As I said in my first blog, Kev asked me to be involved in the business. One major part of this involves going on quotes.
This is one part of my role that I do enjoy. It gives me the opportunity to meet customers. I get to meet a variety of different people when going on these quotes, from people that have a clear idea of what they would like done to people that look for his expertise as they are not quite sure where to start, they know they want something done but what is the question.
I also get to see the inside of complete strangers houses and get to give my opinion into what they have done. For example, on a recent quote I was asked for my input from a female point of view on a colour scheme as to what grout would look best, white or cream. Now I have to admit that I am not a lover of cream, unless it’s the type that goes over cake, so I obviously went with white.
We have recently discovered that it is easier to do quotes on a weekend for several different reasons. The first and most important one being that it’s the only time we get to spend together. I started to go along as I was finding that I was spending most of my weekends sitting in the house on my own.
Another reason is that it’s just easier. Like the saying goes, two heads are better than one. While Kevin talks the customer through the work, I make notes. These could be measurements, prices or simply work he needs to carry out. This has come in handy a few times with the customer asking me to jot the breakdown for them.
Previously we used an A5 diary for this but we discovered that this didn’t give enough space, especially when we had 3 or 4 different quotes on a particular day. It was quite difficult to write everything down in the small space I had, plus I discovered that I couldn’t write as quickly as I thought! We did think about getting a bigger diary but we realised that this would probably get just as messy as the smaller version.
After a lot of thought and a lot of website window shopping, we decided to invest in a small laptop that doubles as a tablet. Alongside this, we now use the Google Calendar which is a brilliant feature from Google where you (as the name says) use the calendar to book appointments, whether these are quotes or work to be done and save it. You can book multiple things into a day and it gives you a day, week, month or 4 day view. You can give it a title and location (which is also linked into Google Maps to make it easier to get to your destination) and make notes. You can even give different things different colours, for example, all work is coloured blue and quotes are in green. Add to this the notes function on the laptop which makes it a lot easier to make notes during quotes and no more looking for a pencil. All I do then is condense and transfer the notes from the laptop to the calendar when the customer is happy with a date.
I would strongly recommend Google Calendar as it’s very easy to use, even Kev can use it! All you need to do is set up a google account through Chrome and the calendar is just one of the amazing features. You can also have a Google Drive, which I’ll go into more in depth at a later date.
I would also suggest investing in a tablet/laptop. The one we have bought is called the Asus Transformer Book and cost £180 from Curry’s PC World but there are loads of different options for different budgets out there, it’s just a case of looking and finding something that suits you.