My wife and I acquired a business out of an article 9 sale and have been quite busy with many of the management duties. She has been meeting with vendors and signing contracts, while I have been spending evenings paying bills and tracking the finances worrying about having enough money every 2 weeks to make payroll.
All told, we are probably spending about 20 hours per week between the two of us. Now it has slowed down a bit recently. January and February were quite busy setting up many of the new systems, dealing with health insurance etc so we were spending even more time (up to 30 hours in a week some weeks). We are hoping that establishing some patterns will free up some time so that it can trim down to about 10 hours. We should start tracking it more closely in April so that we know for sure.
But I can’t help but think of the prior owner and all the extra non-revenue producing activity that had to be spent just to keep a small business with two other employees going. I have a feeling that might be one of the reasons that the business ended up in some financial difficulty. Now that my wife and I are assuming this burden, more time has been freed up for the site manager to go out and solicit business.
I think that is why January was one of the top 10 months for revenue in the past 15 years. February was what seemed like a lot slower, but it was in reality about an average month. We should still be able to keep the doors open with a month like February. And now March has picked up again and new orders in the first 7 business days are 80% of February’s total.
“If You Stop Tracking, You Start Slacking”
This is a quote from my personal trainer. I starting tracking everything I eat and have been shooting for about 2,000 calories per day. Simply watching it so closely has helped me to lose weight already.
The same can be said for finances (or anything in life). Because I am tracking the finances of the business so closely, I can minimize expenses and allow the manager to maximize revenue and sales. I really think that freeing his mind of all the business worries has allowed him to be more productive and have a better attitude in order to feel motivated to make sales. I really doubt that the economy has been that much stronger this year than last.
Well because I have been focused on this business, my blogging has slowed dramatically. I noticed that I didn’t even post a single article for the month of February. Forgive me for that, but I really think that my efforts are better spent elsewhere. This is actually the first time I have had a small block of uninterrupted or unobligated time since I was stranded in Chicago’s Midway Airport in January trying to get out on a golf trip. Now it is snowing again, so my golf season will have to wait a bit longer.
As always, thanks for reading.
December was so busy that I didn’t write a single post for this blog emphasizing the fact that it really is a hobby for me and when life gets busy, the hobbies have to take a back seat.
Why was it so busy? Well, things finally got moving on the legal front with purchasing a business and lots of things had to be done before my wife, family, and me left on vacation from December 19th to the 30th. We hustled for the two weeks before leaving and could do absolutely nothing while away due to lack of internet access. Now we are continuing to finalize things and hope to have things in order and running smoothly over the next few weeks.
Items we have had to deal with:
- Negotiating and dealing with bank on the final loan documents through the lawyer. Hopefully these will be signed in the next day or two despite having hoped for 1/2.
- Finalizing the LLC Operating Agreement. Got final draft yesterday and running through the few members. Should not be a problem.
- Getting Federal and State Tax ID numbers. This is done along with the certificate to collect sales tax. Now we just need to go through the process of filing at the end of each month.
- Working on getting health insurance for employees. Somewhat of a cluster. Getting short term monthly policies while working out the details of a more permanent solution. The insurance broker was a little slow in getting it together.
- Getting leases for production equipment. This was a little tough given the circumstances. We have the majority of equipment, but no official lease yet. In process but more of a formality.
- Meet tomorrow to go through payroll process. And the good news is we will collect enough money to meet payroll this week.
- Getting credit card machine and ability to run cards on site and direct deposit.
- Host of other little decisions involving vendors, credit apps, website, etc.
Needless to say, it has been quite busy. The polar vortex and foot of snow has slowed some things down, but all should work out by the end of the week when the weather will warm up. Obviously, I will know a lot more by the end of the month and have a real good sense of business at the end of the first quarter.
The good news is that I suspect it will ultimately be worth it, but I still want to maintain a healthy skepticism.
Bottom line for me is: No time for new year’s resolutions, I have a business to run.
My daughter started making jewelry for family members as a hobby this summer. Before I knew it, she had opened an Etsy store and started tracking her expenses and revenue on a spreadsheet. She made some changes to her store and tracked the resulting increase in views. She has been researching what makes for a successful store and getting ideas off the internet. She has been involved in social networking and posting pictures on Instagram for her over 3000 followers.
She has done this all on her own and really seems to be doing relatively well without input from anyone. She made 2 sales in November and already has 2 in December with a goal for making another four. She has been on college break for the past week and has been adding to her inventory for sale. And despite the fact that her expenses for supplies have exceeded her revenue, she is optimistic that she will make a profit since she has enough stock to make a lot more jewelry.
Which all begs the question — Are Entrepreneurs Made or Born?
Honestly, I don’t really have the answer. I am sure that there are many entrepreneurs that come by their skills naturally while others have been able to learn and refine their skills through intentional development and education.
I do know that she has watched me purchase rental houses throughout the years, and I have explained a lot about economics, building businesses, expenses, revenues, profits and losses on long drives in the car. I have also explained the concept of inflation, supply, and demand. So do these discussions have a role or is the fact that I am interested in these topics mean that there is some genetic component. I really don’t know. I suspect there might be a little contribution from both.
What I do know is that all the mental gymnastics and planning don’t mean a thing until you actually get out and do something. I also know that virtually every successful entrepreneur has multiple failures and struggles in the early years that we seem to forget when looking at their successes.
Needless to say, I am really proud of her getting out their and doing and learning on the go rather than sitting back and just thinking about doing it.
So if you want to check out Kayla’s Etsy store, you can do so. Plus, if you order something type in GRAND as a coupon code when checking out and you can get free shipping.
What are your thoughts about entrepreneurship? Do you think it runs in families? Is there more of a genetic component or environmental influence at work? Do you know of any good studies?