Business Forms Needed

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Arthur Cagle, Apr 13, 2018 at 2:20 PM.

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  1. Arthur Cagle

    Arthur Cagle Registered User

    May 22, 2003
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    I'm getting more calls by referrals for repair services, and since I've done this in the past "on the side" on a very casual basis, I feel the need for formalizing my approach. So I'm looking for forms that I can use, essentially for estimates and invoices, but also any others that would prove helpful.

    Does anyone have any that they would be so kind as to share? I would be most appreciative!
     
  2. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    You can go to a print shop, Staples etc., they could do this for you. I designed my own years ago quite simply, date in, estimate, date out, type clock, problem, problem found, revised estimate if necessary, material used, final charge. Customer name address and phone number.
     
  3. James Foster

    James Foster Registered User
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    I find QuickBooks Online very useful. I use pending estimates to indicate I have possession of the timepiece. I created a custom report of estimates including date, phone numbers, customer name, amount of the estimate and memo column where you note things that identifies pertinent info, i.e. Ingram T&S, Hermle 314–020 ordered xx/xx/xx. It helps me to know what potiential income, what’s next, etc.

    The estimate can be converted to an invoice with one click. You can attach files up to 25 MB to the estimate or invoice, handy keeping up with pictures and other CYA elements.

    You can create estimates/invoices at customers homes and I use their credit card processing which may not be the best deal but convenient. Being online all your data is with you if you have a smart phone.

    They have “QB Pros” that can provide assistance getting set up as well as online help.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    Another important item to have on your records is where and when you purchased the materials in the event you have a warranty issue down the road.
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I use a Word document that I have made to act like a form. I fill out all the information, then save it by the customer's name, leaving the form for another use. I copied my business card, and inserted that image at the bottom. It doesn't need to be very elaborate. I also made an Xcell spreadsheet to calculate my costs and formulate my charges, including sales tax, and then transfer that info to the Document.
     
  6. Arthur Cagle

    Arthur Cagle Registered User

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    My thanks to those who responded!
     
  7. MartinM

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    #7 MartinM, Apr 16, 2018 at 11:51 PM
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 11:58 PM
  8. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    I've gotta improve my system. I have at least one clock here with an unknown owner. I either forgot to enter it in my clock book altogether, or someone brought in two clocks and I only entered one, or it materialized through nefarious or supernatural means.

    So I went to the Dollar Tree and bought little stick-on circular labels, about 3/4" in diameter, and each clock or part thereof (like the back, or the pendulum) gets one stuck onto it. On the label I write the date it came in and the first three letters of the owner's last name. With these I can locate the clock in the master book.

    What's been happening is that both clocks and people have been showing up here in bunches, and if someone else is waiting I may neglect to write down details of each and every timepiece. But if I come upon an un-labeled clock or clock part late at night I'll typically be able to re-construct the transaction, enter the information in the book, and make little labels.

    I make receipts as Word files, stored under the owner's name, and keep money records in an Excel file Natalie set up for me. Both the receipt list and the Excel money file are periodically uploaded to Google Drive, which is a free document storage service.

    But I still don't know who owns that clock. It's just a Chinese quartz regulator thing, but someone must love it.

    M Kinsler
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I have an Xcell sheet to keep track of clocks in house. I put the name and date there, and current situation. For instance, I use IQ for in queue, IP for in process and RFP for ready for pick up. Then in my scheduling book I write the full name and address along with the phone number. Each clock gets tagged with the person's name and date received. The clocks don't go into my storage area until those things are complete. I do it mostly for my wife, in case something happens to me she'll be able to get property back to owners.
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    #11 Willie X, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:06 PM
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 10:18 PM
    I'm with Kins,

    Every clock gets a Post-it sticker with date, name and phone number/s. Be sure to add a 1" tab of Scotch tape and put the Post-it on the glass. Make note of any damage or missing parts and also a note on the status of the key. Like, needs new key, good key with customer, good key in clock ...

    If you try to get by with one sticker when a customer brings more than one clock, sooner or later you will screw up.

    When the customer leaves, I enter their name and info into my phone so if they call their name and info pop up. This makes it easy to match the clock to the customer.

    Willie X
     
  12. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Having noted all this, the repairer who is just starting up a shop for public business should note further that business forms are one expense that you should avoid if you're actually trying to make a living at this.

    In general, get business cards off eBay and consider using them for claim checks, or at least to let customers know where they left their clock. [I always tell them to not worry about losing the card because I absolutely do not want their clock permanently and will figure out how to return it.]

    I've purchased rubber stamps with the shop name and address and all that for my electronics shops and for my current clock hospital, but I don't use it for anything much.

    One of these days I might get stick-on labels that say, "Fixed by Kinsler in Zurich, Switzerland" or something but I never really got around to it either with stereo equipment or with clocks.

    Some pre-printed business forms are handy, but it's important to remember that business-form companies are very aggressive marketers, and they'll try to sell you piles of advertising gimmicks that you don't need: there are the inscribed pens, and the illustrated flyers, and the official-looking receipt forms with five carbons, and the repair tags, and it goes on. About all you need are business cards, a record book, some stickers so you remember where the clock came from, and--initially--a very small advertisement in the local shopper newspaper.

    M Kinsler
     
  13. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I make my own business cards too. Just cheap I guess :)
     
  14. Arthur Cagle

    Arthur Cagle Registered User

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    My wife makes my cards and forms on the computer; the purpose of this thread was to get ideas for content and format. Preprinted forms are an unnecessary expense, IMHO.
     
  15. bikerclockguy

    bikerclockguy Registered User
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    If you have Microsoft office, they have hundreds of free downloadable business templates that you can access from Word. They are already laid out and formatted, and you just replace the sample text with your own. If not, you can subscribe for 7 bucks a month, so you could make all of your forms for 7 buck plus the ink and paper.
     
  16. Arthur Cagle

    Arthur Cagle Registered User

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    Thanks, Biker, but what I'm really looking for is the "content" of the forms other clocksmiths use, that information peculiar to the trade that others have found useful, not the format necessarily of the forms themselves. I was hoping for pics of the actual forms in use. I'm more interested in "customer contact" forms, e.g., estimate/quote, invoice, etc., forms as opposed to internal tracking, expense,etc., forms.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    I don't do formal written estimates. I do a verbal estimate when requested, but usually just fix the clock, which is the reason they come in the first place. On my receipt I include their name and address, phone number, date received, date completed and a summary of what I know about the clock (age, model, etc) and a detailed summary of what I did. After that I break down the pricing to Parts, Labor, Sales Tax. That's it.
     

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