I’m back after having major blog login issues. The one benefit is that I got lots of off-season stuff done that I can now share.

1) Stored all our stuff – mostly in our house. – A seasonal business requires a place to put stuff in the off season. For us, this meant filling one basement bedroom, a good chunk of our furnace room and putting enough stuff in our garage to make it nearly impossible to fit our cars in. Luckily, we have a big house. We chose to keep the stuff at the house instead of paying $170 a month for a storage locker.

2) Got ready for tax time – I do our personal taxes using Intuit TurboTax’s online software. However, given that we added a businees to our lives, I was going to hire an accountant to do our business taxes, at least for the first time – until I found out it would cost $2000. Instead, I’m going to do them myself, with TurboTax Business Incorporated edition since we created a corporation, then have an accountant review it – all for about $200.

3) Continued building our client list – As I mentioned in a previous post, we have an online booking system we have to use, being franchisees. Unfortunately, it has no easy way to export client data. That means painstakingly copying them one at a time into a spreadsheet program (MS Excel in our case). The names are listed alphbetically by first name. I have spent hours on it and am only up to names starting with E. We will be advocating for a change to a better booking system.

4) Contacted good former employees early to see if they’re coming back – We reached out to all of last year’s employees and most are coming back! This is a huge weight off our shoulders as it means far less hiring, training and worrying about whether employees will work out. Contact your good employees early to get them before someone else does.

5) Did a post mortem on last year – Successful organizations, and people, are those that learn from their mistakes – and successes. We recently met with the Puresteam corporate owners and the other local franchisee. We talked about how things went last season and what we plan to change this season. This includes raising prices partly because Ontario’s minimum wage is going from $11.40 to $14 (we already paid quite a bit higher than minimum so the shock isn’t too bad). We’re also dropping services for which there was little or no demand and focussing on our core offerings.

Season two, here we come.

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