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  • Uncomfortable Subject

    We all know what this is........











    PAPERWORK


    I'll be the first to admit, almost like I'm in a AA meeting that I fail miserably at this side of the business.

    You can give me post it notes, you can put it on my forehead, it doesn't matter

    You can give me those neat little stackable shelves to put all your little paperwork items in, it doesn't matter.

    You can give me pegboards/corkboards/dry erase boards, it doesn't matter


    And still, I can take the time to write about it....still not do anything to help my cause. It's just like my truck; I can spend every day after work cleaning it up, by the end of the next day, it's trashed. Same goes with my paperwork, same goes with my shop.


    Bottom line is every time I frequent the numerous sites I belong to, I really should be doing paperwork, doing follow-ups with my customers as that is what truly makes the wheels turn on the financial front.

    This year I plan on going back into my records and cherry-picking customers that I feel I can continue a working relationship with, give them a nice coupon *minimum $15-$25* and drop a small sales pitch about my second business. Those numbers in discount don't bother me as I can make it up somehow or another. My intent is to get a really good established repeat business going which I feel is 2 years away from cutting the cords from some of the advertising I've been throwing the past few years. Some portals of advertising I'll never give up, like the ones involving sponsorships to schools, community events and the like. Damn I'm going off topic.


    I wish I could kick my habit and be one of these neat freaks like I used to be years ago. I don't have a significant other to pawn the work off on; women can organize like I can plumb, but I can't do the reverse. Hats off to their ingenuity to perform those tasks because I'm as useless as t*ts on a fish when it comes to paperwork. Dr. Phil wanted nothing to do with me, I guess if he figured he couldn't make me cry there's no money in it for him.


    So when I'm here, I'm avoiding paperwork like it's homework when I was in high school. A good CPA keeps me organized on the legal front completely. I would never do my own taxes knowing how risky that is. Too much money moving to have one mistake hit me like a brick years later because I forgot a zero or thought a 3 was a 6, or that 7 was an unlooped 2.

    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Uncomfortable Subject

    What a relief I was worried this was going to be another bidet thread.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Uncomfortable Subject

      I actually try to stay up on reports but I get really behind on my billings. I only bill once a month and I promised Brenda I am finally going to do my billings for October today.

      Mark
      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Uncomfortable Subject

        Dunbar,
        Alotta sole props like us use software, with scheduling & reminder features.
        I don't.
        When I get a call, I immediately mapquest their address & copy the map to wordpad showing the nearest highway exit, type out their phone numbers, E-mail & all other pertinent info. (yup, I could do well to get a TomTom...I know)
        If I give them an estimate I note the amount & date on the wordpad doc, then put in a "pending" folder on my computers zip drive which I open every night when I get home to make my calls from (a seperate drive so I don't lose them if my PC dies).
        Each year I open a new Notepad document entitled "YEAR 06" "YEAR 07"...etc. (Bit nostalgic naming "YEAR 08"...knowing the stats on startup bus.'s for the first 5, fingers still crossed for two more)
        On that document I keep listed columns, on the left is the date, name of customer next, amount of expenses (stock..parts..any expense incurred for that job) totalled in one amount for that given day, then there's the check amount, and finally the days net take on the right.
        All reciepts, contracts & a copy of the check go into a manilla folder in my desk with the date on the folders tab, they're arranged in order by date with the customers name next to it.
        Aside from my pending file on my zip drive, I also have a existing/previous customer folder, & a lost jobs folder.

        Final note...I ALWAYS put reciepts, checks, all other paperwork in one of two places before filing.
        A small portable metal file that goes everywhere with me...then a drawer in my desk thats devoted to ALL pending paperwork that I place paperwork in from my metal file at the end of each day.
        When I'm so busy it's too late to sort when I get home, I go back and sort by date when it slows down.
        Last edited by DuckButter; 01-06-2008, 05:15 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Uncomfortable Subject

          In regards to my bookeeping, I have everything in 3 places, on the computer, in a register, and on the back of each invoice, the complete breakdown of the job, money wise. Everything for the day stays paper clipped until I get a chance to enter it. I have paper clips in my van and at my desk.

          As far as all the other paperwork, I have to be organized, it is like a sickness I have, everything has a place.

          Same with my van and garage, everything has a place!!
          sigpic

          Robert

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          • #6
            Re: Uncomfortable Subject

            I have that problem too. I still have about 40 invoices to send out from last year ('07).

            I kinda have the problem of wanting to help people out more so than sending out their bill. I have numerous customers calling me inquiring about their invoice (lost in the mail?, forgot?, wrong address?). I just tell them I got too busy and will do it soon.

            My stuff that helps me:
            • Phone message books with the little carbon copy tear off pages (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"), 4 messages per page. This always stays next to my telephone/answering machine. Sometimes I lose the top original copy and can always refer back to the main book/binder. I usually get these at Costco/Sams in a 3 pack.
            • 5"x 8" yellow note pad to write materials & labor down for small jobs. 8 1/2"x 11" yellow note pad for large jobs.
            • When I get back home, I tear off the job notes and staple it to the phone message and throw it into a "Need to Bill" tray.
            • QuickBooks "Simple Start" accounting software by far has helped me the most this past few years. Forget about the "PRO" version, too much unnecessary "fru fru" B.S., I tried it.
            Simple Start is geared towards the "one man band" sole proprietor deals:
            • I invoice with this, emails straight from the program, one at a time or after preparing 20 invoices, you can email all 20 at once.
            • writes estimates and other forms
            • has a customer/vendor database
            • I write and print checks with this.
            • Tracks and receive payments
            • prepares deposits for you. Yesterday I had to deposit 22 checks. Forget about hand writing a deposit ticket. I just clicked away and my $150 HP laser printer prints the deposit ticket, all you need to do is endorse the back of your checks with your stamp.
            • you can enter/track your own credit card purchases and payments for your supplies and tools.
            • This program does a lot more, I'm still trying getting to know the finer points.
            • you can receive credit card payments as well
            • Running reports: profit & loss standard, balance sheet summary, general ledger, journal, trial balance, income tax summary.
            I bought this program at Sam's Club after much research.

            When tax time rolls around, I just click a few buttons and print a couple of sheets and give it to my accountant, who by the way, was not happy, but totally ecstatic when I found this program. My life and hers became a lot easier.

            Dunbar, because it's only Jan. 6, it is definitely easier to switch over to a program like this because you only have 6 days of entry to do, along with the normal start up entry stuff.

            If you have any questions PM me.

            Tracy
            Last edited by yasudaplumbing; 01-06-2008, 07:18 PM.
            sigpic.................I Love My Toto Bidet :twofinger2: :twofinger:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Uncomfortable Subject

              Need a pros only forum. I nominate this for 2008 thread of the year.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                I agree, i really wish we did have a private business category
                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                  I third the motion Motion Carries


                  Some of this subject matter is not necessary for the general public to see and keeps me from discussing numerous facets of the biz.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                    I third the motion Motion Carries


                    Some of this subject matter is not necessary for the general public to see and keeps me from discussing numerous facets of the biz.


                    Dunbar, your a unique individual, i would love to talk business with you in PM if your ever interested, that goes with anyone.... I love to talk business
                    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                      About the second time I did so many jobs in one day and felt I was too busy to take the time to write them up as I went, then went to bed exhausted, too lazy to do them then, then woke up to the phone ringing the next morning, then couldn't remember them all, I changed forever. I write up every job on site before I drive away. It's the only way I can keep track. I'm too scattered by nature to make it work any other way. I have the luxury of a partner who is not in the field who does the mailing and collects the checks and makes the deposits and pays the bills and does the payroll and keeps the vans insured and plated and such. If I didn't, I'd hire an accounting service to do it; for me it'd be money well spent as it's work I hate and am not good at and I'm spread too thin as it is.
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                        Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                        About the second time I did so many jobs in one day and felt I was too busy to take the time to write them up as I went, then went to bed exhausted, too lazy to do them then, then woke up to the phone ringing the next morning, then couldn't remember them all, I changed forever. I write up every job on site before I drive away. It's the only way I can keep track. I'm too scattered by nature to make it work any other way. I have the luxury of a partner who is not in the field who does the mailing and collects the checks and makes the deposits and pays the bills and does the payroll and keeps the vans insured and plated and such. If I didn't, I'd hire an accounting service to do it; for me it'd be money well spent as it's work I hate and am not good at and I'm spread too thin as it is.
                        When I was doing service I wrote my invoice on the job.

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          When I was doing service I wrote my invoice on the job.

                          Mark
                          BINGO!! that is exactly what i do. if there is need of a followup written report i make notes and prep the reoprt ASAP. if it a mailed invoice (few and far bwetwen) it goes out the next day.i prefer to deliver the written (if needed) & invoice by hand. that way i know it got where it needs to be.

                          sometimes i do get a bit lax on collections. but i try to make the calls for late payments every monday, with the reminder that the bill goes up every friday at noon.

                          my desk is a shambles most of the time, but i can find what i need. i back up my business data on either a flash drive to be downloaded to an extrnal HD or directly to the HD.

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                            I think this private forum thing will take care of itself some time this year. Sorry to talk in vague terms but there will be a way to differentiate the pros and screen out the general readers from business specific topics.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Uncomfortable Subject

                              History of sanitary sewers. My what a great site, just what I was looking for. Thanks so much.
                              sigpic

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