End of season software reevaluation

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mark123, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    It's getting near the end of the season and I'm evaluating my software. Right now I'm using Gopher to do my scheduling, invoicing and track payments and Quicken Home and Business to handle my bank accounts and expenses.

    It's really annoying to do double entries so I quit putting invoices into Quicken this year and am just using Gopher for that by itself. It's still two apps and I still have to input payments in both to keep the accounts in order. I'd really like to be able to either use one application for everything or use something that syncs both applications.

    I was considering Quickbooks with QXpress but it's just too costly and not quite in the budget. Many people seem to hate Quickbooks and complain about the forced costly upgrades but then they keep using it because all their data is already there and it would be inconvenient to switch. This is what I really want to avoid.

    I do need something that handles odd scheduling intervals for example I have a few customers that want mowed every 10 days. I don't want the days to shift to different days of the week so it ends up being every 10 days and then every 11 days and then repeats. This keeps them on Mondays and Thursdays all season.

    In Gopher I set that up like this:

    I do need that ability in the app I choose.

    I'm very seriously also considering going back to Macs so that's also a consideration.

    Do you have any suggestions to offer? I do appreciate it.
  2. phillie

    phillie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 861

    YOu know, I'm in the same boat. Im using groundskeeper pro but want to upgrade to something more efficient. I have narrowed my search to an internet based software that I could access from anywhere. So far I am leaning towards Service Auto Pilot or jobber. There are a few others I have seen on here i will be checking out. So far, I suggest looking at service auto pilot.
  3. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Service Autopilot does look nice but it's over $100/month. I just don't think that's in my budget. Jobber is more reasonable. I may give the trial a whirl. Thanks for the input. :)

    Maybe I'll have to write my own software. :D I'll do it! I will!
  4. phillie

    phillie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 861

    service autopilot has 3 different price ranges but I didnt see the one that was over 100. I saw a $30 a $42 and an $80. I think Im going to start with the $42 mid grade one. I still have to check out the others.. If you write one let me know, I'll test it for you. HAha
  5. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    The two-way quickbooks sync is an extra $25/month and is only available on the $80 version. If I have to use two apps I may as well stick with what I have now.

    Yeah, I'm probably not going to be happy unless I make my own.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I've used qx from the beginning and am looking to leave. Svc autopilot looks to be the choice at this time.

    Too many people think they can't afford an investment in capable software. The thinking might better be, that you can't afford not to have good management tools. Well implemented and used, they can make you money.
  7. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    May I ask why you are thinking of leaving QX?
    I agree to a point. It's just that what is offered is not worth the extra cost. I'd rather just spend an extra hour per week on paper work and an extra day or two per year on tax prep. It's not worth it at that price for a one man operation.

    I also have an aversion to subscription services. I want my apps and data to be mine forever no matter what happens.
  8. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Search "QX" as there are some recent posts. If you remain 1 man, why software other than QB. If you are planning growth, it may be worth while to get started now with a foundation.
  9. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    For scheduling.

    Agreed. I'm already beyond the beginner apps (like quickbooks simple start or the $30 version of Service Autopilot) so I may be jumping in at the middle instead of at the beginning.
  10. Jobber

    Jobber Sponsor
    Messages: 345


    I'm one of the Co-Founders of Jobber, and I just thought I would chime in with a few responses to the great points being made in this thread.

    1. Day Specific Job Scheduling: mark123 would like to see the ability to specify job scheduling frequencies, including the ability to specify the day of the week. I'll be honest and say that Jobber doesn't allow you to specify the day of the week, although we are looking into that capability. I don't believe many of the other options offer this ability either. That being said, Jobber has the most robust and flexible job scheduling system available for contract style jobs, allowing you to independently specify both a scheduling and invoicing frequency. Very cool stuff.

    2. Software is an Investment in your Business: This point cannot be understated. I agree that if all your software is doing for you is saving a couple of hours a week on paper work and a few a year on taxes, then it's not doing it's job and you should ditch it immediately. That's the problem with most of the software out there —*it's primarily concerned with moving all of your manual processes to the computer, and it usually does this in a convoluted clumsy way. That would be cool if it was 1995, but it's 2011 and it's just not good enough anymore. We have the technology to do so much more. Jobber takes care of all the boring paper-elimination you would expect back in 1995 —*that's easy — but what really excites us is the opportunity to build software that gives your businesses new and innovative tools with which to grow. We're focused on helping you improve organization, offload repetitive and cumbersome remembering, and improve customer service, all with the ultimate goal of saving time and increasing profits.

    3. Owning Your Information: I can certainly understand the leap of faith involved in moving to a subscription service if you're new to that style of software deliver. The fact of the matter is that it is the best way to create, deliver and consume software in this category (business management) in almost all respects. No upgrades to worry about (continuous software updates actually, depending on the vendor), computer and operating system independence, decentralized data storage, automated and redundant data backups (again, depending on your vendor). The other fact of the matter is that some companies are better at this than others: At Jobber we go out of our way both in our marketing material and customer interactions to ensure that our users know our customer data policy: Your information belongs exclusively to you, and never to us. You can always retrieve your data out of Jobber, whether you're currently a paying customer or not. I'll reiterate this point, because I think it's important: Any data you store in Jobber can be retrieved at any time. We will never hold your data hostage under any circumstances. Currently this service is provided as a manual process (contact support), but we're currently working on automated account data export functionality so that you can download your information any time.

    4. Cost: Our strategy at Jobber is not to compete on price. The cost of our service happens to be cheaper in most cases than a lot of the other serious contenders out there, but within certain reasonable boundaries cost should't be the deciding factor anyway. When you consider the mission critical function that good business management software serves, the question really becomes whether it's worth the cost of a cup of coffee a day, or a tank of gas for the work truck. If your software isn't worth it, or isn't a good fit, you'll know after a month or two of using it, and should try something else.

    I hope these opinions are helpful, and if anyone has any questions or concerns about Jobber feel free to get in touch with me directly.

    Sam Pillar - sam [at] getjobber [dot] com

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