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trailboss
01-01-2008, 10:49 PM
One of my goals for 08' is to be more organized and thorough with my paper work.
For all of my jobs with any size I type up a proposal or final invoice in the office. But for the smaller service jobs and/or small add ons etc. I hand write some of these (currently on a generic bid sheet and generic invoice).
I am trying to create a couple of forms that are more detailed and lighting specific that I can carry in the truck for these smaller jobs.
Anybody created any forms that they currently use for sales invoices or bids that they would care to share? Just looking for ideas not looking to copy.
As always - any input and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Steve

Chris J
01-01-2008, 10:52 PM
I second his request. My proposals are lame and very outdated. Could you guys share some decent contracts and/or proposals? PM or Email works as well, and I will pay for the advice.

NightScenes
01-01-2008, 11:29 PM
Unique has a great selection of forms for lighting. Go to their site or request a CD from them.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-02-2008, 09:41 AM
If you dont like what you find at Unique, and you want a custom designed integrated approach to forms, cheques, letterhead, etc, check out NEBS online.

Here I have built all my own forms simply by using MS Office templates and then customizing them. Seems to work out just fine for my biz.

JoeyD
01-02-2008, 09:43 AM
You can also find some good sample project forms in the back of The Landscape Lgihting resource Manual. I will see if I can get some in PDF to post up for D-Load.

Mike M
01-03-2008, 06:55 PM
Chris, or anyone into this topic. I never thought I would pay for an accountant, but boy am I glad I did.

They have great ideas, not just for "forms", but key info to put in them for tracking purposes. I am going to start requesting my own codes on distributor invoices, where the purchase order goes, such as client name and the zones I will be illuminating at the property for that particular contract.

He will have access to my checking account and biz credit card online, and I can e-mail him my invoices and the distributor pdf invoices.

The only thing I have to do is photocopy my check register and drop it off once a month.

Also, he showed me how to write extra info on the deposit slips, since the banks photocopy them and provide that online, along with your cancelled checks. On those deposit slips, I write my customer name and zone info, like on the invoice P.O., and I include license juristiction.

This guy has forms for licensed contractors (when using EC's etc.) and will help organize, summarize, and analyze revenue, expense trends, etc.

I feel like I finally am getting my crap together.

My strong recommendation if anyone is looking in to getting a CPA, is get one with like 25 years experience, and one that knows how to work with contractors.

This guy is awesome, he sits in front of three 17" computer screens crunching numbers and managing data. He loves what he does, and he wants to help business not only be organized, but to manage their information for growth.

Mike

Lite4
01-03-2008, 07:56 PM
Hey Mike, I hear what you are saying about CPAs. I am going to get my poop in a group, and get a good one this year. Should simplify things a lot.

Mike M
01-03-2008, 08:05 PM
Go Tim. I'm 43, always did my own investing, taxes, schedule C's, etc. Rationalized to myself it was to save money and I was too smart for a CPA, etc. Now I feel like I have a major weight off my back and someone to offer an objective analysis. His payroll was already paid for. The coolest thing is he is so totally into his stuff, and wants me to succeed as his client, not just pay my taxes on time.

PM me for more about finding the right person for the job, it really matters.

Lite4
01-03-2008, 08:12 PM
Well I know my strengths, and bookeeping is not one of them. As far as I am concerned these people can be worth their weight in gold.

Chris J
01-03-2008, 08:33 PM
Mike, I'm on the opposite end of this spectrum. I've never been real good at forms, taxes, schedule C's, etc., so I've always utilized a CPA. I found out a long time ago that a CPA can save you more money that he/she costs in fees.
From reading your post, however, my CPA isn't as good as yours! I've never thought to look to her for guidance on these things, and she's never offered. Sounds like I need to ask your CPA for a reference here in Jax? Can you do it for me?
By the way, when would you like to set up that consultation for your double-wide?

Mike M
01-03-2008, 09:59 PM
Chris, the guy said it best when he compared himself to me: he problem-solves and custom-designs systems for each client. He finds it fulfilling to do more then tax prep, by helping to manage data to generate summaries that can help me grow as a business.

Heck, everything he does is electronic and online--I'll bet he could work for you in Jax!

He's got 25 years experience including corporate. Real nice guy, PM me if you want contact info.

Chris J
01-03-2008, 10:06 PM
Chris, the guy said it best when he compared himself to me: he problem-solves and custom-designs systems for each client. He finds it fulfilling to do more then tax prep, by helping to manage data to generate summaries that can help me grow as a business.

Heck, everything he does is electronic and online--I'll bet he could work for you in Jax!

He's got 25 years experience including corporate. Real nice guy, PM me if you want contact info.

Naa, I want someone that I can go see face to face in times of need. I don't doubt that he can do everything via internet, but I'm just more comfortable with a face. Thanks anyway Mike!

Mike M
01-03-2008, 10:17 PM
More comfy with a face--no wonder it's a she!!! I'd stick with a female cpa, too.

John Zaprala
01-03-2008, 10:28 PM
Ironically, on of the owners (silent) of our company is a CPA. We use forms to goto the bathroom in our company (that's a joke to clarify)... but seriously we use an excel spreadsheet that lists all of our materials from plants to pavers down to the sod staples and PVC fittings. Take all your vendor price list and list them make formulas to add the rows then the whole column. Add your taxes, profit, labor, machine, overhead and such below and instantly you have a number. I also then print these forms out fill em out in my truck and type them later, or utilize a laptop and printing them in your truck. I then print out a contract from a Word document with our logo and despcrition of work, terms, clauses, etc.
We're not a large company IMO (6 laborers, 3 foremen, 2 managers, 3 salesmen), but having forms for daily progress on each job including time spent on each step (e.g. 2 hours for compacting) let's us track how much time we spend doing each task, how much overhead to include in this job for that compactor based on that time etc. We found by fine tuning our overhead values down to the hours used on each job, we're able to offer the customer a better price. At the same time you have unlimited knowledge of where you need to improve and where you're doing well.

trailboss
01-29-2008, 10:27 PM
You can also find some good sample project forms in the back of The Landscape Lgihting resource Manual. I will see if I can get some in PDF to post up for D-Load.

Joey, have you had a chance to get any of those Sample Project Forms in PDF yet?
Thanks, Steve

eskerlite
01-30-2008, 08:15 AM
www.MCBEEINC.COM I had someone from the company come to my office and discuss my needs right down to my weather proof stickers for my transformers.
Sean C.

JoeyD
01-30-2008, 10:15 AM
Joey, have you had a chance to get any of those Sample Project Forms in PDF yet?
Thanks, Steve


I do email me and I will send them to you. I just got them in PDF yesterday.

joey.digiovanni@uniquelighting.com

for those who already have nates book, chapter 12 has a huge section of forms and sample contracts. I have some of these available in PDF if you want, just email me.