2) Turning Off Your Phone or Letting It Die

Phones and mobile technology have absolutely revolutionized how people work. It has allowed for more mobility, easier communication, and near constant contact with anyone. All that connectivity can be stressful, however, when you are trying to enjoy dinner with your family and the phone just won’t stop ringing. Several Scoperite employees have found that turning their phones off, or even just letting it die, when the business day is over helps to alleviate some of their stress.

When you are getting emails at 9:30 at night, it can be hard to actually turn your mind off, relax, and get a good night’s sleep, so taking away the ability for those emails to reach you for the time being will allow you to be more prepared to deal with them the next morning. More often than not, whatever someone needs, doesn’t need to be done right that moment, and it is healthier and less stressful on you to wait until the next day to deal with it; when you are rested, reset, and ready to deal with whatever needs to be taken care of.

3) Taking A Full Lunch Break

When the days are busy, and you are running from appointment to appointment it can often be easier to just swing through a drive-through, and eat a cheeseburger while you are en route instead of taking a break to actually eat lunch. While it might seem easier to eat as you go so you can get more done and, potentially, be done with work earlier, taking an actual break for lunch can be very beneficial.

Taking an actual break gives you a little bit of time to reset, even if it is just 15 minutes. When you are running and running all day, you wear yourself down, and a normal day can feel overwhelming because you just never stop. Taking a break lets you plan out the rest of your day, prioritize your next few tasks rather than letting them take over. If it’s been a bad morning, it lets you start over with a better afternoon, rather than continuing to run the day down the drain. Taking an actual break for lunch gives your body and mind a moment to relax, to de-stress, and gives you the opportunity to eat something healthier than a fast food cheeseburger as well.

4) Making A List or Using A Planner/Calendar

We know, we know, most people gave up paper planners about 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that some sort of planner can’t help you deal with your stress. Whether you have a computer calendar, an email calendar, a paper planner, or even a list on a sticky note, making a list of your tasks for the day can really reduce your stress.

Taking the time, even just 10 minutes, to sit-down each night or before your day starts in the morning to sort out and write down your tasks for the day makes your day more manageable. Having the list saves you from being overwhelmed most of the time; sure there are days where things pop up that have to get added to the list, but having a general idea of what you need to accomplish in just that one day can reduce the amount of stress you feel at work. It can also help on days where you feel like you need to be doing more because there is so much, to look at the list and see all the tasks you have accomplished, and to know that you are doing everything that needs to be done. Plus what is more satisfying than being able to cross off or delete a task once its done!

5) Using Meditation Apps

For several of our employees, meditation apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” have made a huge difference when it comes to reducing stress. The apps walk you through meditation and relaxing whether you have five minutes or twenty-five. Regardless of whether you do it at lunch, before bed, or when you just need a minute or two to relax, taking the time to clear your mind and reset yourself can help you deal with stressful situations and make you better at handling them when they happen.