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Customer Interaction, Record Keeping, etc

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  • Customer Interaction, Record Keeping, etc

    I am experimenting some with turning my hobby of woodworking into a bit of a business. If all goes well, then hopefully someday I can quit my job and just make custom furniture for a living.

    Anyhow, I am just starting this out and have some questions that hopefully someone here can shed some light on.

    The question for this thread pertains to customer interaction, record keeping, etc.

    First, as far as customer interaction is concerned. I need to get a better understanding of the lifecycle of a customer contact. I am talking about what all the individual steps are from the beginning (a contact from a customer wanting something created) to the end (the delivery of the final creation) and beyond (support afterwards, etc).

    I mean, what are the different steps that are a part of this whole thing. What are people's recommendations with how I handle various aspects of it all.

    Secondly, what can people advise me as far as record keeping. There are a lot of details that I am stumbling past as I start to do more woodworking. This includes plans, construction notes (etc), customer contacts & information, pricing, how much I spend on things, how much time I put into things, etc.

    Basically, there are just a lot of details there and I feel like I need to organize things better. Does anyhow have any tips on how I can best get organized with these things? How do you guys uses computers, paper files, etc?

    Thanks for your time.
    Paul Thompson

  • #2
    Hi Paul,

    Can't really help you with the details of a woodworking business but as a home business owner/freelancer myself, I would recommend you look at Intuit's QuickBook Pro for contacts, invoicing, tracking time, customer details and general accounting.

    It does take a little while to get used to but once you are off and running and enter invoices, payments and bills into it, it will remind you of who, what and when to pay/collect from.