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Office System

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by barrettslawncare, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. barrettslawncare

    barrettslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    What kind of paper system do you guys use in your offices? I use quickbooks for invoices, payroll, etc. But for example, when you get new customers, what paperwork do fill out or do you just put it straight into the computer? Also, how do you keep track of people who call you for estimates? I had a system that worked but each year that I get bigger there seems to be more chaos with what we've been doing. So we are just trying to revamp our process so there isn't post it notes everywhere! Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    It amazes me that threads here will go for 10-12 pages about Echo vs Redmax, and you can't get a response about something that actually is important in building and maintaining a successful business.
    Just something that was on my mind today, but whatever. For me, I have a paper copy of all estimates, and also input the information into quickbooks. I use a three-part carbon copy contract/estimate form. So if I leave an estimate in a clients mailbox, I keep the pink copy for myself, and leave the white/yellow. Client signs, keeps yellow, and sends white back to me. I keep an "estimate" folder on my desk of pink copies, and as the signed whites come in, I put them together and keep in a binder. If I meet face to face and sign someone, the paperwork goes directly into the binder and quickbooks. If I give an estimate over the phone, I use the same form and keep it in the "estimate" folder.
    As far as work coming in and scheduling, I'm still working on that, still use way too many post-its also.
  3. barrettslawncare

    barrettslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    thanks for the help! I am with you on the scheduling...havent found the greatest process for that yet...
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I make my own forms for most stuff then they are readily available in the computer. Print up some blanks carry them with me in a small file box. When I fill one out it comes back to the office gets entered into the computer then into a client file in the computer.

    When I was partners in a big design build firm we used big dry erase boards 2-weeks on one wall and 2 weeks on the other M-F on the top crews down the side. Then we could see our next 4-weeks and move them as needed. Once a week we had a planning meeting with all the project mgrs together to plan the next week.

    For sales we had a big easel with a board and each lead that came in was assigned to a sales/project mgr and the top of the board went like who(assigned to)- 1st contact(date) - design(Completed)- budge $$t- completion date( the prayer)-proposal(date completed)- signed contract(date) -follow up (if they didn't sign the first time). Then we would put the prospects names down the side.

    These type systems kept all the information out where everyone could see what was happening without lots of calls back and forth to each other.

    We also had a sign out board for big equipment like jackhammers, skid steers, crane, dump trailers etc. So the mgrs that were better planners were sure to not be held up by the fly by the seat of your pants kind of guys.

    Is this what you are wanting? If not what else? The only thing I have not done is squirt and fert. I am a systems kind of guy, but as you can see I am old school, but I am looking at Q-xpress at the recommendation of other members.
  5. barrettslawncare

    barrettslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    sounds good! one of my biggest problems right now is getting all the info I accumulate (calls, new customers, estimates, etc) back to my office manager to get plugged into the computer. Like I was saying before, it ends of being a big stack of post it notes! But your advice was very helpful!
  6. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    I always lose sticky notes. So I use a carbon papered phone pad for all notes. That way I can tear off the white but always have a record. Otherwise, I have a nifty organizer that rides shotgun to hold my blank 2-part bid sheets and my carbon copies of the bids I've completed. If people call in instead of mailing the paper in, I just highlight all of the services they want on the carbon copy and take it into the office.

    I currently use QuickBooks Premier 2006, but am not satisfied. I have had to fill in the customer's information (such as fax, alt. phone, alt. contact, email, cc, etc) as placeholders for their costs. For example, their CC = mowing price. Their EMAIL = aeration price... It's really dumb.

    Also, I hate that I can't find a way to have an Invoice show any balance left unpaid. Drives me nuts to have to reprint all unpaid invoices and send the deadbeats a friggin' pamphlet of past dues...

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