The Trials & Tribulations of Small Business Ownership
And now let us interrupt your vacation and drive you to madness! People who work for others often think how lucky those business owners are. The employees have visions of them taking off whenever they want, never having to ask for a raise, always having someone else to do the dirty work and getting downright rich. Granted there are probably some of those business owners out there, but the rest of us poor stiffs are lucky when our income beats our expenses, we have to worry about all kinds of compliance issues and we work virtually all the time. Even when we are away on vacation, the phone rings and we have to put on our professional voice.
We’ve owned Spot On Images since 2017. Slowly and carefully we’ve built a reputation for providing great real estate marketing images to some of the best Realtors® in our area. I already shared the nightmare I went through trying to get out of town, but I thought we’d gotten the kinks out. I really didn’t anticipate much of a problem.
However, when I got back to my family’s house and tried to download the images our photographer had sent, it just wasn’t happening. Thank goodness, I have forgotten every little detail of the headache, but I don’t know that I’ll ever forget what a headache it was.
After getting the images sent off, I relaxed, watched a movie with my family and enjoyed the pizza we ordered for dinner. Since this time we did work out all the kinks, I anticipated getting all the photos delivered without a hitch the next morning. Then we were planning to go to Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. It was going to be great – right.
Well, thanks to Murphy’s Law, for the first time in I can’t remember when, the editors did not get the images back to me early in the morning, as they always did. When Bill woke, I was on pins and needles. He tried to scrape me off the ceiling, but it wasn’t doing much good.
I am deeply invested in the well-being of our clients. It’s why I stayed up the whole night before we left on vacation. I’m not the sort to say, “Gee sorry, the photos came in late, you’ll just have to wait, because I’m getting on a plane.” To make matters more personal, our clients are my friends. Our marketing plan is me. I went out and found these people myself and made promises to them. They aren’t faceless names who chose us off the internet.
In this case, the photos came so late that my friend was already wondering where they were. We have a 24 hour turnaround and the 24 hours had passed. I had let her know we had run into some problems, but she’d made promises to her clients that their listing would be up. We were late.
I sent the photos off as soon as they came in, but our rather new photographer had not satisfied our client with his shooting skills. Had we been at home, there were so many things we could do to resolve all this, but as it was, there were only so many things I could actually do. I did all of them and the listing went up, but not to the standards my friend and client expected.
By now, the whole morning was gone and I was literally sick from dealing with all the stress. Greenfield Village was not in my future. The guys and the kids found things to do, like tennis and other activities at the neighborhood’s country club. Maggie took me to a really cute shopping center which focused on local craftsmen. However, the day had been ruined. Too much stress and frustrations for a shopping trip to fix.
That evening, all of us had dinner together at the club. Things were winding down. It was time for us to head back to Chicago.
4 thoughts on “Vacation Interrupted”
My sons both have their own businesses and from conversations with them, I know that they carry their business with them always through phone calls and emails. When they are on vacation, they stop to do business along the way. I’m proud of their success but know it has to be stressful. But I even carried my teaching home with me and kept in touch with students with problems and their families. That’s what a kind person does.
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While laptops, the internet and cellphones have helped us in very many ways, I think they are death on vacations. It was one thing to check in at work or touch base with a customer back in the day. For one thing, you are more in control of your schedule.
With today’s tools you’re just so accessible and feel so responsible. I remember walking out the door of our hotel in Hawaii one time when I was a real estate agent, instead of a real estate photography provider, and getting a call from a client. There wasn’t much I could do right then, but these days, it always seems as if you can do SOMETHING.
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Great work Bill and Jane. You have run with Jackie’s vision and succeeded.
Thank you Bee. We do our best and this is one of the few times it was not enough.