our systems have taken the last 10 years to perfect. getting all the bid forms, post cards, internal forms, advertising, sales folders and literature within, trucks, uniforms, to all look like a franchise has been tough. but I will gladly hold everything up , to any Christmas light company out there, franchise or not, and it blows everyone away.
that being said, I do all bids right there, one visit, hand written on a pre-printed full color, 3 part carbon form. the top has spaces and notations for all client info- address, directions, phone numbers, date, etc. I have columns and boxes for c-9's, links, wreaths , and garland, etc, and I fill in the blanks on how many, how many feet, how much per item, etc. I also have a blank space for handwriting various instructions for the crews and internal staff. the bottom has fine print on insurance, warranties, storage and cancellation policies, etc.
I tried the photo and computer approach and could not do it quickly enough to keep up with my appointment schedule.