Keep Those Books Tight!

Hi There, I introduced myself yesterday. I left a corporate accounting job to start this business so have some good bookkeeping knowledge. If anyone ever needs some help with their books then hit me up with a message and I’ll answer what I can. I am not a tax professional so those questions would be for your accountant.

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Funny thing. I’m not a professional either lol. But I’ve learned a ton from this place. Maybe one day I’ll get it together and take the plunge

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My books were tight and return was strong this year! Thanks to some nice tax breaks for businesses! But I also spent 230k last year so I deserve a return :joy:

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I haven’t had a return since I was 18. I had much rather pay in that get money back.

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I’ve had 2 returns in the last 12 years. All others I paid in. But we have a lot of growing pains and it’s nice to have the capital coming back.

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Yes, I have a question. Right now we are using Zoho for CRM but it’s not exactly what we need. I’m trying to find a ‘virtual Rolodex’ of sorts, just something to keep track of our customer list including name, address, price, description of service etc.

I don’t need anything that sends out invoices or reminders, it’s not how our business operates.

Square is free and easy to use. You can get the basic credit card reader and take cards through it if you end up wanting to in the future.

We hardly ever take credit cards, maybe three times a year.

So you’re just looking for an address book? Could you just use the address book on outlook express or something. They probably even have free apps you can download. Most address books have a “notes” section.

I know you specified your business doesn’t work this way but I’m going to say it anyways…lol. If you start using a program like Markate you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago. It’ll make you money because of all the time it saves you. If someone contacts me wanting an estimate I can add their info in my address book and send off a detailed estimate in less than a minute or two. Even if you don’t use many of the other options they offer the monthly fee is worth it just to use the basics like estimates, invoices, online payments, etc. With the extra money you’ll make from all of your additional time you can then buy some shelves for your trailer and have room to add that 12v. :grin:

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I appreciate it, but keep in mind 90% of my business is still window cleaning and I have to do everything in person, definitely wish I could estimate remotely.:flushed:

Here’s a typical customer interaction. I get a call for WC, they leave a message and I call them back. If the job described is simple enough I give them a ballpark figure and tentatively schedule in my physical schedule book. If they have a “bunch of different windows” I have to physically take a look.

Weather here is unpredictable so my schedule book is full of scratchouts and reschedules, looks like a mental patient from Shady Oaks had a rough day and drew some pretty flowers.:grimacing:

They typically pay by check, we write up a receipt, sometimes they leave a tip but that screws up our books as we have to charge sales tax now.

I won’t even go into what my wife deals with ‘Quick’books, good lord what a nightmare.

Is this a movie about a window cleaner in 1985?

All joking, just get a CRM… it will make your life 10 x easier.

Your customers want to pay with card…99% of transactions are done with card these days.

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Mm, no…most are check. At least my customers are. Vast majority are well into their 70’s.

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I was using Housecall Pro then Markate (about to drop Markate) My main source of customer records is Quickbooks online at $20 a month. Handles invoicing, estimates, banking, and financial reports. There is a phone app that allows me to quickly look up a customer history to see what they paid before and I can invoice by email from the app or just take a payment on the job.

For scheduling, I use Google calendar and code diff jobs in colors PWing, WC, roof washing etc… Since I am not using Markate for postcard reminders or online booking I don’t see much use in it for me. I did like the “on my way” auto text but found I can just as easily send that from my phone.

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Do they have a choice? It’s probably because you don’t have an option to pay by credit card… :grin:

Yeah they do, but first thing that happens is they whip out the checkbook…which is fine with me so I don’t have to pay the extra 3%.

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I hear ya. I was just messing with you. I don’t expect payment right when I finish and always just email invoices that evening. They then have the option of paying however they like through Markate which is processed through Square. Although, if I get someone who is mid to upper 70’s they usually prefer to just cut a check right on the spot. Back in the day people paid when the work was done. I think it’s just ingrained in them. Most of my customers aren’t even home when I’m there so emailing an invoice is just the easiest option for them and me. I try and keep things as easy and convenient as possible. Some people even mention how easy the process was in their reviews.

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With square you don’t get charged monthly, only per CC transaction. Everything else is free.

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We use Square too, works out great for us. Does appointments, invoices, tracks income, data base of customers, has a dashboard to see everything that’s going on, easy to use and it’s free! We get some charges from younger people but not a whole lot, don’t mind paying 2.6%, part of doing business. People do tend to spend more when charging on CC. Funny how that works sometimes. Hope that helps a bit.

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Like @Steve, I use Quickbooks and and Google calendar. Left over habits from the corporate job. It’s good to see what the other guys are using. I’ll be checking those out if what I’m doing becomes cumbersome.

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You guys are so far ahead of me in this. I have a white board with all my accepted bids and get paid 99% by check. If they want to use a card, i charge them the 3%. I do an excel spread sheets for every job, it also generates the PDF I send then to sign to contract. I tried House Call Pro, looked it for 10 min and realized I was never going to do all that stuff. I think I realized this week I am no longer trying to grow my business, I just want to maintain it enough to add to my retirement account and not spend savings.I’m not sure the way I’m wired will allow me to slow down but I’m trying. Sorry for the derail, I’m still talking myself into this.

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