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Posting Schedule on Web

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ClayMcC, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. ClayMcC

    ClayMcC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    I came across something on my Mac (OS 10.3) that I think is cool. I say "cool" because it's so absolutely easy to do.

    One day I was working with my schedule (calendar) when I came across a menu item that said, "Publish..."

    I wondered what "Publish..." meant, so I selected it and, whoa, it published my calendar on the web.

    I got to thinking that publishing my schedule on the web might be useful, like for those customers that expect me on the same day every week. I figure if I have to move somebody from, for example, Friday to Saturday, they could look on the web instead of calling.

    Anyway, it's called "iCal" and it's amazingly simple to use. For example, every time I make a change to my calendar it automatically updates the web version. If I want to send the web address to a customer via eMail, "iCal" generates the eMail for me... all I do is provide the eMail address.

    As for publishing on the web, for security purposes, I don't reveal names, specific addresses, or contract. I use cryptic "account numbers."

    When viewing the calendar on the web, you can click on an account number to reveal notes I have made concerning the account.

    Time of day on the calendar are only a reference to organize my day into an order. I am usually, if not always, a couple of hours off the published clock.

    Also, I change the calendar once or twice a day, usually in the mornings. In other words, the calendar is in constant flux, but I'm certain that as time goes on the calendar will require fewer adjustments.

    I haven't actually given any of my customers the web page yet because I first want to see how you all react. Do you think it's a good idea? Bad idea? Ho-Hum idea?

    You can view my grass cutting schedule at:

    To learn more about iCal or to download a copy, go to http://www.apple.com/ical
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I've thought about doing this as well, the only thing has stopped me is the privacy factor... Specifically, I don't want my customer's name on the Internet for all the world to see, not even for each other to see.

    But I see with yours, Englewood is a location I presume? Then you got some kinda code like WC20 or whatever, if that's how you work it then it is very nice, you give the customer their code and you got the privacy issue fixed.

    Either way, it is a neat idea and a definite add-on to any business wishing for an online presence, is worth doing.
    Good luck.
  3. ClayMcC

    ClayMcC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    I totally agree... The privacy factor... that's the number one reason I've hesitated to actually contact any of my customers yet... I'd much rather "beta" test it here first to make sure it's bulletproof.

    Yes, "Englewood", "Bellevue", "Hendersonville", etc., are townships or suburbs, or neighborhoods, whatever... all are areas in and around Nashville, Tennessee. I got the idea of using area names for a couple of reasons. One, it helps me organize the yards into logical groups (esp because of the way gas prices have skyrocketed). "Hendersonville" is way up north of town while "Bellevue" is way out west. Another reason is, again, the security thing. At first I thought about using street names, but that seems too specific. I think the area name widens it out far enough so that it's basically secure. On the other hand, if it's not secure enough, then I could go to using, "North", "South"... etc., but that seems sort of extreme.

    Four months ago, when I started cutting grass for a living, my wife gave me a simple notebook that was small enough to fit in the glove box. When I got my first customer, "Marge Greene", (not her real name) I opened that notebook to the very first page and wrote, "MG01". On page "MG01", I wrote down everything I needed to know to do the job. When I got my second customer, I went to the second page, and wrote, "NC02"... on and on... third customer, third page... fourth customer, fourth page. The first two letters in the code are really meaningless to me. It's the number that's important to me so that I can quickly reference a customers account information by going to that page number in my notebook.

    I think you're right, when and if the time comes I give out the web page to my customers, I will give them their code/account number.

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