Well, back on December 1st we were meeting with the leasing company inking all the paperwork for our new retail location. No sooner than the ink dried, we then realized that we had just about 30 days to get the space ready. This would be no problem for a company with deep pockets, or one that had a development team for that matter. Our reality, on the other hand, was that we had limited resources; no matter what the item, we were limited in it. So with that said, we began our quest to outfit our office!
We already had a budget outlined and knew just about everything that needed to be purchased. So during the first two weeks, it was simply a matter of scouring the internet for the items and driving around to tons of places. The good thing is that there were plenty of people offering items, so we didn’t have a problem finding what we wanted (and at good prices too). The disheartening thing is that many of the items were from businesses that were folding. The bright spot for us is that we knew we would be putting the items to good use in our office, so they would get to serve their intended purpose.
Then there was the phone installation. This went relatively smoothly and thus set us up for all of our technology installations. Yet, that’s when we had two minor setbacks.
The first issue was with the security system. Now, we didn’t have a problem with the actual install. However, when we budgeted for the service, we failed to budget for the equipment charge. Whoops! Looks like we need to cut some items from our budget if we’re going to stay on track. So here is lesson number one for anyone starting a business – make sure your budget and figures are double and triple checked (preferably by someone other than the person who prepared it).
The second issue was more of a technicality that we forgot about, but it could have pushed back our computer set up. You see, when you electronically file returns with the IRS, you have to have an EFIN. Check. For each location. Dang it! So the fix is to go to the E Services site and fill out a new application. Check. But your account hasn’t been used in a while so it’s inactive. Drats! No worries, you just need to reactivate it. Check. But then you need to confirm it with a code that the IRS will send in the mail between 1-28 business days. Come on!
Well, needless to say, we got everything squared away with the IRS and got a new EFIN so that we could transmit returns from the new office. We still needed to get some things updated with our software providers accounting department, but that was minor in comparison to the above. So lesson number two for anyone starting a business, build a little cushion into the start up timeline. There will always be something unexpected that comes up; luckily for us it just cost us time, but for some it actually costs them money.
So after a month of hard work, this is what we have to show for it:
The office will have weekend hours between now and January 15th, but moves to a full time schedule starting Monday January 16th. We’re sure there will be other “set up” items that will come up during the tax season, but we’re happy this chapter of our existence is now squarely behind us. Next? Day-To-Day Operations! Until next time.