First of all, I am delighted that Starbucks doesn’t charge rent, although with some of the prices for products it is almost like rent – LOL.
The thing is, between caring for my furry clients, worrying about my staffing issues, and trying to squeeze in some time at the gym, I am now carrying my netbook with me for those stolen moments when I can grab a Lime or Berry Hybiscus Refresher (because I am trying to cut down on the caffeine) and collect my thoughts. Oh, and catch up on email and such.
I think that when you focus on your business, and declare to the universe that you are ready for it to be successful (oh, and work hard) – the universe responds with lots of opportunity. At least it did for me this week.
I might have mentioned to someone that I have been doing 12 hour days, seven days a week, and squeezing in last minute requests from some of my “regular” clients. This whole flexibility thing depends on some stamina as well.
I have help on the way, and I am making some tough decisions, but I think overall the business will thrive.
I have more solidly thought out plans, and am finalizing my employee handbook. I know I promised to share the outline for you and I will…really…just as soon as things get a little less chaotic.
I can hear you laughing…. Have a great weekend – if you are one of those folks who are going to really have a weekend! I’d like to say I am jealous, but I am having too much fun.
My domain email, hosted by Google, is “hosed” today – got a weird message “Sorry, there seems to be a problem. The service you’re looking for is temporarily unavailable. We’re working hard to restore your access as soon as possible. Please try again in a few hours. Thanks for your patience.” on both my business emails – so if you emailed me at serroc.com or bakwep.com today – please be patient. I am trying to figure out WTH happened.
It makes it even more infuriating because the Google help screens and login trouble shooting doesn’t include this message as one of its options when trying to determine what is wrong, and their “status board” doesn’t show any server issues for the service. So I am in the dark and without my email…and I typically have several hundred emails a day, and without access to these services I don’t have access to my documents either. ARGH.
I am not a happy camper and today I will be at client sites all day, totally reliant on my emails to stay in contact with everyone….and will be email blind. Sigh, the horrors of tech-dependency….
Or the art of staying flexible…
It has been another roller coaster week. I am in the throes of interviewing folks for one or two part time positions…and also scheduling “meet & greets” with new clients… and coordinating a long-distant project for a talented friend. To do all of this requires juggling of schedules and a great degree of flexibility (emotionally and physically – as well as setting times and dates.
I feel like I am doing okay on the interviewing frontlines…one no show, one courteous enough to let me know that she had been offered a job (I wish her well), and nine very capable and very personable candidates. Today will be the tenth interview, I am writing this blog while awaiting her arrival at – where else? – Starbucks.
I wish I could afford to hire them all, as I feel that all of the candidates so far can bring something great to my business, and all would be easy to work with and to train. But alas, I cannot yet afford to hire that many people… so this weekend, amidst trying to write and make article deadlines; caring for my furry clients, and I will need to make some tough decisions.
As my husband says – I suffer from an embarrassment of abundance. I hope to be so afflicted for many years to come. :0) The key is to practice flexibility!
More later – happy Saturday.
This is going to be a crazy week, I have scheduled interviews for two part time positions interwoven among my normally scheduled clients. I will have been in nearly every Starbucks in Bakersfield when I am done.
Why Starbucks? Yes, I know the coffee is expensive, but the wifi is great, and the fact that you can hang out and work (provided you can tune out the chatter) and it is a neutral spot to meet people make it a fabulous spot to do interviews.
I should know, I have been using Starbucks from sea to shining sea since the mid-90′s to meet potential clients, potential contractors, potential employees. It is clean, well lit, and safe.
And since I am now trying to expand my business, and perhaps expand my business offerings, getting more help is important. Starting off with the many interviews.
You see, I have an end in mind – I want to position my business to be able to turn it over to a manager in the next two years, freeing up my time to expand out to other pet projects (pun intended). And eventually positioning to franchise or add a non-profit foundation to the structure.
It all starts with planning, then step by step execution – to wit, I am indebted to Starbucks for providing me with office space throughout the known world.
So keep your fingers crossed, I have interviews scheduled all week, and I hope to find two people who can help me grow the business, and grow with the business!
Happy Friday to those of you who use that as a measure of the end of a work week… some of us don’t pay attention to Fridays anymore…we’re called “Sole Owners”…LOL.
Seriously, I have a rare moment when I am between appointments and clients and have a bit of breathing space, so what am I doing? Sitting at Starbuck’s and writing a blog post.
The week has been crazy busy, and I love it that way. I have made sure to do my State of California paperwork for EDD and State Tax withholdings for my new employee. I have registered my EIN to be able to do electronic payments to the Federal government for those taxes.
And I squared away a first pay check.
And while I am often a bit nervous about whether I have missed something (one thing I try never to mess with is someone’s wages) – I think overall it was pretty easy and only slightly scary.
I felt so confident about it all, that I posted a craigslist ad for another part time employee. Because business is increasing, and I want to be able to keep up with it all, and to have a trained back up or two, and to eventually be able to determine if I want to expand or franchise the business.
To that end, I mentioned in an earlier post that I am putting together an employee guidebook. I am also putting together a new hire checklist. I will share a generic version of all of the above when I am done tweaking them.
Just a quick note in between the flurry of scheduling and of business, your third step in setting up to have a new employee is to check on your State’s tax requirements, and setting up the Unemployment Insurance and the Worker’s Compensation insurance accounts. Don’t panic, you have some time – and there is a threshhold of $100 for what you are paying in salary in California. Be sure to check it out thoroughly and double check with your accounting folks.
If you are in one of those Cities that have their own special business taxes, you had best check on that as well, just in case. This won’t apply to everyone, but it is better to do the research ahead of time than pay fines for late filings later. :-(
The name of the game is always to research and to check with the professionals who are supporting your business – your lawyer and your accountant/bookkeeper.
Have a great holiday weekend.
I am at the point where I can hire someone part-time, which sounds great (and is) – and presents some new challenges. Specifically, payroll. First of all, even if you are a sole owner, in order to pay someone – with all the withholdings, you need an Employer Identification Number. That’s also know as an EIN.
You can get one fairly easily, by going to the IRS website and applying. Read all the information there carefully, especially their hours of operation, because it applies to online activity as well as in person. You can opt to have the EIN snail-mailed to you, or emailed and given in a .pdf file for you to print out locally.
It is the first thing you will need for setting up payroll.
The second thing is a way to create the paychecks – usually you will use your business account to pay people, but you also need to calculate and set aside their withholdings and then pay them quarterly or yearly to the appropriate state and federal entities. And that means deciding whether to do it all yourself, or use a service or a software application, or even your bank (some banks offer payroll services).
Over the next few weeks, I will talk about selecting a payroll process, and selecting an employee. Plus I will be writing my own employee handbook, so I will share about that as well.
See you soon. Life is busy, so stay focused on what is really important to you!