Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Vacation and the Sole Proprietor

Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug, I would be listening to music but for some inexplicable reason iTunes feels the need to update my library for me... Ah, there we go, "Just Can't Wait" by the J. Geils Band on iTunes. As many of you probably laid odds, I am not taking vacation this week. I already lost yesterday to bookkeeping (I sorted the papers in the breakfast room into files--or put them in a pile in the office) and I still haven't even started entering data into Quickbooks. Today the sales tax report is due and to complete it I need my total sales numbers for the year. Oh boy, you can see where this is going, can't you?

Today is lost to the paper shuffle (and shipping). The order for exhibition services from Hargrove for the Buyer's Market is due Thursday--and and I don't *have* to wait till the last minute to do it, and my postcard will be ready at the printer today--need to update my gallery mailing list and get it out (there's another good project for Stacy--updating the mailing list).

But all is not lost! There is next week to pine for! If I get all my work done for the BMAC this week, get the outstanding orders done and shipped a little early, there is really no reason I can't take next week off... Or I'll just wait till the end of February when we go visit Bill and Bridget in California and Do Sonoma/Napa with them and a bunch of other friends. A couple of years ago we all went to the Paso Robles area and this year we're trying the experience again (though in Sonoma as they won't allow us back in Paso Robles... just kidding).

All levity aside, it is almost impossible to take vacation as a sole proprietor. When I do go away, I still check my email and voicemail every day for orders, inquiries, etc. If I have an assistant, I check in with her to make sure she's still on track. If it's a vacation where I am still here and I get a rush order, I will fire or ship or whatever a gallery needs. I know this is more about my mindset than the ways things have to be, but I believe a business's success is rooted in its customer service. In this very connected Internet age we expect immediate response and service and if we want to succeed, we give it too.

I have procrastinated long enough: Time to Quickbook.


Bill said...


I wonder when you'll finish that inputting? Do you have until midnight to figure your tax issue and mail it in, or does the money have to be in their hands today?

Brenda Griffith said...

If I did it online, I had till midnight. Otherwise it had to be postmarked by the 22nd.

Bill said...

So? What happened?

Becky said...

Think of a week off as 10 half days - take one half day off a week to do exactly what you want (including nothing at all) and your week-off can last you 2 and half months..... while still providing excellent customer service etc!!