Job Title: Secretary/Treasurer Of A Small Business
Education: BA Music Merchandising, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS
Previous Experience: I worked as a sales associate for two different music stores. I had to sell music, band instruments, and pianos.
Job Tasks: Our company is a specialist in moving pianos and organs. We move them primarily in the Washington, DC metro area. Our company also moves pianos long distance, but only what can be done in an eight-hour period. We also offer climate-controlled storage. Storing pianos doesn't really take up more time in the day, but does provide some extra income. During the busy season (May-October), our company moves ten to twelve pianos a day.
As the secretary/treasurer, my job is to answer the telephone, respond to any web forms, and schedule the moves. During the summer, our company has received approximately fifteen hundred telephone calls a month. Approximately, twenty percent of the phone calls result in scheduled moves.
In addition to the above tasks, I also handle the bookkeeping. Although the majority of the customers pay at the time of the move, there are some institutions that require billing. All customers are entered into the database. Each customer's address, phone number, and how they paid for the move is also entered. Of course, I also have the fun job of paying our bills!
A typical day would include beginning to answer the phone at 9:00AM. The majority of people call between 9-10:30AM; some around 12:30 (after they have eaten lunch); and then again from 3-4:30PM. During the slower times of the day, I take care of answering web forms or doing some of the administrative tasks mentioned above. Occasionally, there are meetings with yellow page sales representatives, tax attorneys, or other people like that.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job would be helping people move their instrument safely. It is satisfying when you know that something they think is important is carefully and cheerfully handled, so the customer does not need to worry.
The worst part of the job is dealing with obnoxious people. It seems the people who have the most expensive instruments are also the people who wait until the last minute, and then expect you to work for them immediately and at a reduced rate!
Job Tips: Obviously, I don't expect too many people to become piano movers. However, there are tips that can be applied to any business that you own.
First, become an expert in your field before you begin your business. This will help you build a reputation among your peers and eventual customers.
Second, take some psychology and communication courses. They will help you learn why people react the way they do, and how you can better work with them.
Third, save a lot of money before starting your own business. Many businesses are seasonal. It will create less stress if you have a financial cushion.
Additional Thoughts: It is rewarding to own your own business. However, it is a lot of work! It is not something I would recommend for everyone.
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