Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Downside of Owning a Small Biz

I love working for myself: I can set my own hours, set my own goals, and even drink as much coffee as I want to in a given morning! However owning a small business isn't very easy, because I basically do everything, wearing many hats: I'm the photographer, editor, blogger. I designed the website, designed the product, print, all the way down to the packaging. I also have to manage production, quality control, etc, and it's become too big for me to handle. So Seung (my husband) and I were trying to figure out if we should fly or drive down to the ABC Show, it takes 11 hours to get to KY from here, and last night we decided to fly, and find a shipper to ship the booth and products. I did some research on shipping and one shipper basically told me I need to have my own pallet and shrink wrap if I wanted to ship with them. I was a bit intimidated: pallets? shrink wrap? loading dock? No, I think I'll suffer and drive the whole way, but hubby doesn't want to drive. The shipper assured me it's easy to find pallets, and stores are ready to give them away... well, say no more, I happily signed the dotted line.. and now let me knock my way through some local stores here and see if they would give me a pallet... NOT.  There was not one store that wanted to donate, sell, or give any pallets to me because they use and recycle them for credit. I called pallet stores in my area, no luck, they don't even answer the phones. I even called one out in TX to beg them to ship a pallet to me, no luck. So this morning, I stopped by Lowe's drove around the back and guess what I saw?

Pallets! and there were some great ones and not so great ones. I decided I was going to load one in my car, but I felt like a thief, so I rang the back door and asked them if they were for donation. Guess what they said: NO. I was so disappointed. I asked them if I can buy one: Answer: NO. There were some beaten-down crates, but useless to me. So I went inside to the front of Lowe's and asked and asked others and the same answer was given to me until Jeff, the commercial manager told me if I buy Quick Rete? (cement?), it comes with a pallet. He told me though I would have to buy a pallet-full of Quick Rete (sp??) in order to receive the pallet, well, I wasn't going to buy a pallet-full of cement to just get a pallet.. so I was out of luck, until he asked another manager and she said she was willing to sell just the pallet for $13.00!!! I was so excited! I bought 2 and they loaded in the back of my SUV and I got home and unloaded it (very carefully, and if my hubby found out I did this, he would kill me), and here it is in the garage! :)
Pallets in my garage!
I'm all set now! Next: buying shrink wrap! So, I finally got the pallets I need and I will load my whole creation on these little wooden boards and I pray with lots of fingers crossed it will make it in one piece to the ABC SHOW!