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View Poll Results: Better business phone?
iPhone 68 67.33%
Droid 33 32.67%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 01-16-2012, 09:00 PM
OrganicsMaine OrganicsMaine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az Gardener View Post
I voted for my droid but to be honest I have never used a I phone and I would imagine that that's probably how most of the voting will go so I'm not sure of the accuracy of the poll.

I would also say that if you are a solo op your not really running a business you are doing your job that you own (old argument) if you have multiple crews and employees thing are a bit different. Also the type of client you service will have a large effect on how useful your smart phone will be. Here are some of the things I use mine for and to be honest I'm not very tech savvy.
  • I use the e mail function to do punch lists or inspections. My phone hase a voice software so just I talk into it. Yes I have to clean it up, the software is not perfect but when its 115 I would rather get to back to my air conditioned truck and use the keypad to fix the typos than write in the heat. With paper I still have to transfer it into the computer world so it can be shared with others.
  • My clients are high demand so they expect fast response so I need to be able to recieve emails in real time. It gives me an advantage over my competition. Also many of my clients want to control the communication process so they use text or e mail almost exclusively for communication.
  • I have about 30 clients with gate codes so the phones are handy for storing those.
  • Taking pictures and video when necissary to send to clients that are out of town or to use for future training with the crews.
  • I have also used the e mail function and voice sodtware to write a system for dumping while returning from the dump and seeing some damage that could have been avoided with some simple steps.
  • My foreman send me pictures to show me equipment damage so I can get parts or irrigation problems so I cane get them specialty parts.
  • If we need to make midweek schedule changes I can e mail the new schedules to my crews and clients.
  • If I need to give a subcoontractor client info I can just send them the contact info very quickly with a few keystrokes.
  • I have used the camera function to take a picture of a pump tag on a well pump that I could never have have seen without removing the pump.
  • I use the map feature to find suppliers or restaurants when I am in unfamiliar parts of town.
  • The calender keeps track of my appointments and remins me. Especially handy for quarterly meetings like volunteer board meetings that tend to slip your mind.

I could go on and on but it comes back to the original point if your a solo op you probably don't deal with many of the things that companies with multiple crews/employees do. Yes many of the things I use my phone for can be done with paper but its not as fast.

I look for the best/fastest way to get things done. I tried a few tecno based products like qxpress and... drawing a blank here (similar green industry software) to complete our daily worksheets to streamline our billing system but in the end paper is still more accurate and faster so we went back to paper. I'm sure someday there will be a app or program that will allow me to scan in my customized worksheet and my guys will be able to fill it out on a net book or pad of some sort. It may be out there now, but until then we are back to paper.

I can't imagine running my business without smart phones. I could do it but it would be much more difficult.
Service Auto Pilot, it will do all of what you described with less keystrokes.
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2012, 09:14 PM
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shepoutside shepoutside is offline
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Location: Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
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Be Lost without my crackberry, e-mail is a huge part of how I operate my biz.
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  #23  
Old 01-17-2012, 09:45 AM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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i guess i just don't see things like emailing a necessitie while your "out of the office".

emails don't need to be returned the min. they are received. they are just like text messages.

if something is urgent i expect a phone call or i will make a phone call.

i would rather save all that stuff for the end of the day. it really speeds your day along and i sometimes finish early if i'm not making phone calls and answering emails in between each job.

since i don't use the phone while i'm driving the only time for me to even return phone calls or emails is before i hop out of the truck to do a job or after i finish a job. and like i said i don't want to be sitting in that truck in front a finished property or not started property any longer than i have to.

when i pull up to a property i hop right out of the truck and get going. when i finish i hop right back in the truck and am moving onto the next place.

but everyone is different.
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  #24  
Old 01-17-2012, 01:26 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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i only have one customer that contacts me by email and i just check it at home on the laptop. they don't even email me much at all during the season. they know i'm coming on monday or a day or two after if it rains so they leave a check. the only time they email me is if they want a leaf cleanup or something in the fall. i do use my iphone for texts and calls. that's about it. a few customers want me to text them when i get done on their property so they can mail me a check. takes me about 30seconds to send them a quick text and then i'm on my way.
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  #25  
Old 01-17-2012, 07:30 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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yeah but i don't see any of that stuff as a necessity.

sure it's nice to have the capabilities. and i do have an iphone. but most of my emails wait until i get home and can get on my computer.

i could actually run my business without a cell phone of any kind. i don't always make or return calls during the day. i make and return most of my phone calls after i'm done for the day, in the evening hours.

if you call me at 10am and leave a message, most likely i will not be calling you back until after 5pm. same goes for emails or text messages.

so yes smart phones are nice for our business but i wouldn't say a necessity.
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  #26  
Old 01-17-2012, 11:33 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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yeah they aren't necessary i agree. people did lawncare long before the cell phone came along.
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  #27  
Old 01-18-2012, 11:13 AM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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exactly. so i can't really say which smart phone is a better phone, because being that everything a smart phone offers in not a necessity, they both probably do a pretty good job in what they do offer.

i personally have an iphone. went from a blackberry to an iphone. never have tried android because i was never really interested in an android and heard much better things about an iphone.

i strongly feel we don't need to return each and every phone call, email or txt as soon as possible. maybe thats because i'm solo and have come to a pretty full schedule so i feel if a person can't wait for me to return there call then they don't want my business bad enough and can find someone else.

i have a friend who uses his iphone for music while mowing or whatever. each time the phone rings he stops his mower or what he's doing an answers the phone. i think thats nuts. jobs take so much longer when your stopping all the time to answer calls, txts and emails.

i prefer to work straight through my day only stopping maybe for lunch and handle all calls, txts and emails after i'm done working on clients properties. i don't like to be sitting on the side of the road or in front of a property to make or take a call, txt or email. and i won't do any of that while i'm driving.

if i know i'm not going to have to write anything down i might return a call or 2 (usually would be existing clients) while sitting in front a property i've either finished or am about to start or if i take a lunch. but new calls wait until the end of the day so i can have a pen and paper ready to write down there address and other info.
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:31 PM
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Ticolawnllc Ticolawnllc is offline
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Back when I had my Droid I would take pics at the estimate, and E-mail them to myself. By the time I got back from the estimate all the pics were in my inbox. Then I would load them in to the customer file.

The radar was better than any weather report. I would check it all day long. Might as well of had it on all day. lol

Getting e-mail on the fly is what I miss most.
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  #29  
Old 01-18-2012, 04:32 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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i rarely take pics of any properties for any reason......

even so i would wait until i got home to transfer them from a camera to the computer.

even though i get emails on the fly i don't ever respond to them until i get home for the evening.

i might as well leave my phone at home because i rarely use it while working, its more for me to use should i get into an accident and need to call someone.
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  #30  
Old 01-18-2012, 05:54 PM
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Ticolawnllc Ticolawnllc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
i rarely take pics of any properties for any reason......

even so i would wait until i got home to transfer them from a camera to the computer.

even though i get emails on the fly i don't ever respond to them until i get home for the evening.

i might as well leave my phone at home because i rarely use it while working, its more for me to use should i get into an accident and need to call someone.
Most customers stick with the first service that answers them. If I answer first I am more likely to get the new customer. If you're not growing than who cares. If you are growing Itís a big deal.

Remember the horse that comes in first place by a nose is not $1,000,000.00 better than second place. Its just a nose better.
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