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  • Buried in paperwork!

    I thought my wife would end up helping me with paperwork (and maybe even the phones) when she left her job. But since we had the baby, she hasn't had time to help me with the business in any way at all.
    I have been extremely busy, but this week it really slowed down so i can finally catch up on paperwork. I AM BURIED IN I AND I HATE IT! How do you guys handle it (one-man service shop)? I never seem to be able to keep on top of it. When I am done, I have to go through inventory and order materials to get re-stocked.
    Its a catch-22, I can't afford to hire someone, but yet I can't seem to handle all the workload.
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  • #2
    Re: Buried in paperwork!

    Service Guy, I feel your pain... One thing that has helped me is my parts house is sending my reciepts via email, the guys at the parts house also keep a copy and pull my restock items for me to pick up the next morning.

    I have found that I have to schedule EVERYTHING or my days get really messed up.

    What types of paperwork are you backed up on??? Lets see if we can streamline your process a bit...

    Okie

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    • #3
      Re: Buried in paperwork!

      I guess I'm just being lazy, I need to just keep hammering away and try to stay on top of everything.
      Maybe take a break from wasting time on the internet would help.
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      • #4
        Re: Buried in paperwork!

        I turned off the phone for a day last week... When I get to the point that I cringe and cuss when it rings I know it is time for a break.

        That being said my wife helps me a he11 of alot so trying to do it without any help would be a true challenge.

        Sometimes just remembering what you are working for makes all the difference in your motivation ( I have three to feed)

        Okie

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        • #5
          Re: Buried in paperwork!

          Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
          I turned off the phone for a day last week... When I get to the point that I cringe and cuss when it rings I know it is time for a break.

          That being said my wife helps me a he11 of alot so trying to do it without any help would be a true challenge.

          Sometimes just remembering what you are working for makes all the difference in your motivation ( I have three to feed)

          Okie
          I was so stressed that I completely missed an appointment today, and cancelled one for tomorrow. I may just close shop tomorrow to catch up and get sane again.
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          • #6
            Re: Buried in paperwork!

            i use to wait until the end of the month and than it would be two months and you get the picture. now i keep my laptop in my van with a wireless card i use quickbooks and invoice everything right in the customers driveway, no more paperwork i can e mail bids and bills and print everything off right there, it takes an extra five minutes but no more wasted saturdays and it helps me know where my money is going
            Mike
            Clark County Plumbing And Drain
            www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

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            • #7
              Re: Buried in paperwork!

              Quit your whining, get off the computer and get back to work.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Buried in paperwork!

                Originally posted by haycad View Post
                i use to wait until the end of the month and than it would be two months and you get the picture. now i keep my laptop in my van with a wireless card i use quickbooks and invoice everything right in the customers driveway, no more paperwork i can e mail bids and bills and print everything off right there, it takes an extra five minutes but no more wasted saturdays and it helps me know where my money is going
                Thats a good idea, I may invest in a laptop.
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                • #9
                  Re: Buried in paperwork!

                  Dude.....

                  More biz equals more paperwork - whatever type of business you're into.

                  Better to be buried in paperwork and be flush with cash, then no paperwork and thus, no flushness..........
                  I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Buried in paperwork!

                    been doing this by myself for the last 10 plus years.

                    even my accountant that i see once a year is impressed

                    a laptop with a portable printer will allow you to get the billing together.

                    a shop with plenty of inventory will keep you from having to go to the supply house everyday. in fact i get to the supply house every couple of weeks and my shop only a couple times a week.

                    with 14,000# worth of truck, material and tools, there is not much that is missing.

                    get a good laptop, program, and learn how to do it. talk to your accountant to get an idea of what works for both of you.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

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                    • #11
                      Re: Buried in paperwork!

                      I have decided that a portable laptop and printer would save me enormous time and headaches! The answer was simple but I overlooked it!

                      Thanks to you guys for the idea!!!
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                      • #12
                        Re: Buried in paperwork!

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        been doing this by myself for the last 10 plus years.

                        even my accountant that i see once a year is impressed

                        a laptop with a portable printer will allow you to get the billing together.

                        a shop with plenty of inventory will keep you from having to go to the supply house everyday. in fact i get to the supply house every couple of weeks and my shop only a couple times a week.

                        with 14,000# worth of truck, material and tools, there is not much that is missing.

                        get a good laptop, program, and learn how to do it. talk to your accountant to get an idea of what works for both of you.

                        rick.
                        ive only been doing it for about 3 months, it helps so much even with bids, i used to undersell myself all the time but now every inventoried part has a price so i look at the job, tell the customer i'll be right back, enter my time and material that i will use, and the computer tells me how much to charge.print out the bid walk back in and presto! all within 5 minutes, i've gotten a lot more bids doing this too. and when you enter in the customer it brings up a track record of what you have done for them. it also helps with my property management companies i email them the bill as soon as i am done
                        Mike
                        Clark County Plumbing And Drain
                        www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Buried in paperwork!

                          What kind of software should I get? I use quickbooks currently on my home computer, should I use something else too when I get a laptop? Also what laptop portable printer do you guys use?
                          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                          • #14
                            Re: Buried in paperwork!

                            First I would read over the "What do you hate about your job" thread and know that you're not alone. I would not rush into buying a laptop and printer and software unless you have the EXTRA funds to do it with. They only work if you use them. Spend a few days more without one and ask yourself "would this have helped me here?" Be honest and don't rationalize which is what I do whenever I want a new toy. Do you even have a lot jobs that you bid? Since I don't like to hit the road early anyway, I never schedule anything before 10. I spend that 2 hrs every a.m. invoicing, looking for eclectic parts online and over the phone, calling customers to schedule future appointments and taking customers calls, ordering parts so when I walk into the supply house I pick them up and go. It's your business, run it the way you want. I make a point of working out every Tuesday from 12-1 (that's when the class I like occurs). It's good for me and keeps me (and my back) limber and in good shape for the hard work that we do. So I usually take all of tues a.m. to do office work. Those are just a few of the ways that I approach it. I still get behind sometimes, it's part of the package for a one-man shop with little or no backup.
                            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                            • #15
                              Re: Buried in paperwork!

                              I'm positive that at least one member is going to take a jab at me for this.

                              From mid October through now, not ONE reciept, check or figure has been added.

                              All I have is a rough idea that it has been a very lucrative month...the reciepts and contracts are heaped in a drawer.

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