When I was in school, my worst subject was math! I had a great SAT score, but it was all English! My math score was horrendous--almost nonexistent! Of course, the fact that I had 3 English tests and then 3 math tests for my SAT order didn't help! But, that's no excuse--I'm just plain dumb when it comes to numbers. I am so dumb that I had to attend a community college and take remedial algebra in order to transfer to a real university!
When I go to the bank, I just let them add up my checks because they always have a different answer than me and they're always right! It's embarrassing.
So what did I do today? I was up to my eyeballs in numbers! As hard as it is for me to understand, (God either has a plan or a very different sense of humor), I am the official "bookkeeper" for our business. It's a miracle we're still in business. I'm the artsy/fartsy type, I'm not an accountant! To make matters worse, we don't have bookkeeping software, just excel, which when we were dealing with a couple thousand dollars was no problem, but now that we deal in the 10's of thousands, it's painstakingly long and slow!
But through it all I learned some things today:
--If you are looking for a good investment opportunity, I recommend Sheetz. My husband goes to Sheetz at least twice a day to purchase "gas" for the business. Problem is, he not only fuels up the equipment, he fuels up himself too, so I have to take every receipt and subtract out the food cost and re-figure the tax--ugh, that involves fractions and percentages folks--my greatest weakness!
--I now know why I have biceps! We spread tons and tons of fertilizer, mulch and ice melt!
--One of us, I'm not sure which, does not know how to read the date on a receipt. I kept finding the wrong month's receipts in the slots of our accordian folder. I think it's my hubby. He's the one that needs reading glasses for up close work! :-)
--I should sit down once a month and post our receipts and figure out how much money we made that month instead of procrastinating and waiting to do the whole year at one time. I think I wore out a calculator today figuring it all out! My hubby has all these figures in his head. I don't know how he does it!
--my hubby needs to take a remedial handwriting course! I recorded the items from the checkbook ledger, and when I came across the receipt, it had a totally different date than what I thought. Just proof that he should have been a veterinarian!
--some people need to learn to pay their bills. For the very first time, I had to record losses from non-payment. I can't for the life of me figure out why people have you come and work when they have no intention of paying you! I hate threatening people with small claims court. I think that by now, the mowing we did in October should be paid for! For heaven's sake, I'm not out there just to get a tan!!! If you can fill your recycling bin full of wine and beer bottles, have a new patio installed, buy two new vehicles, two new apartment buildings and have them remodeled, you should be able to pay the poor smuck that mows your lawn, your mother's lawn and the newly purchased apartment building lawns once a week!
--We drove a lot of miles last year! If we had driven all those miles to actually go somewhere other than around and around and around to the same houses every week, we could have driven across the country and back! I wonder if our truck could even actually cross the county line?
--God has been extremely good to us! The only customers I deleted from last year's records were ones that we decided to delete. If you have to lose a customer, it's much better that you fire them then that they fire you! I like this getting rid of those that are too picky. We do meticulous work, which is why we don't lose customers. But when they want you to take out a level and make sure that every blade of grass is exactly the same length, well, that's a bit unreasonable and they have to go. Or when they interupt you enough times that it takes you 3 times as long to mow their property as it should, they need to get a companion, not a lawn company! A goat would meet both of those needs!
--When they insist that your weed eater string broke their metal downspout and insist that YOU buy the replacement parts and fix it, they have to go. They must think our weed eater string is made of titanium. (That must be why we go through several spools a summer-duh!). Furthermore if we break something, we always tell the owner right away and offer to pay for it. (Just ask our one customer who has had to purchase a new birdfeeder every year because I always break his! I swear that feeder just jumps of the pole when I get close! Last year, we got to buy his granddaughter a new sandbox because we lost control of the zero turn mower on his hill. At least we didn't take out his deck too. It was close. There's only about 12 inches between the sandbox and the steps to his deck. It was one of those "Oh God help" moments when your life flashes before your eyes and you wonder if today's your day for transfer! Of course, we might have killed the ground hog that he wanted us to trap for him. Do I look like a trapper?? Am I wearing a coonskin cap? I don't think so! That hair on my legs is MINE, not some poor animal I trapped!
--Yes, we are a multi-faceted business. When you deal with older folk that trust you, you never know how your business will expand. You may go from Lawns and turf to fence painting, for instance, or better yet, garden party set up. You may even be called to clean out a garage! It's never dull! But they are all so cute, they're hard to resist. And they usually pay us very well for our time! It's nice, especially during a drought when there's no mowing. No mowing = no money and lots of macaroni and cheese!
--There is one thing that numbers are good for. Counting Your Blessings! My Mom used to sing a song, "count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God has done." I have many, many things to be thankful for. If I could, I would list them for you, but I'm not sure that I can count that high!