Becoming more efficient in the office

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grassmasterswilson, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    I'm an owner/operator so book/office work often comes after hours or on rainy days.

    How have you guys become more efficient in the office?

    -self sticking envelopes?
    - invoice folder machine? Not sure there is one

    Just looking for ideas of how to get things done faster and spend more time with the family.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    I have one of those invoice folders. It definitely speeds thing up. The one I have you feed one invoice at a time. It would be better if it had an automatic feed.

    Here is the link.
  3. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Are you looking for more efficiency time wise or productivity?
  4. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,855

    What systems have you implemented? How can you automate those?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    You send paper invoices still o.0
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    Send invoices via email and offer your clients some type of convenience option for paying your invoice online (intuit/quickbooks is one option). No printing invoices, no folding invoices, no stuffing envelopes, no sealing envelopes, no addressing envelopes, no stamps, no mailing invoices, no opening mail to get checks, no going to the bank to deposit checks, no waiting days and days for checks to arrive, no waiting days and days for checks to clear the bank.

    For any new clients you get, online bill payment is your only accepted method of payment.

    You can inform your current clients that starting on January 1st their rate will increase $7 due to the increasing costs associated with sending out paper invoices and check processing. To avoid the increase to their rate and for their convenience, clients may now provide a valid email address to enroll in paperless billing and pay their invoices online. Increase rates every 6 months until they transition over to paperless billing/online bill pay or until you have phased them out and replaced them with a comparable client who accepts paperless billing/online bill pay or until their rate reaches a level that makes it "worth it" to mail invoice and deposit checks.
  7. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Something that has helped me a lot is having my truck as a second office. When I have sometime to kill between appointment I can pullout the iPad or laptop and do some billing or work on a proposal. The same on days were you have to sit and wait for a rain shower to pass.
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Having all of my stuff - photos and documents - available all of the time, from any device via DropBox. For me, that is iPad, cell phone (iPhone 5S as of a week ago), and desktop. You want all these things sharing information anyway. This is an excellent way. DropBox has the added benefit of being a great off-site backp place for all your stuff.

    I'm at the point where it costs me about $100 a year for everything (personal and business) I have since about 1990. You can easily get started and get by for a good long time with what they offer free.

    If you are unfamiliar with it, see the link below and scroll down past "learn more."

    Beyond that, one of my own shortcomings I am trying to improve upon is using extensive information I gather upfront and have it flow through to an invoice and pesticide application record. I end up re-entering a lot of the same information a few weeks apart. Currently, I use an Excel template I made that quickly generates a price for the things the customer cares about from the information I care about. I need to tie it in at the next level. I'm not sending out several a day or even several a week. Often when I get on a job I am there several weeks. I do some one to two day jobs and some much longer.

    Good luck improving your office efficiency.
  9. Sponsor
    Messages: 804

    When I discovered Self sticking envelopes the heavens opened for me, and address labels. I still sadly have to stuff paper invoices. I use Locqus free invoicing software to try and turn more invoices to emails. I use their Field Service Management software as well for my crews. But the two big ones for me were the labels. Also a printable signature helped alot.
  10. oqueoque

    oqueoque LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Jersey
    Messages: 3,491

    Interesting thread. I think I will explore some of these options.

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