I'm your typical tradesman which means I hate paperwork and to make it worse because of the relationship with my clients I do a lot of installation work as do and charge, even the big stuff. I rarely record any details as I'm always in a hurry to get a project finished because there's at least one other client pushing me to get to the next job. Usually paperwork only gets done when the bank balance starts to get low and then it's worked out mostly from memory. What I need is a pricing system that is automated as much as possible and somehow forces me to record details. I'd like my invoices from my suppliers to be in an electronic format that easily imports into my pricing system, even better if each item on the invoice can be automatically assigned to the right project. My bookkeeper won't manually type them in unless I pay her a lot more. I need something that forces me to record daily activity - how many hours I spent on a job, what I did, what I used and the date. Remember I hate paperwork and I've always got somewhere else I need to be so my pricing system needs to be quick and as automated as possible. I'm thinking something electronic in the work vehicle that just requires hitting a couple of buttons or typing in a few words. I don't want it on paper because it will get lost in amongst all the other mess. And at some stage it will upload itself to my main computer. Hey, I can now drive to any street without opening a book so why can't my pricing system been just as easy and convenient. BTW, I want it yesterday and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it.
#158438 - 05/14/0608:13 AMRe: What is in a perfect estimating/pricing system for your business?
I used to be like Briselec until I forced myself to get more serious and set up a daily logbook using the daytimer log book you can get from any stationary supplier. I prefer the one that is compact in size but has two pages for every day of the year. At the time my key in my van is turned off, or I start the vehicle, I am recording my current mileage, destination, arrival time, duration of job time, and what was done at the job. Bear in mind, I am the only person who sees this info, because I am a one man operation. It has been invaluable in not forgetting about extra work performed in the course of daily wiring of projects, and helps in the change order process. There have also been times when the log helps me to correct mistatements made by owner's or contractors about who and what has held up projects, or about how many return trips I have had to make to a project to perform small sections of work just to keep the g.c. going. I bill, and I like getting paid for all those unnessesary trips to the jobs. It pays for the time I spend writing the log in the first place.
#158440 - 07/01/0604:26 PMRe: What is in a perfect estimating/pricing system for your business?