Refining the biz a bit

It’s pretty safe to say that the new day job has moved the sewing biz to not just the back seat, but the THIRD row seat, if you knoBdayw what I mean. Honestly, I underestimated the time and energy that the new job would require. I am literally wiped out by the time I get home from work.

The art teacher helped put things into perspective – I see about 225 kiddos a day for classes and extended lunch. That’s a lot of kids to remember, behavior to manage and lessons to deliver. Add check-out on top of that and helping them find a “just right” book. Yikes!

Realistically, I can only devote 8-10 hours a week to biz projects right now. (That’s 1-2 evenings a week plus a weekend day).  Anything that can be done on a computer or while seated has a better chance of getting accomplished at this time.  Pattern editing, instruction/project planning for camps/classes/articles, and sample-making are my focus until things calm down a bit a work and my left foot heals. I am almost finished with two t-shirt quilts (good news for Enger & Robin, I’m sure!) and that will be it on the t-shirt quilt front. I enjoy making them, but they require a great deal of standing and I can’t do that right now – not especially after standing on a hard tile floor most the day. Shoe inserts have helped, but I need a better pair of supportive shoes.

A visit to the New Balance store provided some much needed relief. I stood on their foot analyzer machine that recommended a 1/2 size larger shoe than I normally wear, plus a special kind of insert. I purchased a light gray walking shoe that doesn’t scream tennis shoe so I can wear it to work. The magic happened when she put in the NP400 orthotic insole. OMG, that was the first time I’d walked pain free in about 4 weeks.  1/2 days at work this past week also helped me rest my feet and I’ll see how things go Monday with a full teaching schedule and the new shoes.  I am also doing some stretching exercises that seem to be helping. I’ll post with an update on Friday.

Dollars and cents

How do you handle your business banking needs?  Where do you keep the money?

(a)  In a shoebox in my studio
(b)  In my personal bank account
(c)  In a separate business bank account

(Psst:  I answered “C.”)

According to Forbes, approximately 40% of all non-employers (that’d be me – small business with no employees and business receipts of at least $1,000.00 annually), have revenues of less than $10,000 per year.  My small business falls into this category.  With revenues in this range, the cost of doing business can range from 10-20% of gross revenue.  Think about it: business license, annual corporate renewal, accounting/bookkeeping, legal, phone, office supplies, basic sewing supplies, equipment repair (routine sewing machine service is just under $100) and business liability insurance quickly add up.  My “basic cost to do business” is between $1,000-$1,500 per year, with approximately half of this being insurance.

So when my FREE business bank account announced it was going to charge $12.00/month for basic checking account services and not pay interest on the balance required to avoid the monthly fee, I started looking at alternatives.  Actually, $12.00/month isn’t that bad in light of what some other banks charge…but still.  $144 is at least 1.5% of revenue for small businesses like mine.  I looked at other local banks and my credit union. My business doesn’t need cash handling services that require a brick and mortar bank, so I looked into online banks with remote deposit.

Based on my unique needs, here’s how the options ranked after a careful analysis:

(1) Online bank
(2) Keep existing account but transfer enough funds to avoid monthly fee
(3) Entrepreneur checking at local credit union

The difference between 2 & 3 is the convenience factor.  Existing bank is 1/2 mile from my house.  Credit union branch is about 10 miles away.  Most of my sales are via PayPal or personal check.  I go to the bank 1x per month on average.

I opened an account with an online bank and will be closing down my existing account by the end of the month.  I’ll report back about my experiences with a virtual bank.