With every job you do you will always find that it is easier and faster to accomplish if you use the correct tools. If a tool can save you time it can save you money and everyone like to save money right. I would like to highlight a few tools that I have found not only increase our speed and performance but also our dealers as well. Now when I say tools I don’t specifically mean a hammer or a wrench (I will include a few of those) but I also mean software tools as well. These tools not only help you with the golf carts but also help you with your business.
1. Custom Battery Cables
Cutters, Stripper, & Crimpers
Now if you often replace battery cables on the golf carts and find you also do custom builds you may find it necessary to cut and crimp your own custom cable lengths. Many dealers just use a standard utility knife to cut back the sheath and use a hammer punch to crimp the ends and this does work it is just not the best way. We have a great line of industrial cutters and strippers that can give you a clean cut with little effort and can strip back the casing fast and you won’t risk cutting yourself in the process. As for crimping the ends on we offer a very handy hand crimper that will allow you to actually crimp the ends on in the field and this would eliminate the need to walk back and forth to your work bench to finish the job.
2. Determine Battery Capacity & Find defective Batteries in a Set
If you are buying and selling carts it is a good idea to make sure that the batteries that are in the carts you buy are actually good. Everyone will tell you they have new batteries even if they were in fact replaced a few years ago. Using a discharger on the battery set will allow you to measure the battery capacity expressed as the percentage of time at which shut-off voltage was reached. This can be seen from the example found in the operating instructions for our Lester Battery Discharger:
Example: An 18 cell battery set rated at 107 minutes @ 75 amp discharge rate is to be tested to a shut-off voltage of 31.5 volts. Upon discharging a set of fully charged batteries, the discharge unit shut off in one hour and 32 minutes (92 minutes). Battery capacity is therefore expressed as: (92/107) * 100% = 86.0%.
3. Good Cordless Impact Wrench & Drill
Makita LCT209W 12V Combo
The Makita 12v combo kit is what we use for our installations but keep in mind we do not do as many installs as a dealer would do but these units are small, lightweight and have a lot of power behind them. Makita also offers an 18v model which may be better suited for constant use. Whichever model you chose it is worth the investment because it can greatly increase the speed when installing rear seats, lift kits, clays baskets, etc. It will also allow you to do these repairs and upgrades on the road for mobile installations.
4. Credit Card Processing
Square, Paypal Here, Intuit Go Payment
I went into depth on mobile credit card processing systems in the post: Processing Credit Cards on the Go. So I won’t go into too much detail here but to say if you don’t have a way to easily accept all forms of payments your customers may begin to dwindle. These days you can now get mobile notifications on your wrists so the technology is there you just need to determine which is right for you and your customers to both benefit from.
This is one of my favorite things.
If it is a computer task that you do repetitively most likely there is a computer that can do automatically. How awesome is that! I just get so excited about this subject because with little effort you can set and schedule routines and have daily, weekly, and monthly operations handled for you. For instance you can setup an automated email welcome series that will send new customers an email immediately after signing up and then you can set how often and how many additional emails are sent. Also if you update several different social media sites but you want to make sure they all have the same information posted to it you can use a service such as www.IFTTT.com which stands for If This Than That. So if you like a photo on Pinterest it can then post that photo to facebook, twitter, and even download that photo to a Dropbox folder. You could also use a site like www.buffer.com to schedule posts to facebook or twitter to post at random intervals. So if you spend 10-20 minutes you can schedule a few weeks’ worth of social media updates.
Here are some automation websites to look into:
www.MailChimp.com – Newsletters
www.IFTTT.com – Social Media & Alerts
www.buffer.com – Social Media
www.hootsuite.com – Social Media
Most of these sites offer extensions to Google Chrome & Firefox to allow fast and easy scheduling as well.
I hope that these few tips help you and I’m sure we didn’t include some of the essential tools you use on a daily basis so please leave us a comment with what tools you couldn’t live without so we know what works for you.
Written by Steve Wilmer
Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint. This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest. Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.