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What Software should I go with?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by RLLServicesCT, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. RLLServicesCT

    RLLServicesCT LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 225

    Hey Im taking on more and more customers, and I really need to stop filling my notebook with papers flying out left and right. Right now I need some type ofsoftware and I was wondering what any of you thought would be best.

    What would you recommend and for a reasonable price? Thanks
    So Far I priced....
    Groundskeeper Pro $400 +tax
    Lawn Pro Software $97 + tax
    Quickenbooks Pro Services $349.99+tax
     
  2. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    LMS - www.Landscapemanagementsystem.com - $4.26/mo forever - Keep up with customers, track expenses, income, print and mail invoices, or allow your customers to log in and view/print/and pay their invoices via PayPal.

    Quickbooks - www.innovativemerchantsolutions.com - Call them for pricing. You dont need quickbooks pro right now if you are just starting out. You can download Quickbooks Simple Start and sign up with Intuit (the makers of Quickbooks) and process credit cards through Quickbooks at the same time. 2 months free I think.

    http://billingmanager.intuit.com/billing/welcome.url - Keep track of your customers online.
     
  3. brianhanson37

    brianhanson37 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Check out Gopher. I see that is one that is often mentioned. Like you, I'm in the same situation I don't know what program to go with.
     
  4. brianhanson37

    brianhanson37 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    First, DARNIT...beat me to the post...


    Next, can you please explain how the credit card payment works?
     
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Any company that accepts credit cards has what is called a "Merchant Account". These are the companies that process the cards and deposit the money from the consumer's card into the business' bank account.

    There are TONS of Merchant Account services out there. Just google "Merchant account" and you'll get your fill.

    You will pay a monthly fee for the service, usually a customer service fee as well. On top of that, there is somewhere between a 2.1% and 2.9% transaction fee and a $0.20 - $0.30 per transaction fee. To give you an idea, even PayPal charges you 2.9% and $.30 per transaction.

    Anyhow, after you have been approved for a merchant account, you can ask that your customers provide you with their billing information. From there, you can bill as you please. Some bill the day after service, some weekly, some monthly. Money is usually deposited into your bank account within 48 hours.

    Depending on what merchant service you choose, you may have to process all of your cards by hand within a website. Or, some billing software is compatible with other merchant services.

    One example of this is Quickbooks. You can keep track of all of your customers information, including billing information. When it comes time to bill, simply draw up an invoice, enter the total, and bill when ready. It will allow you to email the invoice to the customer after it is paid, or you can print and mail it.

    Many companies use credit card billing to eliminate the headaches of late payments. I know it works for us. You are no longer picking up cash under the mat, waiting for checks to come in, worrying about bounced checks, etc. Sure someone may have a rough time and have a few days before payday, but just rebill them.

    I will never go back to paper billing. Customers hate it in this fast paced life down here. They dont want the responsibility of remembering to pay their bill. They're just happy when they come home and the lawn is done.

    A word of warning: When shopping for merchant account services, READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE. Check for any annual fees and that stuff. Compare all the fees. Monthly, card service fees, % of transaction, $0.xx per transaction, and set up fees.

    Check to see how you will have to process these. Some will have you key the info in EVERY TIME. Waste of time. Look for someone with some sort of software, whether it be computer based or browser based.

    Hope this helps with any questions you had.
     
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,525

    buy CLIP, www.clip.com. Ive used it since 2000. Its the best out there.
     
  7. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 1,134

    I use LMS and I love it. You really gotta check them out. With LMS your customers can pay online also<< processed through paypal.
     
  8. JacksonLawns

    JacksonLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    I have been using Gophers free demo for a couple of weeks now and really like it. I am still figuring a few things out but overall it is proving to be more effiecient than me without it. The big time saver for me, so far, is invoicing. It generates them for you with the push of a button. I believe I will purchase it after the trial runs out.
     
  9. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    how is groundskeepeer?
     

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