Monday, August 17, 2009

The first day of the new business

And possibly next week will be the last day, but we will see.

People sit around and talk about starting their own businesses. Wouldn't it be nice that the three of us would get all the profits for the work that we do instead of sending the money to the company? Wouldn't it be nice that on a day that the three of us take in three thousand dollars for the company that we actually split the three thousand dollars between us, or at least, split whatever is left after expenses are taken out? We should just start our own business.

People sit around all day and talk about this stuff, maybe in some lines of work more than others. But the people my husband works with do this a lot. And once in a while, some of them actually do it.

And then they have to do not only the job that they normally do, but also some other parts of the business that they don't normally do. And they find out that they don't like doing that part of the business, or that it takes more time than they thought, or they just aren't very good at it, or whatever. And, when you have your own business, nobody has to pay you some minimum amount when business isn't so good, and there is no one signing expense checks, so if there is a business expense it just comes out of your pocket.

And there is always the possibility that the expenses for an account will be more than an account is worth, and you might actually lose some money. This doesn't happen very often, or there wouldn't be a business in the first place, but it does happen once in a while. In a big company, that doesn't matter too much, the occasional losses are made up for in other accounts. But when you have your own business, a loss means that instead of getting paid for your work, you have debts for your efforts.

So of all these people who sit around talking about wanting their own businesses, most probably never start one, and many of those who do probably have to go back to their old jobs or maybe just have the business on the side of their "real job".

So Saturday was the first day of the new business, and for the first day at least we did not lose money. I suppose that there is still the possibility that we could lose enough next weekend as to eat the profits of this weekend, but I feel a little more confident that will not be the case.

And of course, I suppose that it isn't really profit yet, just that the specific expenses for the day did not go over the money that we took in. To actually be profit, the money will took in would have to be more than the expenses for the day, plus the other money we had already invested, such as the money for the laptop, and the money for the computer program. I had forgotten about the money for the computer program, being five hundred instead of three hundred like I thought, and it no longer being in the free trial phase. So we are a long way off from having an actual profit.

But while it wasn't great, it wasn't as bad as I feared that it might be. I went in thinking that in addition to the two hundred dollars for rental equipment, we would be out four dollars for every person who didn't buy anything. And I was thinking that we would have about fifty customers for the two weekends, and that if no one bought anything we would be in debt two hundred dollars in addition to the two hundred dollars for the rental equipment each weekend. So I went in being a little afraid that we would we would end up with an additional six hundred dollars debt. I had it in my head that we wouldn't make any profit until after we had taken in a bit more than six hundred dollars, but after that everything would be okay.

I wasn't given the correct information. While I had in my head that we would lose about four dollars per customer if they didn't buy anything, my husband knew it would be closer to ten dollars. I would never have agreed to do any of this if I knew we were risking ten dollars per customer in addition to our other expenses. So while I was thinking that the break even point for this account (not including the computer and all of that already invested) was a bit over six hundred dollars, the actual amount is more like a thousand dollars.

When I had this job seven years ago, my sales average was right around fifty dollars. The other people my husband works with make about twice that. I'm just not good at sales. And it isn't really something that I want to be good at. I don't like this job. Taking orders is fine, but trying to give people the idea that they have to buy stuff just isn't me. And of course I would rather not even be taking orders on a Saturday when I could be out with my friends instead of working all day without even a lunch break.

And I was totally panicked when I heard that I would have thirty-five customers on Saturday. I just can't handle that many. Twenty or twenty-five is a better number for me, when I am used to doing the job. When I am this out of practice, even that is too many.

As it turned out, a lot of the people called and asked to move their appointments to next Saturday, so we only had sixteen customers. It takes about half a hour per customer for me, so it ended up that at the end of the day we had to work about an hour and a half longer than we were scheduled. There were only four or five people who just didn't want to buy anything, so I got a little more than my usual fifty dollar average, but nowhere near a hundred dollar average either.

According to the spreadsheet, we made almost five hundred dollars, so once we pay the rental fees for next Saturday that will leave almost three hundred. Except that after looking at the spreadsheet I see that he has forgotten an expense of a dollar per customer, so that amount will be closer to two hundred and seventy-five.

So I think that if we don't have more than twenty-five people who don't want to buy anything, we at least won't have additional debt. The problem is still that I can't work with that many people in one day. I think that I could probably do a little better next Saturday, now that I am not totally scared out of my mind about doing the job after a seven year break. But I cannot possibly get it down to twelve minutes per customer if there is any chance of the customers actually buying anything. Getting down to the twelve minute average involves just deciding ahead of time that certain people are not going to buy anything anyway and that they should be rushed out of the room as soon as possible. I just don't see that being an option here.

And it is especially difficult to figure out that some of the people don't want to buy anything and would be happier if they were rushed out of the sales room, if they are talking among themselves in Spanish and you don't know if they are discussing spending a lot of money or if they are just wanting to leave anyway.

So I think that I might get it down to twenty minutes per customer, but not twelve. If we could split it up so that twenty people came on Saturday and fifteen or so came on Sunday, that might work out. But I didn't have time to suggest that, and my husband doesn't want to upset anyone, so he didn't suggest it either.

He will just have to call someone and suggest it today. Having all of those people show up on the same day is just not going to work.

Anyway, I am just glad it is Monday and the weekend is over. Most people don't say that, do they?

So I will now go and do some of the gardening that I wasn't able to do last week. And we might go to see District 9 or The Time Traveler's Wife. And we might go get a pizza or something. But we still can't spend a lot of money, cause we still owe for two car payments and all of that, and by the time this is over all of our regular bills will be due again. And my husband probably isn't working again this week at his regular job. They had him scheduled for only two days this week, and they are out of town, and while we did take in some money Saturday, most of it was credit cards, which means we do not actually have money in our hands yet. So we have no money to go out of town, and they probably won't have anything else for him, especially since he can't work on Saturday or Sunday, and really shouldn't go anywhere on Friday either.

Anyway, it is still a bit of a mess.


dmarks said...

I hear "District 9" is pretty good. I've heard nothing good about "Time Traveller's Wife" yet. Unless you like Eric Bana time-travelling naked (Terminator-style).

Ananda girl said...

I have not heard anything about either movie other than that District 9 was at the top of the sales numbers in the movie charts this week. I'd really like to see both movies. But doubt that I will until they come out on DVD.

I am no good at business. It is the reason that I have a job where I go to work and come home, leaving my job behind me.

Having said that, I think that you are very brave and much more knowledgeable than I am in this area. I am glad that it worked out better than your worst fear. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, laughing.

David Lee said...

Thanks for the suggestion on my twenty days challenge campaign.
You are a quite a writer huh?

laughingattheslut said...

Well, sometimes.

The rest of the time, I just type a lot.

Welcome David. And good luck with your project.