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16  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Advice for phone calls & booking clients? on: April 10, 2014, 10:47:51 AM
I use Google Voice and I can forward it anywhere and it is free. So I have two business numbers and I forward bot of them to my cell phone and can answer on the fly. The nice thing is I still have my personal cell number for personal business but all three ring into one phone.

Is their a way to tell when a call is forwarded from Google voice to your personal cell?  So you know when someone is trying to call your business vs. trying to reach you personally.
17  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Advice for phone calls & booking clients? on: April 08, 2014, 08:03:53 AM
I would vote for a land line that you can forward to your cell. The reason is a land line you get a listing in the phone book for those folks that don't use the NET. Around here it's $50.00 a month, cheapest ad you can find.
Blue tooth would be nice, just don't loose your day job answering business calls. Always answer the phone with the business name not Yo Shirley here, it is a business.
Also answer the phone, nobody likes to leave a message in this day and age they want info now not within the next 24 hours
Just my  two cents, but what do I know I've only been doing this since 2003

Most of my clients find businesses from the internet.  I currently use my personally cell phone and have had about a third of my clients text me about payments and other things. 

"Always answer the phone with the business name not Yo Shirley here, it is a business."   

I absolutely agree. 

"Also answer the phone, nobody likes to leave a message in this day and age they want info now not within the next 24 hours"

I agree with answering the phone when you can but understand that you may not always be able to with your other job.  Just remember to return the call as soon as you can.
18  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Where to buy litter boxes with lids? on: April 08, 2014, 07:41:47 AM
Try storage boxes with a lid. 
19  General Category / General Discussion / Potential competitor fishing for answers? on: March 14, 2014, 03:15:05 PM
Just curious if anyone else has been receiving calls from phone # 619-799-7077 in the last six months.  I took a look at my call history and saw that they have been calling me since September 4th once a month.  When I have answered they ask odd questions.  Once it was "Why I charge sales tax in Texas?" and today it was "So how are you doing against ###### as a competitor?" (went out of business end of 2011). 

What ticks me off  Angry is that they usually call at 5:00PM or  9:00 PM and it is a different story as to why they are calling.  1st it was a retired guy just surfing the web and was curious about the taxes for scooping.  Today it was a guy looking to partner with his grooming buddy and wanted me to refer him to my clients.
20  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Gotta love it... on: August 15, 2013, 02:47:43 PM
I have had two pop-up in the past two months, one of those in the past week I now need to see how long they will be around.

Should I buy them out before they ever get started, sorry I had to ask?  Shocked

 Huh Huh Huh Huh Buy what out  Huh

They just start and have probably no more then a few clients; if any at all.  They are not an original idea if they copied you.  So what is it you would be buying?  All buying them out will do is make them start a new website so they can be bought out by you again.

My advice is to call them and let them know you are willing to help them out with any customers they cannot handle.  That way you come across as helpful and they may send work your way in the future.
21  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: In the Research and Planning Stages on: July 01, 2013, 07:37:34 AM

1) How much poop does it take to fill up a 13 gal bag (number of dogs & frequency of pick up)?


I would say around a months worth of waste from 3 lab size dogs is about five gallons. 
22  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Rock gardens on: May 27, 2013, 01:08:57 PM
I was considering about 20% more on top of the normal rate. 
23  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Rock gardens on: May 27, 2013, 11:29:03 AM
I have a potential new customer that has an all rock yard (chipped white marble stone) and three small dogs (2 chihuahuas and a dachshund).  When I did the initial clean up about 95% of the poop had to be picked up by hand. 

Since the yard has to be cleaned by hand and takes longer.  Should I charge more for this yard?  I was thinking either a few dollars more a visit or an additional percentage more on top of the normal rate.
24  General Category / General Discussion / Re: How have you managed to educate the public? on: May 14, 2013, 01:24:42 PM
I'm running into a problem I didn't expect. I thought making people aware that I was offering a service that would take an undesirable but necessary chore off their hands would be my greatest challenge. But no!!! People in this area genuinely see no problem in not cleaning dog poop out of  their yards!

Plain and simple. Not everyone sees it as necessary to pick up after their dog(s).  So you need to get into the mindset of the people and solve a problem.   

I think everyone has that problem to some extent. I mention that dogs and kids track the poop into the house so they are walking on poop covered carpet etc.
You can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Just keep plugging away.

I currently am promoting something similar. Since everyone I have meet seems to hate stepping in dog poop I started focusing my advertising on how to avoid stepping in poop.

Good Luck
25  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Scheduling on: April 29, 2013, 03:03:38 PM
So you are saying my map on the wall with different colored push pins is out dated?

 Grin

Nope, not sayin' that!   Grin  In fact, you could use them together by using the map with pins to decide where to put a customer on a route.   
(Even though Google probably has a tool for that, too.)

Besides, "outdated" doesn't mean "won't work."    Tongue

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/?gmp=home  Google's digital push pin map. Smiley
26  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Scheduling on: April 28, 2013, 11:01:11 PM
Hey, you other guys using quickbooks for billing... you use the same software for scheduling?

Quickbooks you can export your Customer List to Excel and organize it the way you like.  I use Custom Fields to add important information that QB doesn't ask for like day of service.  Though, if you use Customer Fields you will need to do a few things to get those to show up in Excel.  Just look up this question "Is it possible to export Customer Custom Fields to excel" and it will guide you.

27  Apartments and Condos / Apartments and Condos / Re: For those of you selling waste stations as part of your biz... on: April 14, 2013, 12:12:11 PM
One thing to consider is whether you welcome extra paperwork and government intrusion.
In many places, services aren't subject to sales tax but products are.


I collect tax on pet waste removal services in Texas and it really is not that bad at all.  I can pay my state taxes online in just five minutes or less; since Quickbooks keeps track of it all for me.

"In your experience, do property managers enjoy BOTH services as part of a comprehensive pet waste removal program, or just one?"

As for your question, I don't believe anyone on here has enough experience, with pet waste stations, to really answer it.   
28  Tools, Trucks and Techniques / Tools, Truck and Techniques / Re: Rocks and a Dog Pen on: April 04, 2013, 07:31:14 AM
Disposable gloves may also be necessary.   For the ones that stick or are between the rocks.

The first yard I did with rocks I was picking up most by, gloved, hand because they were stuck to the rocks and were between them.  After cleaning the yard a few times I was able to get most with the rack and only needed to pick up a few piles by hand every other visit it seemed.
29  Advertising and Marketing / Advertising and Marketing / Re: Classified Ad - Pet Section or Pet Services in the Service Directory? on: March 20, 2013, 01:40:49 PM
My advise is to call the groomer or visit them and ask if the ad has brought them business. 
30  General Category / General Discussion / Re: credit card processing on: March 16, 2013, 06:36:37 PM
I agree. Square is the best way to go and most reliable.  You may also ask for a convenience fee since it will cost you extra to accept this form of payment.

From site:
"2.75% for swiped transactions and Square Wallet payments
3.5% + 15 for manually-entered transactions"
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