Friday, March 21, 2008

The Death of My Office

When my laptop was stolen I made the decision not to put the new one in the office. Instead it's cabled to a display case in the cash wrap area, so I can use it for business related activities throughout the day, such as paying bills. This had a profound impact on how I do work. We no longer use the office, for example, and we're considering getting rid of the big, clunky desk and putting in more shelving. Filing has gotten out-of-control, however, but I'm thinking a better system might solve that. Just like at home, any flat surface tends to accumulate junk unless the stuff has a place to go. Doing my office work at the cash wrap has relieved me of at least a dedicated hour or two each week in which I had to come in during off hours to pay bills and handle accounts. Anything that saves unnecessary time is a great thing, or in other words, an extra hour with my son just for being smarter is a fantastic reward.

Reducing unnecessary hours has been one of my projects. It's probably the influence of The Four Hour Work Week. Another example was how we now do our Reaper miniatures. They used to be in numerical order. After finding myself on my knees earlier in the month, re-ordering them as I do every other week, for three and a half years, I realized this had to stop. Organizing them by type just saved me two hours a month and even made customers happy. That's the key. There are plenty of time cutting measures I could do that might dilute the look or feel of the store. Each may be minor, but together they could result in the store looking poor. There's a certain ambiance of a successful store. I think we have that, but I would have a hard time quantifying exactly what that is. It's a hundred little things from lighting to cleanliness to how items are displayed. You know when a store doesn't have it, but you might not recognize it when it's slipping away from a good store.

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