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better business phone

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by SharperImage, Jan 4, 2012.

?

Better business phone?

  1. iPhone

    69 vote(s)
    67.6%
  2. Droid

    33 vote(s)
    32.4%
  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I'll agree that the smartphone doesn't really "help" much at all with the business, other than being a phone. But, the weather radar and ability to see warnings and things is really helpful when you live in Kansas! I can track the rain and storms while I'm on the mower even. Having the smartphone is nice for tunes as well, better than an ipod because I can plug into pandora and use my ear plug headphones to make the days go by much easier.

    I'm still hanging onto my blackberry as well. I just can't get into the touch screens, especially for us that usually have dirty hands. Plus they don't generally have belt clips and are much more fragile than the blackberrys.
     
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Having live Doppler radar is a big plus for me both during the mowing and plowing seasons, but you don't need a smart phone for that.
     
  3. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,013

    to the guy who said how does a smart phone help run your business, I use an app called Invoice to Go and it has helped me tremendously. I can do the bill before I leave the job and email it to the customer. It only cost $10.00. You can also link it to QB.
     
  4. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    I'm using a droid. Never had a blackberry or iphone.
     
  5. SharperImage

    SharperImage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    @greenmonster do you use the lite or pro edition?
     
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    all you really need to do is make and receive phone calls, texts and voicemail.

    sure it nice to be able to check your email or know what the weather might do but in the end is not necessary.

    like jason said in another post. weather app said it was gonna rain at 12 and it rained at 9 instead.

    i never count on what the apps tell me and i never plan my days around what the apps or even the news or paper reports for weather. i look outside when i wake up. if it's not raining i go to work until it rains.

    i'm with you gusbuster. not to mention i don't see how the phone really helps run the business. i mean most of the stuff those smart phones do can be done when your not out running your equipment.

    all you need a phone for is to make and take phone calls. checking email and weather can wait until your in the office. who really has time to do all that extra stuff anyway?

    when i'm out working, i'm too busy to be checking emails, checking the weather all the time or doing anything else on the phone.

    the only time the phone is touched is when the truck is parked and it rings or i need to return a call. it stays in the truck while i'm working and i don't touch it while i'm driving. and i usually like to get moving to the next job once i finish one so i don't want to be sitting in front of a property for 5+ min. after i've finished with it unless necessary.

    personally i own and use an iphone. but i could certainly live without it and most of the apps i have are for personal use. even when i get an email from a client i don't usually read it or respond to it until i'm home for the evening. i only check the weather if they are predicting rain and thats just to see when they think it might hit. i still keep working though and i've never adjusted my schedule because they said it was going to rain at x time or y time.
     
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    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.
     
  8. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    Never owned a Droid, but I love my iPhone.

    Using a decent radar app has helped me to realize on several occasions that my time WILL be better spent mowing on the other side of town where I WON'T be getting rained on. Yeah, my daily route may get shifted around, but I stay working...and dry.

    When home, having WiFi in the house saves a lot of data expenditures if you're charged by the MB/KB...and it is a LOT faster than 3G. Fortunately, I'm grandfathered in with Unlimited Data @AT&T, but the speed of WiFi over 3G is worth the expenditure, IMO.
     
  9. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887



    Great post.
     
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    a task that isn't necessary. you can do that at the end of the working day.

    personally i don't want to be sitting in that truck infront of a property not working any longer than i have to.

    as soon as the blower is put on the trailer i like to get in the truck and get moving to the next job. sure i will take a phone call or 2 if i have too before i start moving but i don't want to be sitting there making up an invoice an emailing it to a client when i can do that in the evening after i'm home.

    so while smart phones are nice and helpful i don't see them as a necessity.
     

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