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#2102009 - 06/13/13 01:08 PM Managing the Business  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 78
Samthetech Offline
Full Member
Samthetech  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 78
Hi. I was just wondering how some other tuners manage the business side of things. I realized that I have no way to track the rate I'm gaining customers. Right now I'm using eXcel to track expenses, but its kind of difficult to use. I've tried using the Google Drive products, but they all crash my computer. I know I'm supposed to be keeping track of everything, for taxes, for my own knowledge, etc. But I'm not really sure of a good way to do it. I tried to search this forum, but didn't see anything. The last thing I want to do is end up missing jobs because I can't keep track of my customers to send reminders to, especially since I've been trying to build my reputation on great customer service (and good work, of course).

Also, are there any expenses I may be missing or should be investing in? I've got gas, wear/tear on my car and tools, my time, and advertising.

Piano Technician, 3 years experience

And why yes, I know I'm a girl!
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#2102030 - 06/13/13 02:09 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: Samthetech]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
Ryan Hassell Offline
500 Post Club Member
Ryan Hassell  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 543
Farmington, MO
Hi Sam,

I use Google Calendar to keep up with when pianos are due to be tuned. You can set up reoccurring "events" so their name shows up each year or six months or whatever schedule you set up. I also enter their address in location. I can then click on it and it brings up a google map. In the "description" field I put their phone number as well as any notes that I want to keep about their piano or directions to their house. The cool thing is, I can enter that all from my desktop computer and it will sync with my iPhone app so I have it with me wherever I am. Through that app, I can click on their phone number and my phone will dial it. I have also recently started using a program called "apptoto". It syncs with my Google calendar and finds the phone numbers and then calls, email and or text people when it's time or their piano to be due. You can record your own voice on the outgoing message. When it calls them your number shows up on the called ID. It has saved me a lot of time and now I have customers calling me instead of me hunting them down.

I had some invoices made up on carbonless paper. I give the customer the one on top and I keep the bottom one for my records. That way I don't have to write everything twice.

I also keep an Excel sheet where I track things like mileage, expenses, total numbers of pianos tuned which makes things much easier at tax time. At the end of each month I go through all of my invoices and put the into my Excel sheet.

I've considered getting into the whole online invoicing thing, but I have a lot of older customers and I don't know how they would feel. So right now I'm sticking with the old-school way. I have been considering getting "Square" to be able to accept payments through my iPhone.

Be sure to set you up a good website and FB page for your business. Feel free to take a look at my website and FB page (the links are in my signature).

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
#2102671 - 06/14/13 09:26 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member
Gary Fowler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Your best friend is your appoionment book. Keep detailed notes, refer to your previous years apopointment book. It's not rocket science

Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...
#2102679 - 06/14/13 09:47 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 217
David, OHIO Offline
Full Member
David, OHIO  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 217
Coshocton, Ohio
Originally Posted by Gary Fowler
Your best friend is your appoionment book. Keep detailed notes, refer to your previous years apopointment book. It's not rocket science

I absolutely agree. I refer to my daily planners form year past to get forgotten information like names, serials numbers etc. They look like the most beat up books on my book shelf but they are still a valuable resource.

David Chadwick RPT
Coshocton, Ohio
1931 Mason Hamlin AA
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#2102925 - 06/15/13 01:21 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: David, OHIO]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 404
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member
Dan Casdorph  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 404
Morgantown, West Virginia
I have a Mac, and I use bento as a database to keep track of customers retune dates. I was able to make a template that contains the fields I need, and I am able to list them by retune/service date.

For accounting, I use Wave, a free online program that I really like. Its pretty basic, but it does do sales tax, so quarterly I can just print out and send a check to the tax department of my state.

Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
All pianos are bald ones.
#2104058 - 06/17/13 08:17 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: Samthetech]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 295
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member
Jim Moy  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 295
Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
iCloud calendars for appointments, accessible from my Mac, iPhone, or icloud.com

QuickBooks for tracking money (looking for a friendlier way, but unfortunately this is the standard for accountants in the US)

DropBox plus text files for my customer database, see my rant at that link.

Jim Moy, RPT
Moy Piano Service, LLC
Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado
#2104105 - 06/17/13 09:54 PM Re: Managing the Business [Re: Samthetech]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member
Gary Fowler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
ALWAYS make sure you know their pet's name and jot it down. The next time you tune their piano, and you can call the family pet by name, the customer will love you forever. (Caution: this applies to pets and not kids! Being too interested in their kids is gonna come off as creepy)

Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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