I know for those of you who provide outdoor services, such as landscapers, remodelers, irrigation specialists and others, as the weather starts to warm up, your calls and business see a significant up-tick, which is great. However, sometimes it can be overwhelming. A key to smoothing out some of the overwhelm is to have systems in place BEFORE you get busy. So here are some suggestions:
Estimates – Many of you create estimates. Certainly any estimates that lead to work want to be in your QuickBooks, even if you don’t create the original estimate in QuickBooks. Since the type of work varies, you may find you want estimates ready to go for different types of jobs. You can do that by memorizing multiple estimates for the different types of jobs and then quickly grabbing the one you need at the time. You can then revise as needed.
Invoices – You might offer both regular maintenance of some kind, whether it be weekly, monthly or every so many weeks, but you also offer other services such as repairs, clean-ups or projects. Know the best way to invoice for those different types of services. Perhaps invoicing off your estimate is the simplest for contract work, or if you invoice for time and materials or per visit, you can quickly pull the billable costs into the invoice. Some of you may have 3rd party software feeding into your timesheets and /or invoicing. In Premier and Enterprise you can even create batches of time and expense invoices (and go back and edit any if need be).
If everyone is billed for the same service, same rate, same quantity, you can create batches of invoices but key in the data only once.
Templates – You can use multiple templates. There are pros & cons to that. One “pro” is that the template can have different text and columns so it can fit the type of product or service for which you are invoicing. A “con” would be that you need to pay attention to which template is being used for the transaction.
Groups are a powerful tool in QuickBooks. You can have group Items, group Memorized transactions (e.g. invoices) and group Reports. With Group Items, you simply click on one Item, and you pull in several related Items. You can choose whether or not all those Items appear on your customer’s Estimate or Invoice. In the example below, clicking on Rock Fountain pulls in related materials and labor yet only Custom rock fountain will show on the customer Estimate or Invoice.
With memorized Group transactions and reports, simply double-click on the name of the group, and all those transactions or reports within that group are quickly created! You can see how these can be a big timesaver when you’re busy.
While ideally you would have set all these systems up during a slower time of year, it’s still worth the time to set them up so you can quickly invoice and monitor your business.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our Spring into More Profits. We’ll be sharing lots more helpful suggestions such as these. While geared towards landscapers, any service business (especially contractors) can benefit.