Computer program for writing bids?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by solly4, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. solly4

    solly4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hey guys. Been a while sense ive posted on here. I am finally starting the landscaping business I wanted to do a few years ago. I am looking for a free program that I can do my bids on the computer with. I am pretty stupid when it comes to setting up a spreadsheet or anything like that. Once I get it into my computer, I dont seem to have such a problem. Anyone out there have any ideas where I could find a good one on like google or something? Your help would be great as it was in the past for previous questions. Thanks for your time!!!
    Nature's Way Landscaping & Design
    Chris White
     
  2. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    Don't know of any free stuff, but you get some great bang for your buck from Quickbooks Simple Start. It's less than $100, and you can do estimates, invoices, keep track of expenses and maintain your check register. If you outgrow that problem you can upgrade to Quickbooks Pro without losing any data. I used a Microsoft Works spreadsheet for my first three years and did my accounting manually because I was too cheap to buy the software. BIG MISTAKE. :hammerhead: Spend the money, it's worth it.
     
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    "my invoices and estimates"works well, 35 buck at office max or where ever, its not the best but it works well :)
     
  4. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    here is a copy of my program it works superbly :









    honestly though , i only use my head .and i have very good success...

    ts[2].jpg
     
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587


    thats funny, :) ok so now say you have 125 customers, do you remember it in your head...
     
  6. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    What kind of work are you planning to do? If it is installations then an Excel spreadsheet with each line item as a separate sheet. For example you have Grading, Sprinklers, Planter Beds, Sod, Concrete, etc... as sheets. You then break each of them down into all of the potential items that might go into it and then the cost for materials and labor. You then go through and mark the qty you will need and the labor required for each item while doing the estimate. Each sheet will have a line that totals the parts and labor and adds tax to the parts. Then you have a "Total" sheet that pulls the totals from the individual sheets and lets you do what if scenarios. I have a line for profit margin that I can change and have it give me the total. I work very hard to get the line item costs as accurate as possible and then work the profit target to get to the price I feel the customer will bite at. I will then go back after the job is finished and critique my estimate and see where I was off. This contious improvement cycle will help you to be more profitable if you do it. Sounds a lot more complex than it really is. If you want to PM me I can create a simple example for you to start with.
     
  7. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Empty space, Well that answers a lot of questions!!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:




    You set yourself up for that:)
     
  8. Dixie Rob

    Dixie Rob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    We use quickbooks for all our accounting such as payroll and invoices. However, with bids/estimates, it's all hand written on a proposal. We back what we write down, and have had better success doing it this way than on the computer. Quickbooks does the bids/estimates, but people seem to like it hand written. I guess it gives them the feeling that they are doing business with an individual salesman and not the computer.
     
  9. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    Gopher works great for me, all in one program for everything i need
     
  10. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

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