Time management

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by RLI Electric, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I am curious how you all handle your work week schedule. I am have tried to implement an idea of using one day (Monday to be exact) as an office day. It has made Monday one of my favorite days of the week. It is amazing to me that I actually need a day, if not more, in the office. Paying bills, scheduling jobs, doing estimates the list goes on. It has been going great then all of the sudden everyone needs their projects done and of course right now. Unfortunately this is all regular electrical, kitchens, additions and service calls. It looks as if the Monday office day is going to disappear and the late nights in the office and the occasional Saturday/Sunday are coming back. I shouldn't complain and that is why I was wondering how some of you may handle your schedules. Any suggestions would be great.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Schedule? What Schedule?!?! We don't need no stinking schedules!

    Just do what any right thinking, self respecting, jack-of-all-trades, one armed paper hanging, sole proprietor, type A entrepreneur would do.... Work an 80 to 100 hour week for 8 to 10 years to get things going! :weightlifter:
  3. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    80 to 100? Part timer:usflag:
  4. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    if it's your goal, as you hire people you will gain more control over your schedule. You can have some control over yourschedule by simply saying "no" you have kids, so do I, I stopped meeting people on that first appointment after 4pm. partly because of needing to free up time for looking at finished products, mostly because of my family. You can control your schedule or your schedule will control you. Easy to say hard to practice. I have found that most clients respect it though. Just goes against my grain but gets easier.
  5. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I have been saying that for eleven years now. The inevitable is going to have to happen and take someone on. Like I have mentioned, I am trying to take this to a stand alone lighting company and then no more service changes for me.
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Chris speaks the truth. (I was being flippant - had an awesome day today!)

    I am a work-a-holic. That being said, it is not something to be proud of. It can be, and regularly is a challenging state that strains friendships and family relationships. On the one had, you must work hard to make this business fly. On the other you must find balance in your life too.

    I am committed to finding more balance in my life for 2010. I have just hired on more full time help (yea!) at INTEGRA and am being much more picky in the type of jobs we accept. I stopped working on Sundays in 2008. I reserve Saturday mornings for sales calls. I will be making Fridays my office day. I have committed to picking up this brand new set of custom made Golf Clubs that my Father-in-law made for me last year and learning the game. (I am trading a lighting system for golf lessons) and I have also pushed for our Marina to install wireless high speed internet so I can spend more summer hours on the boat (and not feel guilty about it)

    So the plans are in place, now to execute!
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    And stay off of message boards and Facebook and anything else that sucks up spare time but doesn't either leave you feeling relaxed or like you accomplished something when you're done.
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    http://www.adkad.com/ good for time managment and will also do billing.

    I use quickbooks for billing. There is a program called Qclip that is made to blend with quickbooks to add scheduals and such.

    Tanek I dont see how I can set up maint intervals and such in quickbooks. Some commercial sites we visit monthly...others are 3 times per year.
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    A custom Dbase solution will do it all for you. It really is the only solution that will integrate all of the tasks, forms, contacts, etc seamlessly. Not a cheap solution, but one that will work and be tailored to your operations, remaining dynamic as your business changes over time.

    Oh and some advice to you guys who are doing your book-keeping in house. Stop, hire a pro, and give your head a shake! You will thank me when you ditch the books. Focus on that which you most enjoy doing and that which makes you money. All the rest hire out. ( I should have done so long before I did!)

    A friend of mine once said "if you are doing the work that you could pay somebody $20 an hour to do, then you are making $20 an hour" It is a bit simplistic, but it really changed the way I look at tasks.
  10. RLDesign

    RLDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    We did not think Quickbooks had it within itself, but we had a local company come and show us how they did things like scheduling maintenance and varied services. It means that you have to create estimates as scheduling tools, mesh notes, additional info, modify QB to your company, use reports in creative ways, and make it yours. Many fields can be changed and linked, and that morphing (if line up right) keeps everything under one spot. It really made us a better company, but you have to the latest addition of QB and know your stuff.

    Our clients send in what they want and we build a template and make notes on their scheduled days and print a report each morning with the tickets of that day. It wasn't hard after we opened our minds. I would say we use Quickbooks in more ways than anyone we know. I have found 2 other contractors who uses it more indepthly than us. When I call tech support, they say to me "You did what?"

    We have around 1000 clients who get 1-4 services with 20 options, and it is all scheduled, noted, and preferenced. I print reports that have anything I want from average service on lighting. We used QB for 13 years before finding these features were there. We invested a lot of money in 2 programs over that time, to only find out that QB does it.

    Talk soon.

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