I need "opinions" on software!!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Larson Lawn Care, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Larson Lawn Care

    Larson Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    I have posted a few times on here lately about software, but my question ends up getting passed up, and in the end everyone is talking about something totally different...
    -I am trying to buy some software to run my lawn care business this upcoming season...What software do you use/recommend and why???
     
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    what exactly are you looking to do with this software? how many customers do you have? are you looking to do routing and scheduling? or just entering in the charges and printing out monthly invoices at the end of the month?

    I use Groundskeeper Pro, but all i'm looking to do is enter in the charges, and print out invoices at the end of each month. That's all I use it for, so when I demoed the software selections, this was the one I felt most comfortable using as it was very simple to learn.
    I track all other expenses etc, using excel spread sheets.
     
  3. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 378

    I purchased clip this past year, it has a lot of different things you can do with it, but like Jodi said, it depends on what you are looking for in softwear.
     
  4. Larson Lawn Care

    Larson Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    I need something for billing, income/expenses, employees(I will only have 2 this upcoming season), routing, and keeping track of customers(info...etc.)
     
  5. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 378

    Clip has those features, and it helps keep track of how long you take to do jobs, so in the future it will help with bidding jobs as well. Im still learning to use it, but has a huge upside. jmo
     
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I am not good at software or books...so here is my take. Since I know book work is a weakness of mine, I have found that by hiring a book-keeper to do all that, it is more productive for me business wise and for my emotional make-up. I know where I excel, and prefer to spend my energy there making money doing "my thing" and hire out my weak areas to professionals "to do their thing". I have been way more productive over the years.....I am just not paper work oriented. I have used the same book keeper now for over 30 years and it is splendid! Even when I was starting out in business and couldn't afford it ( I thought ), I found looking back, I would never have made it without that service.
     
  7. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I use the CLIP and QB Pro combo.

    I am going to post cut&paste from other threads on this same topic. Hopefully it will be helpful to you.

    Tim

    One thing that turned me off of Gopher is I installed the demo on my computer, and for some reason it did not install an uninstall, nor does windows reconize it to uninstall it.

    I queired Gopher tech support and got zero response from them towards the concern. Obviously they don't know how to uninstall it without deleting the directory and then going into regedit and deleting all known references. Or they purposely write their install this way thinking you will give up and purchase the licensed software.

    I refuse to spend money with someone that operates this way.

    Clip on the other had has given me more support before buying, to include business support than I expected. Clip does have a support plan and I am sure that once you buy the software, they will stick to it, but so far I have had no reason to need it.

    Tim

    Originally Posted by larson lawn care View Post
    thanks for that info, I think I have had negative responses for just about every software out there, I don't know which one to choose.
    I know. Maybe I can help.

    There are two or three questions that when answered will help you decide what software is best for you. Usually going into the software hunt, the first thing that we look at is price, but when the questions are answered, and you know where you want your business to go, the price issue becomes secondary or less of an issue.

    Here are the questions:

    1. How many accounts, crews, employees, etc, to you plan on tracking over the course of your business? Will your business be expanding greatly over then next few years?

    2. Is job costing important to you? In other words, do you need to know what customers are making you money and which are not, and why? Do you want to know which employees are making you money vs costing you money and which jobs they perform make you the most money?

    If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your software choices are narrowed.

    Here is my example:

    The first year I was mowing grass looked like this; 3 Lawns, 10 Lawns, 30 Lawns, and 30 Plus Lawns. I had no need for software to track projects or employees. I was the employee.

    This year I have 4 apartment complexes so far on contract, hopefully7 more or so, and I am going to make an effort to expand to 300 residentials. That means I will need software to track and control everything. Above all, I want to know every detail of cost of each and ever job.

    I have run most of the numbers from cost for more insurance to wages, to new equipment, and so on, but the software that I am using - CLIP - will help me know whether I am meeting my man - hour profits by job, employee, etc.

    That to me is the kicker, and what ever the cost, becomes minor in light of not losing your shirt when planning to build and maintain a viable business system.

    Now that I have plugged CLIP, I will say, I really wish that the multiple windows open at the same time, and toggle between them was already out, so that I would not have to upgrade, but that is what it is.

    Clip is not necessarily pretty, but it is effective.

    In addition it can expand with my business. I can add a thumb reader for timeclocking, use cell phones for project and employee tracking, and GPS if needed. They do offer Classes or one on ones if needed, and networking with such business people as Bass, the owner of Landscape Trucks and more.

    I think QBexpress has similar options but at a higher price.

    Tim
     
  8. jeffscap

    jeffscap LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    Well said "TIM WRIGHT",we been using clip for years,It's a must for tracking your jobs. They do have a free demo @
     
  9. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    Ive used lawn pro the past few years and it works for me
     
  10. grnkeepers

    grnkeepers LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 28

    I own a copy of Real Green Software, I have owned Clip Pro since 1992.

    I was a power user of Clip for many years but then the program started having multiple "glitches" that the Clip owner kept saying were "user" problems.
    When a lot of the users started communicating between themselves and comparing notes they found out that many of them were having the SAME "user" problems that Clip was denying.

    When confronted with this Clip shut down their "open" forum and started moderating each entry and not allowing anything to be said negative about the product. Not even allowing post asking how to fix it. They still kept denying there was a problem that was common amongst the users!!!

    Most of Clip's "power users" finally got fed up with software that wasn't working and a company who refused to be reactive to their own software problems.
    They went to QXpress by Alocet.
    So did I.
    Best move we ever made.

    QXpress is an honest, proactive software provider who is now the leading choice out there of those who have bought the rest and finally wanted software that they could utilize as their company grew and their needs expanded.

    I've found it simple enough for what an entry company needs and powerful enough to handle those companies who require top tier reporting and control for their company.

    www.qxpress.com and ask for a free online demo. Tell them Stan Schlueter sent ya! You won't be sorry.
     

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