How Tech. Savvy is Your Company (Part II)

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Feb 20, 2011.


Which of the Following Does Your Company Use?

Poll closed Apr 21, 2011.
  1. GPS For Company Vehicles

    22 vote(s)
  2. Cell Phone

    48 vote(s)
  3. Website

    44 vote(s)
  4. Email to Clients, Employees, Suppliers

    46 vote(s)
  5. Mobile Laptop, Printer

    17 vote(s)
  6. Mobile Internet

    30 vote(s)
  7. Text Messaging to Clients, Employees, Suppliers

    39 vote(s)
  8. Online Based Lead Generation Services (Angie's List, Service Magic, etc.)

    11 vote(s)
  9. Custom Typed & Printed Estimates / Quotes / Proposals

    42 vote(s)
  10. Social Networking (Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, etc.)

    38 vote(s)
  11. SEO Tactics

    16 vote(s)
  12. Pay-Per-Click Advertising Online

    12 vote(s)
  13. Other Online Advertising

    16 vote(s)
  14. YouTube / Videos of Your Company or Work

    4 vote(s)
  15. Smart Phone Apps for Business

    21 vote(s)
  16. Online Property Measuring Service

    13 vote(s)
  17. Electronic Bookkeeping (e.g. Quickbooks)

    42 vote(s)
  18. Electronic Calendar for Appointments

    29 vote(s)
  19. Online Newsletters (e.g. Constant Contact) to Your Clients

    7 vote(s)
  20. Blogging or Podcasts

    9 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    We don't use any power inverters for anything in any of our vehicles. I get car chargers for everything. Cell phones, Laptops, Mobile Hot Spots, etc. It's much better to do it that way because the power inverters can get overloaded sometimes in the heat or just from building up too much heat from working all day. But the car chargers that are specific to your laptop or cell phone will always work and never blow a fuse and never get too hot.
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    The inverter I have is labelled as AC Delco, i am not sure if they actually manufactuer it or if its just laballing rights because I have seen identical ones online that are labelled differently. I invested about $350, and this thing is a beast, has plenty of power and everything is fused to protect the electronics. Right now I use it thru the lighter plug but hard wiring it will alow it to provide full power, when this model is used thru the lighter plug the power is limited to the plugs abilities. As far as over heating it has plenty of fans to keep it cool, and shuts down if it reaches a certain temperature. It also gives you warning tones if it begins to heat close to the safety limit. I have it under the rear seat, so I also grabbed 2 simple 12v dc fans from Radio shack and wired those up to keep a steady flow of air around it.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Yah, see that probably all works. But it's just way too expensive and way too problematic - having to hook up fans around it and all that crap. No thanks.

    You can get a car charger / cigarette lighter adapter for any laptop for $70 or less. And they never overheat or have any problems. I use mine most days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 5 days a week throughout all 4 seasons and it's never once got too hot, overheated, stopped working, etc.
  4. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    A question to those who are doing estimates on site. Has this helped you to secure more jobs? I know someone where who is doing it an he does his estimates in about 15 mins or so, then tells the customer, if they sign the contract right there he will take 5% off immediately. He says he could afford to offer 10 or even 15% in some cases but he doesnt want the customer to think that his profit is so high that he couldnt afford to discount it some later.

    he says by offering 5% off for on the spot signing, he has in fact secured several jobs that way.

    I think with the work portfolio, uniforms, nice trucks, his attitude and the ability to print on the spot estimates, all helps to show the customer his professionalism which instills a higher level of trust.

    We thought about doing something similar but I just wasnt sure how to approach it. I don't like to be pushy but in todays market you gotta get it while you can.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    There is a huge benefit and a difference in closing rates. We all worry about the customer looking at all his quotes and just going with the cheapest one and calling to ask you questions about why your design is more. This way here I am already there with the HO's to go over everything with them when I get measurements and talk about their expectations. Then I go to the truck and enter info into the computer and print it.

    The key is when we schedule the visit to do the estimate, I figure in the time to go over the printed quote. So when I walk back up to the door I know the HO's have time to go over it with me, and the husband isn't going to say "I need to talk to my wife about it" because she is right there. I sit back down with both of them and go over it all, the benefit of this is I can see there faces and body language when they see each line, I can then go into detail explaining anything they react to before they ask a question. If something needs to be changed, I can go right back to the truck and edit and reprint.

    I have closed a number of installs where company XYZ came out the day before to take measurements and the HO's are still waiting to hear back for the estimate. When i walk in and am able to hand them a professional printed estimate I close the job before they even see the other guys price
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Don't take my post wrong, it can simply plugs into the ciagarette lighter. I only hooked up the additional fans because where I have it mounted under the seat I usually have a bunch of other crap thrown under there aswell so I just wanted increase the air circulation even more. I have used it tailgaiting with my laptop, microwave and blender plugged in and all being used on a 95+ degree afternoon and never had an issue with it shutting off or the alarms going off, those are just safeties incase it does get to hot.

    DC plugs for the computer work fine. i just like the inverter for when I'm doing an install at a new house that doesn't have the power hooked up yet. I can run any power tools I need easy enough without having to worry about batteries.

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