Before Opening The Doors

Before The Launch - iStudioWeb blog about small business By the contrast from all the fuzz before launch, opening the doors is, probably, the quietest time there was. After securing our space there were other things to do. Securing insurance policy was one of them. Turns out (we didn’t know that), that it is tied in to the actual address and landlord name. Therefore we could not get even general practice insurance until we got the space. And landlord said that he cannot let us enter the space without proof of insurance. Luckily, this was the easiest to resolve – we confirmed our insurance coverage with insurance agent, signed the lease, provided the address to insurance company, obtained the proof and were allowed to operate inside.

Getting stocked on all the supplies and having equipment in order before opening was another challenge that had to be managed. You need to stock on all things upfront, then you need to lay them out in an efficient manner and most inevitably you get to forget a thing or two. Not exactly knowing when you will run out of one or another is also a problem, because you may stock up on one thing but quickly run out of the other. This, of course, creates a storage problem as you want to maximize whatever storage is available (which in Manhattan is always a problem). For example – paper towels. They run out very quickly, so we needed plenty of them in stock. But the pack of paper towel rolls is the largest item (physically) out of everything else. So we decided to stock less and replenish often. We have also signed up for Amazon Prime to be able to order and receive things quickly. It may not be the cheapest route, but when you discover that you are on your last roll of table paper or last box of gloves on Monday morning – it’s really easy to place an order right then and receive the item on Tuesday or Wednesday the latest.

Last but not least was the technical part. We had an amazing web site up and running, but wanted to retain a full control of the schedule since it wasn’t full yet. It made most sense to fill up full days and just take a break on the rest. As it turned out it was a good decision, although somewhat counter-intuitive. Additionally, we had an issue with online calendars as a whole. All procedures take up different time. Many procedures take 10 minutes to complete, a lot of them take 20 and some hour and a half. – that’s why cookie-cutter calendar apps and plugins for the web sites aren’t good enough for scheduling such procedures: almost all calendars use 15 and 30 minute slots as the most convenient for developers’ minds. As a result you end up adopting to the calendar instead of calendar adopting to the best practices. This leads to either rushing client out (because her time slot is ending) or taking unnecessary break (because the time slot was too big). Given the sheer number of other issues we decided to keep an old fashioned paper book of appointments. It bit us in the back half year later, but we were good for now.

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