Now that I have the routes established, I need to somehow keep track of it all, right?
Using some type of lawn care software simplifies things a alot.
The software I have elected to use for all my invoicing and accounting is Quickbooks. There is other software out there, but I have never tried it. From what I know, Quickbooks is pretty much the #1 in the industry for small business. It costs around $150 I believe.
All my customers’ names, addresses, and contact info are stored in the software as shown below (although I have deleted the customers names from this image for obvious reasons):
To keep track of the dates we mow each lawn, I use an excel spreadsheet, which is saved on Google Docs so my employees can access the spreadsheet as well. They fill in the dates, and I occasionally monitor them to make sure they are on track. I access the sheet online when I want to do billing or payroll.
An example of this spreadsheet is shown below, and can be downloaded here:
The above spreadsheet contains a list of all the “routes” I have created, in order. At the end of each work day, I will enter that date next to each customer we mowed.
At the end of a payroll period (2 weeks), I will add up the gross of all the income we have received that period, and pay my employees a total of 34% of the gross which will come out to a combined $30-40/hr. How they decide to break up that 34% I leave up to them. In this example spreadsheet, my employees were friends and chose to split the 34% evenly, 17% for each.
If I click on the “create invoices” button at the top of the screen in Quickbooks I can easily create an invoice for a customer. At the end of the month, I will simply copy and paste the dates front the spreadsheet into the invoice, as shown below: (two monitors speeds up this process)
Billing with this lawn care software is very simple as all the options are built into Quickbooks. I have pre-stored all the services I offer and the descriptions, so all I do is select the service from the menu and the customized price for that particular customer and the description will show up, as shown below:
Once the invoice is created, it can either be emailed (much faster and saves postage) or sent via post (which is more time consuming and expensive, but many customer still prefer.)
I also use Quickbooks’ estimates feature, which works in a very similar fasion as invoices so I will spare you the screen shot.
The only thing that Quickbooks lacks is a contract, which I am am not aware is available in other lawn care software available out there. I have compiled my own that I use on occasion which is shown below for your reference.