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Forum topic by PrairiewoodFurniture posted 09-06-2017 10:56 PM 619 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PrairiewoodFurniture

2 posts in 101 days


09-06-2017 10:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: business business software client business organization

Howdy all,

First time “poster”, long time “creeper” of the LJ forum lol. I’ve informally started a custom furniture business out of my home and business is beginning to build quite rapidly. It’s great but I can already see that in the near future I’m going to need some kind of organizing software that helps me with bidding projects, saving said bids, keeping track of clients (names, phone numbers, addresses, what they’ve ordered, etc.), tracking expenses, generating invoices, and so on.

What software do you business owners use? My mother recommended QuickBooks since my parents use that for their own business and after looking into it, it has a lot of what I’m looking for.

BUT! I want to get everyone’s opinions on how they organize this info in their business. Are there any YouTube videos or articles you’d recommend me watching/reading on this type of stuff? What advice do you have in tracking this. I’m open to any tips you have related to software or general organization! I want to stay ahead of keeping all of this organized so I’m not trying to implement a tool or method like this later and I’m already behind the curve.

Thanks for your help!
- Colton


6 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3660 posts in 2147 days


#1 posted 09-07-2017 12:09 AM

I don’t use any but here’s what PC magazine has to say. Not what you asked for I know.

https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2458748,00.asp

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#2 posted 09-07-2017 01:58 AM

I use QuickBooks. Regarding organization, hire a good accountant. It’ll save you a ton of grief down the road.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

72 posts in 1540 days


#3 posted 09-07-2017 02:26 AM

If QuickBooks will do what you need, all you really need to add is some sort of CRM program to round things out.

But they’re usually a bit expensive, especially for a fledgling business. An excellent example is SalesForce – it’s a hugely powerful program for maintaining client info and contract/purchase history. They may have a somewhat limited-functionality free version.

But I’m going to propose something bordering on heresy – you can run a pretty complex business using nothing but Excel for client info, project details, pricing, dates – you name it. You can do mighty sophisticated searches for any type of info any number of ways limited only by what you think is important to record.

You’d need to think through every bit of info for a separate field you’d want – pen and paper is best to map it out first.

Also, most other programs let you export from Excel into their file formats when you get ready to look at adding a CRM. At the earliest stages, don’t underestimate Excel serving as your CRM and database.

If you use Google Docs, their spreadsheet is within 80% of Excel and comes in at the right price – free.

Keep us in mind as you do your research – make sure to let us know your thinking each step of the way.

Howard

View jbay's profile

jbay

1857 posts in 737 days


#4 posted 09-07-2017 03:15 AM

Another Quickbooks user here. I’ve been using Quickbooks since approx. 2003.
Probably lots of other good programs to choose from, but I have this one down pat so it’s a keeper for now.
Come tax time I just download the info and send it to my accountant and the taxes are easily done.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View PrairiewoodFurniture's profile

PrairiewoodFurniture

2 posts in 101 days


#5 posted 09-15-2017 04:05 PM

Thanks everyone! I’ve been using a combination of Excel and OneNote for most of my stuff right now. I use Excel a lot in my full time job and am the go-to person in the office lol. Kind of the kiss of death really. I thought of using that until I grow out of it (hopefully). I’ve also created an Access database which was useful but I kind of fizzled that out. May have to come back to it and build it up. That way I can have a DB for invoices, contracts, bids, a basic CRM, etc. Then just tie everything together in the interface.

Got another question I’ll quickly post here since I’ve got you all here, when finalizing design with a client, the design itself, stain colors, finish, and so on, you you all have legal language on the contract that says they’ve (the client) agreed to the design and have them sign it? Only curious since I could see this as being a potential issue in the future. I’ve got other questions and for those, I’ll write a new post and include this one in there too.

Thanks guys & gals!
- Colton

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

27091 posts in 2176 days


#6 posted 09-15-2017 04:48 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks

QuickBooks here also

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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