Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So you want to have your own business. Are you sure about that?

After  20 years of various business ventures I’ve come to the conclusion that self employment is not for the faint of heart or  under caffinated.
Or sane.

Because I think you have to be just a little bit crazy to take on all of the responsibility of running a business with very few of the standard perks. Like a pay check for example. Or time off.
I promised you a look into the inner workings and this month is a good example of what you don't think about when you dream of being self employed.
Fall stock is coming in.
Fall gowns. Waiting for steaming and brides to play with them!
I had decided to have a sale to clear out the stock on hand and make some space and money to accommodate the incoming items. Due to taking my youngest son to visit grandparents the store had some odd hours the first two weeks in July. After the request of a few customers I decided to leave the sale on until the end of the month.  On the up side, the sale has motivated some buyers so I am convinced that was the right decision.
The old stuff is moving, but slowly. No where near fast enough to ease the little stress ball I carry inside regarding the big question. “Can I pay my bills this month?” So far we have a delicate balancing act going. The money coming in each week is covering the money going out. Which is an excellent thing, but leaves me in a perpetual state of fear that next week we may not be so lucky.  
What has upset this delicate balance, and motivated this post, was arriving at work Tuesday morning to find part of my ceiling caved in. Okay, an exaggeration but damn it felt like that when I saw the mess.
There is a leak in the roof. I’m aware of it and it will be taken care of and it’s all good. The leak is dripping onto a suspended ceiling tile. The tile finally said “enough of this crap” and basically disintegrated all over a glass jewellery display shelf. Now, it fell straight down. Not heavy enough in itself to break the shelf it also had the courtesy of not knocking the shelf over. So I was spared having to clean broken glass as well. A fact I was aware of despite my creative cursing trying to clean up water and disintegrated tile from my carpeted bridal area. The floor is now tidy, I cleaned out what was left of the tile so there is a nice square hole in my ceiling now instead of a torn gaping wound and the jewellery display shelf now holds two buckets to catch the ongoing drips.
Last night we had a couple of massive thunderstorms. Between the two storms I collected water more then 3” deep in each of the buckets. Can you imagine what kind of mess that would have been had the tile waited? I am blessed it gave up when it did and I know it. Thank you Lord.
The guy to spray foam my roof tells me he can do it Sunday. Soon I will have a totally sealed and insulated roof. No more leaks, no more of my money in heating and cooling going out that ceiling. I am excited at the prospect. I am terrified at the $12,000 it is going to cost to have this done. In the long run it is totally the right choice. On the short term it is adding another weight to balance.
The lesson?
Owning a store is much more then understanding wholesale vs. retail and the grand balancing act we undertake to keep both our customers and our bankers happy. It’s not just making sure shipments arrive on time and correctly. It’s not even the perpetual guessing game of what might sell next season. It is also the basic necessity of keeping a roof over your head (and hoping it stays there!)
And a paycheque? Well, hopefully that will happen some day as well. In the mean time I am just really happy that my husband loves me enough to support this insanity and that I love my job. Cave-ins not withstanding 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely picking up what you're laying down, sister!

Great post.