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View Full Version : New online company management/scheduling/invoicing software


jason72g
11-26-2011, 11:44 PM
Hello all,

I recently relocated back to my hometown due a change of pace in my full time job, leaving my business partner to take over our lawn maintenance company as 100% owner. While I do miss it, I have been thinking of ways to remain a part of the green industry.

With my background in building websites, networking etc, as well as lawn mowing and maintenance, it only makes sense to make a better, faster, more powerful tool that enables green business owners to stay on top of their scheduling, invoicing, marketing games.

My experience with the system we used with our company probably sounds a lot like yours. We always felt like we just didn't have enough flexibility, customization, etc, to really feel like we were getting our monies-worth. We felt like the owners of the software never listened to us, nor did they care about what suggestions we had in order to improve the system, and ultimately, our satisfaction. We felt like it was a clunky piece of software with a bad interface. We also felt like the owners created it, abandoned it, and continued to sell it with next to no new content or updates for that matter.

So that's where this opportunity works it's self in. I want to know what YOU WANT. What is it that you like about your current software? Dislike? Would love to have? Don't need?

Would you like it to be online, access it anywhere, iPad, iPhone, android, blackberry, laptop? What would you pay for a system that had what you wanted and/or could get what you wanted in a monthly/weekly update?

In saying all this, I would love to develop a system to help you and your business grow, but there needs to be a demand for this and a good response to this thread, so I feel comfortable in jumping in.

Any comments?
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LawnoftheMonth
11-27-2011, 12:03 AM
I was ready to sign up from your thread title, but I'm too tired to hash out details on my current software issues.

jason72g
11-27-2011, 12:20 AM
I understand. Can you just vaguely list some issues?
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Roger
11-27-2011, 03:34 PM
I realize I've asked the question in other threads when posters are asking for "invoicing software," but it never gets an answer. I was struck with the title of this thread, and the question came to mind again.

Why would anybody want to have a software to do invoicing APART from their financial management software?

In other words, why enter information two times, once to generate invoices, and another to maintain financial records? What advantage is made with as separate software for invoicing?

Those asking the question about "which software to use for invoicing," or "I use XXX software for invoices," never answer the question about using two programs. What am I missing?

jason72g
11-27-2011, 05:16 PM
Roger, thanks for the reply. What if this system could replace existing financial management software? Now I realize for "seasoned" businesses who are used to quickbooks etc, may not go this route, but it I believe it would be a viable option for new businesses or smaller businesses and for business owners who don't even know where to begin with quickbooks. This could integrate with quickbooks, and it could have the capability to create a user ID for your accountant making it easier for him to do his job.

Again thanks for the insight.
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calvinslawnservices
11-27-2011, 05:31 PM
I use quick books for my financial management software and it is great, I can enter everything for the financial side of things including payroll. The best thing I like about it is you can access it from smart phones or Ipads/Tablets, if you have the internet capability. The one thing I wished it did would allow is scheduled multiple crews or even one crew and then allowed them to check off the job when its done and then automatically prepare the invoice to send out. This way everything is more automatically done at the end of the day.

JDiepstra
11-28-2011, 12:07 PM
I wouldnt buy it if it has the word Green in it.

jason72g
11-28-2011, 12:46 PM
And if it didn't have the word "green" in it?

jason72g
11-28-2011, 02:49 PM
Also, if I choose to pursue this endeavor, what I'll do is create a blog charting my progress, and it will also serve as a place where you can make comments and suggestions. It will be a true "CUSTOM" piece of software based on what you guys need.

Roger
11-28-2011, 09:04 PM
.....

Now I realize for "seasoned" businesses who are used to quickbooks etc, may not go this route, but it I believe it would be a viable option for new businesses or smaller businesses and for business owners who don't even know where to begin with quickbooks. ....
Posted via Mobile Device

This is a major flaw in strategy. What you are suggesting is that new or smaller businesses don't have need, or aren't willing to implement, financial management software. This should be just as important as buying a new mower, and it is much less expensive.

In another current thread, the topic of a business plan is being discussed. Most would agree that the best advice for a new business is to have a business plan before starting. As part of that plan, the financial data must have some order, and record keeping is essential. Many start up businesses fail because of lack of capitalization, and lack of proper financial management in the early stages. Failure to use something to keep the finger on cash flow early will likely path the path to doom soon.

What I am saying is that to suggest that an owner use something for invoices, without working with financial management tools, is a bad idea. The two are too closely related to try to separate them. Nobody is too small to use these tools, IF they are interested in a successful business.

weeble67
11-29-2011, 01:32 AM
I want to be able to connect via my phone and upload data during the day. Go home log on and be able to pull up my account. Have the option to save it to my MAC for later use if needed. Periodically I pull up quotes or jobs from years ago to review. I tried a trial program like this where I was able to purchase the program. I emailed a question and spent several more emails attempting to obtain an answer. I would like someone to answer questions. Hope my opinion helps.

jason72g
11-29-2011, 10:31 AM
Weeble67 - This is exactly what it would do in it's most basic form, of course, it will be able to do a lot more as well.

I'm almost certain, that since it will be web based, i.e. not an actual program you install, it will have a monthly fee, instead of a one time fee. I'm thinking I can price it to be extremely cost effective for anyone, no matter how few or how many accounts they have. That is one thing I loved about the system we used.

Also: As far as the customer service issues, I could guarantee a meaningul response within a couple of hours. That's the thing about this, if you have a question, comment or desire, I WILL find a resolution. I'm on a computer all day at work, so I would always have access to it!

Thanks to those who have responded, and keep em coming!

JDT Property Care
11-29-2011, 12:10 PM
I currently am a quickbooks user. I use it for invoicing and financial. For me to switch to something else, it would have to be a lot easier to use and be able to use from anywhere at anytime.

One think I would like and I might see if I can figure out how to do it in Microsoft excel is to have a bid sheet set up that I can punch in measurements, time or what have you and it will spit out the price or amount of mulch and so on... and I know there is probably a program out there that will do this already...

jason72g
11-29-2011, 04:07 PM
JDT - That sounds simple enough. The site would have multiple areas that would integrate with eachother. You could go in, calculate the bid, save, send (by emaill) and print the bid to the customer as an estimate or bid, and then be able to translate that bid into an invoice.

There are formulas for mulch, concrete, etc, that could all be included in the system. So you would type in: 10ft(W) x 5 ft(L) x 4in. (D) and it would calculate the number of yards you would need to the decimal, which would then get added to the bid with your price (not retail) for the mulch installed.

This is all custom stuff that I could add.

WhiteRiverLawn
11-30-2011, 08:58 AM
I want FULL use on an iPad. Be able to enter the job details, in the truck, by simply tapping the pre-set data. NO typing if possible. Tap only. Then have all this truck entered data on the iPad sync directly to my office laptop, so when it is the end of the month invoice time, all the data entry is complete. Simply print or email the statements. Linked to th financial side of things too, of course.

Financial integration is pretty key. Who wants to enter everything twice. Have to be able to go back several years to pull info for helping determine future bids and decisions, not only on customers, but on amount of money made on specific service items within the business.

Basically Quickbooks for Mac on an iPad, that syncs to the desktop version. Intuit will never do this, especially for Mac users. QB online is useless.

My .02
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jason72g
11-30-2011, 10:58 AM
I want FULL use on an iPad. Be able to enter the job details, in the truck, by simply tapping the pre-set data. NO typing if possible. Tap only. Then have all this truck entered data on the iPad sync directly to my office laptop, so when it is the end of the month invoice time, all the data entry is complete. Simply print or email the statements. Linked to th financial side of things too, of course.

Financial integration is pretty key. Who wants to enter everything twice. Have to be able to go back several years to pull info for helping determine future bids and decisions, not only on customers, but on amount of money made on specific service items within the business.

Basically Quickbooks for Mac on an iPad, that syncs to the desktop version. Intuit will never do this, especially for Mac users. QB online is useless.

My .02
Posted via Mobile Device

Thanks for the response, let me get this straight.

1.) You want iPad compatibility, as in, everything you can do on the desktop, you want to do on the iPad and vice-versa, correct?

2.) You want mostly all preset information. This is where it may get tricky. Obviously every business is grossly different including the businesses prices. I think the way to satisfy everyone, would be an initial startup procedure for a new customer, in which they specify all of the products they use, attaching a product code to that specific service, and you be able to select it from a drop down menu. You would also be able to select a "Preset price" for a job that is just an everday job, or be able to input a custom price where the dollar and cent fields are separated within a dropdown box. Tax would be calculated automatically based on your physical address, but of course you would be able to customize that if needed, when creating the bid/invoice.

3.) Sync to your laptop. This would be a mute issue, because the system is not going to be an installed application on your pc or mac. Anything you did on your iPad would translate to your desktop and vice-versa, realtime.

4.) Integration with QB. Just got off the phone with Intuit. They did confirm it was possible. So once you enter the data in to the new system and save it, you would be able to, from your desktop or laptop, do a one-keystroke export in to quickbooks. As to avoid entering data twice.

krysr7
01-18-2012, 05:02 PM
i"ve been doing a LOT of research on new management software for my business lately. Here are the major things I am looking for:
I currently use QB and want to continue to do so. Anything I input in program must sync w/QB- want all financial data in QB.
Need scheduling/routing capabilities, as well as customer management. Major point for me- allowing different price points for each customer on services as well as materials. (Like Gopher for this)
Also, industry specific fields such as lot size.
Want mobile ablilty- crews should be able to use smart phone/tablets to pull up schedules.
I like a whole lot of ServiceAutopilot- including customer portal- but so far it runs extremely slow and I am having a hard time even getting it set up.
I have tried at least 7 different programs so far and haven't found one just right yet.
I hope you are able to accomplish what you are aiming for! Good Luck!