A Business Opportunity

Yes, a building is up for sale and PB is interested in it – so he went for the first viewing and I went with him for the second viewing today.  Apparently there were several parties who were interested in it too but a look at inside the building makes me hesitant because it was not taken care of.  But there is potential and if we had the time and money for some major over-haul then it would be a great project and investment to make.

But as it is – we don’t have a lot of time on hand and we rarely have good luck with carpenters or construction workers here in this town.  Although I’m familiar with new hotels and looking at structural defects, Canada is far different from Asia and the type of contractors I was used to.

Back home I’m a very tough worker, but in Canada I tend to be a lot more laid back even with the employees because over here, they can quit and go on unemployment or sue you if they feel that they are not happy with you.  The unemployment agencies in this province seems to be more for the workers than the employers.

Just yesterday, I was told by our worker that he wished he would have known we are gonna be a few minutes late because he would have brought his meds with him.  We were only gonna be 5 mins late – and he was upset with us?  So if we are gonna be tough on the contractors like back home, they can quit and leave the job halfway ?

Unlike in Singapore I cannot hire another team because there are already so feel contractors  – so yes, to take on this project is going to be quite the heartache for us and a lot of stress I foresee but still it is a good business opportunity and I don’t wanna be a wimp about it and stop PB from buying it.

More Empty Shop Fronts

Yes, a lot more empty shop front in the works, a neighbor down the road is applying to move his business to his home because he said it makes no sense to stay on Main since we’ve not only lost the ferry but also people in this county.  Yes, the amount of people that had move away from this town is quite scary and still the provincial government don’t think that the ferry had affected the economy in this town really makes me very worried.

Because of the latest development, I’m kinda weary as to whether we should invest in a business property here, I’m quite scared too if our money is going to go down the drain.  I mean we are doing well now but what if people keeps moving away from this town, who will be left with buying consoles and games and computers?

I know we need a bigger store but do we really wanna put so much money down?  the town hasn’t convinced me enough to want to do that truth be told.  I wanna be able to up and move if things don’t turn around for the town because eventually, it will affect us right?

Office Automation

Many a times we have customers asking for software for their computers like the   web workflow software  or the powerpoint software and sometimes drawing software.  And as much as we would love to be a one-stop shop for every customers need, there are just too much software out there to stock every thing there is out there.

As a small business, we know that the changes in software’s need is so rapid, so instead of stocking them, we only order them when a customer needs them.  Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to wait for the software to arrive in a few days but luckily, web workflow software can be downloaded immediately through the website, I wished that other software allows my other customers to download immediately with a code, now that would make things a lot easier.  One can always hope that one day it would be so easy, even with a kiosk that sells the software would be great for our store.

 

Dealing With Irate Customers

Most of our customers are great but once in a while – some wake up in the morning without taking their meds and then come to the store and make trouble for us.  We were not in the store yesterday, so poor Gary had to fend for himself.  Customer came in asking for a store credit for something he had bought over the weekend and our store policy is only the boss can do it. Since the boss was sick, Gary couldn’t do anything and instead the customer threatened Gary that he was going to bring his lawyers to sue us for $10K  * slap forehead * .

Anyhow, customer returned today and of course, didn’t kick up a big fuss but I did tell him that we didn’t appreciate his behavior and that there was no need to go after Gary for anything because he was just doing what he was told.  His complains were not relevant whatsoever  and after 13 years in business, we know how to handle crazy people like that.

Corporate Lawyers For Small Business Owners

 We met with a friend today who introduced another friend to us during lunch and it looks like he is interested in opening his own business in this town.  Not surprised seeing that the property prices are so low here – and he wanted to pick my brains as to which corporate lawyers he should use.  And since ours is a very small town, I don’t really know if anyone here does just corporate law like the  corporate lawyer raleigh nc  a firm that I’ve read about recently.   So I told him that I would check with the spouse as we don’t use one ourselves since we don’t have huge liability like what this guy wants to do.  But he is right, every small business should retain a corporate lawyer just in case.  I might have to run this by the spouse soon and ask him what he thinks about it.

sexual harassment in the office

Ahhhh..! sexual harassment in the office, the subject that folks do not want to talk about and know little about too.  What is considered a sexual harassment in the office and why you must speak up if you feel uncomfortable about insinuating remarks or when someone touches you in the office inappropriately.  And what about you?  what is the fine line from a joke and making your co-workers feel uncomfortable?    Some people may not know that men can also feel that they are harassed by their female co-workers or bosses too – and it’s not just the women that can be sexually harassed these days.   To find out more about sexual harassment in the office find sexual harassment lawyers San Diego  for more information, especially if you are currently being sexually harassed and don’t know what you should do.

Back In Its Hay-days

Back in the hay-days, Mr Leonard`s looked quite the flourishing business but some 4 years after he died of heart problems suddenly, the building was left closed up and no one took care of it.  It doesn`t look like this anymore of course and it`s quite a shame truth be told.  We were interested in buying the building but a check with our carpenter, it looked like there were more damage inside and outside and on top where the roof is.  He cautiously predicted a renovation of up to $100K no less.

So even though the people who owned the building were very reasonable in asking for the said price, it would mean that we would have still overpaid for the building in the end.  Plus with not much reliable contractors to handle such a huge job, we figured we better hold off on offering any money for the building.

We are quite disappointed if you asked me – but I`m not into buying a building that needs that much repair, no time and don`t want to be in such a project.

Storing Our Vehicles For Winter

Some cars we only use during the summer because during the winter, there is too much salt on the ground and also we don’t have winter tires for the vintage car that my father-in-law keep for a hobby.  This year we are thinking of buying another vehicle for plowing the snow with so a  bendPak lift may be the way to go, if we want all our cars kept in the garage.  So instead of building another garage or expanding the present one, the easy fix is to get a bendpak lift which is way cheaper than buying a storage unit or renting one in the long run. The ones we saw for our need is not expensive at all but of course, they do have the heavy duty ones for people who likes to work on their cars or trucks during the winter.  I do like the use of these lift because we can store it away when we don’t need them and they can be easily move from one place to another.

End Of The Year Sales

So the end of the year is near – and like every business owners – we want to know how our neighbors are doing too – just out of curiosity and not for bragging rights. So it looks like the merchants downtown are doing alright – in fact  alot of them are announcing at par to last year’s sales and profit margin about the same.  Well, I’m darn happy to hear that to be honest – you really don’t want to see any other merchants downtown doing bad at all – because that just isn’t good for the economy downtown at all.

I wished i can buy all my christmas presents for everyone after Christmas from big chain stores like Walmart – because basically they are the same stuff but 50% less.  Maybe, I should make plans to do that – like announced it to friends and family about it – because that would definitely be the smarter way to shop – don’t you think?  but nah!  i doubt if my kid would appreciate it or any kids.  Well, maybe I can get the kids stuff before Christmas and after Christmas I can get gifts for my friends at the 50% discount – muahahha!

Anyhow, yes ! i’m trying to be an el cheapo and it doesn’t mean that if our store is doing good – I have to waste my money when I can actually get it at 50% off a few days later right?  And yes, we did better than last year and yes we are pleased with it but I’m still not running out to get myself a Gucci handbag to reward myself – no way!  Whenever I see how some of our customers spend their money – I worry for them – because I can never spend that kinda money just because – I need to be able to justify why I’m spending so much money.

The Roll My Eyes Phone Calls

I swear I want to get one of this button to wear when I’m at the store serving some idiotic customers or when I answer phone calls that people over the other end shouldn’t even have called for.  The stories I can tell – it’s pretty amazing I tell yer.

The most favorite one is when someone call and tell me he bought a computer a few days ago and it doesn’t wanna do this or that or that it’s a blue screen.  But of course, I’m darn smart after 12 years in business – and asked him to wait a minute and to let me know where and when he bought the computer – and of course – revelation – he bought it from Walmart or Staples or some other god know where places.  Of course, I quickly stop him short there and told him there is nothing i can do over the phone for him unless he wants to bring it in – and we can then try helping him.

But my new year’s plan for these kinda calls is to tell caller to give me his credit card # and that we bill every 15 mins on the phone at $10 an hour – now that should stop them really quick and not call us for technical support when they didn’t buy their stuff from us.  And what about those callers that bought their xboxes or ps3 from zellers or gamestop – and calls us up to help them with their parental code breaking – OH MY GOD right??  you didn’t buy the systems from us – so why are you calling for technical help?  sometimes you really want to smack them – not only are they taking up your time, they are also hogging my phone line for genuine customers /paying customers who may be calling in or worst stop me from taking money from a paying customer who is already in front of me.  Yes !  the “don’t make me roll my eyes at you” tag must be made for next year and worn at all times at the store.

Good Deals For Christmas

Everyone wants to look for a great deal for Christmas and I don’t blame them and even though we own our own small business, we are still looking out for good deals in anything we need.  We wanted to get some cigars for our business associates and clients – like those that give us regular business (ie :  the schools and some rental places and of course the justice department) because without them, we won’t be around for this long.  Cigars in town are quite expensive, there we get them from some  cigar auction sites  after I accidentally stumble upon it.  Now I can get any amount of cigars that I liked by bidding on them. But I do read up on them and it tells me exactly what I’m bidding for, sometimes i can get cigars at really good prices here.   I used to only know how to buy the Davidoff brand but now with the auction site, I am able to see more varieties at a good price, so buying Christmas gifts for Christmas don’t break our bank no more.

Flea Market

I normally don’t like going to flea market but the boss thinks otherwise, for some reason – he loved to try out the flea market to see if he can move some of the stuff in the store as we are really overloaded with movies and games.  But when i first looked at the flea market and saw what they sold in it – I didn’t really think that it would worked but like all smart woman I kept my opinion to myself and let it play out itself.  4 weeks later, we lost a total of $80 in products – so it’s not a win-win situation anymore – today we took our things out from the flea market and I’m hoping this would end all the flea market runs from now on.  The boss should just concentrate on the store and not think of anything else.  He tries too many things and I don’t approve of it.

Layaways

More like why we don’t do layaway?  because people here changes their mind too much and if somewhere else sells them cheaper than our store – they have no loyalty and buy it for even $10 cheaper than support their local business and the worst part of it all is – they want their deposit back in full and some even forget to tell you – till it’s too late to resell them.  And Christmas is such a busy time for us, there is really no time to keep things and hoping that the customer that gave you $10 deposit would come back for it before Christmas.  Nope !!  13 years in business – you think you’ve seen it all but it’s not true !  everyday there is a new surprise from the customer/s.  And the customer/s are always right – and if they are wrong – look at Rule # 1.  So, in order to avoid any stress – no layaways – period.  Not even for good friends and buddies.

Store Improvement

I liked everything to be locked up if possible.  Why?  simple reason – don’t have to worry about stuff getting stolen.  And yes, there are way too many crooks in this town and they are literally not ashamed of it – even when they are caught stealing and cheating on you.  In fact, they are quite proud that they scammed you, and they try and steal stuff under your nose and if you only have one kidney left and they so much as think they can get it outta you – they would.

So when these old/new glass cabinets came up for sale on Kijiji – the boss bought them immediately, but now I see he isn’t going to put some of the glass panels onto the cabinets – now that pisses me off big time.  Why? oh Why ?  do you buy a glass cabinet and not want to lock up your things!!!!???!!!!  *slap forehead*  but not to worry, I won’t say anything now – because they are still re-arranging them and cleaning them – wait till it’s all done and I’ll coax him to put on the glass one panel at a time. hahaha!

Re-organizing The Store

Yes, more re-organizing the store, trying to make more space for the things we sell and to display them so that customers can see them – and buy them.  The store is overloaded with stuff – and there is just not enough space.  And no we don’t want to move store because the feng shui had been really good here for us.

And everything you see in the store belongs to us – we don’t owe the supplier – nor anyone – we buy them outright with cash money.  Well, sometimes credit card since some suppliers are online suppliers. But yes, the boss is constantly re-organizing and doing stuff and for people to say that he is never in the store – is just too unfair – the things he does at the store, no one can do it nor know how to do it.

Car Trouble At Work

I was having some trouble with our car door for the longest time and a customer who had seen me come out of  the car with so much difficult came to help me one day when I got to work.  It was the  rivet nut  that needed replacing and truth be told I wouldn’t know what to do but most men are very handy and this one being a mechanic, well, he knew what was wrong with the door immediately.  It didn’t take him too long to fix it and now my car door is all good.  I’m grateful for all these good customers and I can named a few who have been helping us throughout the years we’ve been in business, so as much as I don’t like retail business, I have to say that these helpful and good customer does make my day.

Before We Put Away Our Sandals

Before we put away our spenco sandals  we are going to head out to the beach one last time before the weather turns too cold for the beach.  So we hope to head out to the city this weekend and visit Peggy’s Cove and head out to the waterfront  or  the beach if the weather permits if not, we will have to  swim in the hotel’s pool.  I don’t know if we are going to have time to head out to the city again anytime soon but I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we go again because of my Chinese/Japanese  food and the swimming pool in the hotels that we stay in.  I’m so looking forward to this weekend and if you are wondering why we didn’t go during the long weekend, it’s because nothing is open during the holidays here.

Overstocked

I think we are overstocked but I guess the boss doesn’t think so – but if you have no where to display your products and they are piling up – I think we are overstocked.  I don’t like to be overstocked because I don’t want our cash flow to stay stagnant on a pile of games, movies or consoles sitting on the floor.  So I frowned every time, the boss buys something that we already have a dozen of copy of – and no one wants older games except for a few rare occasions.  So this weekend, I’m going to be checking on our cash flow and making sure that there isn’t any problem for the end of the year, this time I’m keeping on top of things.

Dealing With Crooks In The Store

A week ago, Gary sold this amp to a crook, he brought it back the next day thru’ a friend saying that it wouldn’t turn up anymore after volume 3.  In good faith, the boss tested it out for the friend and it was blasting itself crazy.  So the friend took it back and the crook came back with it in the afternoon, now telling us that the “real” problem was it shut itself off after 30mins.  Of course, we can’t ask him to wait around while we test it out for past 30minutes, so the boss refunded him the money.

But guess what it had been playing for about a week now and it’s still working.  Why do people have to do that?  wasting our time – by re-testing it twice and we had already tested it out before buying and putting it on the floor *sigh* – crooks!

Get Downtown Parking Right

If Digby can do it right – why can’t this town do the parking right by the customers.  The town says that they want to make the town a more friendly place to shop in – and they want more people to support the downtown local businesses but how can you entice customers to come when parking is only an hour and people have to scurry back to their car in a jiffy plus being afraid of getting fine if you are 5 minutes late!!!  I wouldn’t want to go downtown either if I wasn’t a business owner ourselves and have our own parking lot.  It’s the town councilors, the mayor and their crazy bylaws that is killing the downtown businesses and not any other thing for one.  They really should get their act together! even Digby seems to know and act wiser!