goals for 2004

wind owl

Grumbler in Training
Dec 30, 2003
Has anyone set work-related goals for themselves for the coming year? I thought I'd post mine; maybe I'll get some good advice on how to reach them.

  • Learn how to estimate how long a project will take.</font>
  • Teach the part-timers how to work more independenly.</font>
  • Learn following skills/services:
    Fabric wrapped mats
    Painted bevels
    French lines</font>
  • Learn more about C/P framing, and object mounting</font>
  • Practice Nori Paste hinging and Mylar encapsulation.</font>
  • Learn how to use Designer’s Choice in F-6100.</font>
  • Improve the look of the store.</font>
Now I just have to figure out HOW to do all of this. Wish me luck.
Improve my signage in front of the store

Redo my moulding sample walls

Market my skills as an artist

Improve my design skills

Improve my business skills

Be more organized

Meet more area business owners

Keep a postitive attitude at all times

Make a profit!
Make more selling Less

Less work more money?

or should I? just say more for Less?

I don't know - stay healthy I guess.

Be better at paper work? Yes, that is a good one.

Learn something from Bob. No, that's not likely to happen.

P*ss Ron off? I can do that!

I hope to see Kathy have a kick *** year!

Tom too!

Get my Roma rep to visit Less, or should I say more, ok, I'll take once.

[ 12-30-2003, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: lessafinger ]
Wind Owl, welcome to The Grumble. Take em one at a time. Forget everything else, become a master of one of them, then go on to the next one. It does not mater if you achieve all of them in 2004 or not. If you become proficient in one, your ahead of the game. You should do well in your chosen career, you've got the passion.

Great first post Wind Owl. Welcome to the Grumble.

Any goals I have are business driven until I can take the training wheels off.

Oddly enough, I share several of Less's goals.

Better paperwork......could not be a weaker area for me. I am on a new plan for 2004. The new accountant will demand it.

I hope to have a kick *** year too.(Thanks Less)

2004 will finally be the year I come out of the store and force myself to network with everybody I can.

As Deb said, try to remain positive. I think I am going to get a rubberband to wear around my wrist and snap it everytime I have a negative thought. If anybody is looking for a stock tip, now would probably be the time to invest in rubberband stock.....

2004 is the year I will pay myself at least a modest salary.

Better get on it........let's pull this thread back up next year around this time......
Less is a good candidate for my firm--Do Little & Billem.

I also hope Kathy has a great year so she can pay herself and go out and buy that blouse she said she wanted.

I'd like to get my paperwork better organized. Paying myself more wouldn't be bad either.
I set goals every year. They not always pan out, but I work better when I have something to work towards.

Same goal every year- increase profits.

I am already in the middle of reworking pricing, which was one of my goals.

Getting some of the people back in here that haven't been in for a while.

Organizing, cleaning, and painting. After five years we need to freshen up a bit around here.

Try to get better deals from my suppliers, or work with new companies who are willing to "negotiate" with costs.

Use my twentieth anniversary year as a marketing tool.
So far I have finished reworking the glass and mounting pricing. I am doing the fitting charges next. I have also checked pricing and multipliers on the first three rows of moulding on the walls.

Today I painted the dry-mount press. Doesn't look like new, but it looks pretty good. Next I have to buy new lifts so the thing won't fall on our head or arms (whichever is in there). I have needed them for awhile now.

I also bought paint for the backroom floor, then decided I should paint the walls first. So, I went back to the store and bought some wall paint. Since my new hire hasn't gotten beyond fitting yet, she can help paint the walls.

Maybe one of my other goals should be to finish the customers work before I do anymore freshening up. Not in the mood, though, but I have no one else to do it.

One of my goals should be to replace my new hire. Unfortunately, she has two very sick parents right now. Her mother was recently diagnosed with cancer; her father just had heart surgery before Chrismas and has since had two strokes. I don't have the heart to add to her problems.
Pam, perhaps you are adding to her problems by letting her hang onto a job where her heart is not in it.

Keeping an employee on due to her personal problems does not make much sense. How did you find out about all these personal problems in the first place?

Perhaps this person knows the job she is charging you for, is not up to what she had promised you when you made the hire.

It sounds like she is involving you in her personal life to protect her job, a job she is not happy doing. If she was really into keeping her job, I don't think you would even be thinking about dumping her.

When an employer starts wishing they could fire someone, that someone should be fired, period.

You are not responsible for her personal problems, they are not your fault. The success of your business IS your fault. An employee who is not producing is probably one of the biggest drains on a business's profitability. Pamela, you've got to dump her, for your sake and hers.

Originally posted by Sherry Lee:
Welcome Wind Owl!!

That's quite a list you have for yourself. When you've figured it all out, please report back!! :eek:
Oh, that was just a small part of my list! I would never bore you nice folks with ALL of my goals. ;) Instead of reporting back when its all done, I think I'll pester you all with questions along the way. Thanks for the warm welcome.
Wind Owl, nice list.

Of course it simply remains a list until you do something about it, how about we give you something to do tomorrow and you get out and at minimum complete two of the actions required to start on the way to achieving your desired results?

1) Buy a cheap stopwatch and make a chart for yourself (or framers) to mark down the times for making the individual parts of each project for the next week or two. At least this way you have real informtion at hand to base your estimates on.

2) Buy an excercise book for each employee to keep a track of the coaching log for each of your staff, including part-timers.

3) Find out where and when courses for each of these will be available and get yourself booked in.

4) See #3

5) Go do it, now! 10 minutes of your life ain't gonna be wasted just breathing air I hope!!!

6) Print the help file, burn it and call Fletcher and find out who can still provide training for this.

7) Call a shopfit designer and book an hour of their time (and yours) so as to get a few more ideas flowing.

The faster you tackle a task the faster it goes away...

Welcome along by the way, pester often and pester well. (Beware the Pesticides)
Framanista, I did not mean to offend you. I am sorry if I consider running a business in a business like manner, important. I know my approach sounds harsh and money oriented, and you are right, it is.

Last time I went to church, they passed around a basket to collect, what was it, oh ya, money. Joan Crock, here in San Diego controlled a huge amount of "money" that came from "business". She contributed millions to charity annually. She set up San Diego's biggest homeless shelter. She set up the Ronald McDonald house. I can not think of one charity in The United States that does not get it's funding from "business".

Why,if business is such a terrible thing, does everyone keep coming to it for money and jobs? Do people who run a business owe this to you? Have we committed some sort of crime for working hard to provide jobs to other people? Should a law be passed to insure that "money" that is donated to charity has not been soiled by "business"?

A " business" is nothing more than a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. If one person does not want to work, or pull their own weight or contribute to the common goal, they pull everyone else down with them. Look at it this way, ten people work together in a shop. One person does half the work of the other nine, yet gets the same paycheck. Soon someone else is going to notice, and they too will start doing half the work for the same pay. This cycle continues on until the whole crew is doing as little work as possible. You can see this almost every day at any government office or work crew by the road.

What do you think brought the U.S.S.R. to it's knees? The same thing, nobody wanted to produce. That is pretty much what you are professing, that instead of running a business in a business like manner, it should be run for and by the "workers". That didn't work so well in Russia, why do you think it would work well here?

I feel sorry for the womans personal problems, but she is dragging Pamela's business down with her. Why should Pamela be expected to pay for her parents illnesses? Would it not be fair for you to call her and offer to contribute, say 20% of your paycheck weekly until her parents are well?

Personally I get really sick about people who
expect business to carry and coddle them, and yet will go out and badmouth all business and our monetary system.

Running a business is not running a charity. Pamela's totally responsible for the success or failure of that business. Sometimes we have to make decisions we do not like, that's part of it. I know one thing, in that crew of ten I talked about, it would be much better for the whole crew to get rid of the one non productive worker than for the other nine to lose their jobs as well. I am positive the other nine would have compelling personal problems also.

What is better, one person with a problem, or everyone with a problem?
If Pamela goes out of business, who will her employees be pissed off at for them losing their jobs?


[ 01-02-2004, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: JRB ]
That post was a typo. (It was late at night)It was supposed to read:
goals 2004: never post while angry. Seriously, Apologies to all.

[ 01-02-2004, 08:21 AM: Message edited by: framanista ]
Framanista, your above post is gone, per your request.

I deleted it reluctantly, since it represented a valid point-of-view. In fact, I think you should consider re-posting it (without the anger, if you prefer.)
Yes, it should be a business decision. If the hire is really hurting her business, then yes, she needs to go. And it's easy to say that, until you are the one having to look in the person's eyes, knowing full well the load she is carrying, and say "you're fired." Then you really consider if she's actually hurting the business, or only not living up to her potential.

I can see this issue from both sides. Believe me, if I worked for someone else, I would have been fired years ago. For all of my (self-employed) career, I have either cared for children with problems or parents and in-laws in very poor health. (Our kids finally got old enough to take care of themselves, then our parents fell apart!)

This year has been especially difficult. Right now is the hardest time I've ever lived through in my entire life. Hospice is a wonderful thing, and a most difficult thing, all at once. And that's all I'll say about it. Just suffice it to say, I'm not worth shooting at work right now.

Thank goodness I'm the boss.

I truly admire Pam and John. Business decisions are difficult at best, and gut-wretching at their worst.

I think this is such an important discussion that I'm going to start a new thread on the business forum.
I think every situation has to be judged case by case. Pamela's employee.......was the employee productive before both her parents became ill? This is a new employee, have her parents been sick the whole time she has been with Pamela? If it is an employee who was stellar before the problems I think you have to find a way to help them through the ordeal and keep them on. If the employee was lacklustre to start with and you are just feeling guilty about firing them because of their situation then you are hurting your business. If an employeee is unable to perform to your standards regardless of their situation it will hurt your business. It seems the very least to me would be to isolate the employee from the workplace until her situation cleared up so she can focus better. That way she still has a job and isn't messing with your workflow. But if she was not performing well to begin with you do what you have to do. Who knows? Maybe it would be a relief to the employee. Maybe she is hanging on because she doesn't want to disappoint Pamela?
I've never been able to fire anyone; in a cowardly move, I let my wife do that. In 27 years, I don't think we've "let go" five people, but i know each one was difficult. I reluctantly go along. What we've learned is that hiring is the most important step; simply make sure whom you hire you'll want to keep. Also, we've established a 1 month probationary period. It's easier to say "things just aren't working out the way we planned" than "we've got you let you go. If we keep someone a month I find it's hard to let him go. We've got an employee who's been with over 26 years, the rest from 15 to 10 years. If it were up to me, as I implied, everyone would still be here and we'd be one step from the poor farm. Warren
My new hire has not panned out as I had hoped, HOWEVER, she does help out in some areas. I am not up to hiring and training anyone right now.

She does like her job, and has told me so.

Her parents were not sick when I hired her. Her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer last month, and Sarah has continued to work. Her father had bypass surgery shortly before Chrismas. He has had two strokes since then and is currently in a coma. She called to come in this morning, in fact she calls every morning. She is concerned about losing her job. We tell her to stay with her family, because at this time, I consider being there more important. There is nothing here I can't handle here.
One major goal and that is to start and finish the construction of a new shop. Just a two-roomer with one dirty room for cutting and the other for display and finish work. Need to be done by spring when things get busy in the Amana Colonies .. at least I hope they get busy. We also have a B & B so framing shares time with cleaning toliets .. boy is that a combination.
Originally posted by Lance E:
Go do it, now! 10 minutes of your life ain't gonna be wasted just breathing air I hope!!!
Lance, take a deep breath. Breathing is good. ;) Thanks for your encouragement; now I know who to contact if I start to feel complacent. I started acting on my plans December 26th. Watches have been bought, charts filled, calls made, and materials shipped. Now for my first question: Can anyone recommend a good book on stress management? And Lance, what’s a shopfit designer?
Pamela, may your generosity of spirit be rewarded in kind

I'm rather surprised at some of the responses in this thread. MHO is this business is more about people than money. Isn't most of what we do preserving the posessions and histories of people's lives for the future and nurturing their appreciation for fine art and its proper care?

ahhhh that said, my goals:

Find a way to stay in the industry that I have loved for 20 years. I had a work injury in 98 and subsequent nerve damage thanks to the surgery in 01 to correct it.
Still **** good with one arm (lots practice from 98 to 01) but anyone hiring me would have their comp rates go through the roof so I'm learning all the MS Office programs *sigh*
can I come play with your machines? I miss my toys :(