After shooting virtual tours full time with RTV for Four Years in Tallahassee, FL, I have been able to step away from the helm and let the business run itself. For the first 3 years I pretty much just winged it. I had never run a virtual tour business before, but RTV gave me all the help and motivation I needed to keep it going. At the 2 year mark I had an intern and a contractor and at about the 3 year mark, I realized I was feeling pretty secure with the income from the business.
Then it happened… 6 months ago my Fiancé Bonnie started to look for a good job to compliment her Graduate Degree, and that meant that I may have to consider moving away from my business. I did not know what would happen to my business if I did that.
Not knowing whether Bonnie would find work in Tallahassee or not, I began looking for a full-time employee. I put an ad on Craigslist with exactly what I was looking for, and I received a ton of responses, but no one fit the bill. Time past and Bonnie ultimately left town for a job she found in NY. I moved into a friend’s house while I prepared my Tallahasee virtual tour company for the transition. At this point, I wasn’t sure what I needed to do, but with Bonnie already in NY, I knew I needed to do it fast. A friend of mine, Kevin, needed a full time job, was computer literate, a photographer, and asked me if I’d consider him… I immediately began his training to take over my Tallahassee virtual tours business. I spent about 2 months working beside him and slowly he did more and more on his own.
So, now I had a real employee and after about 3 months I found myself still in Tallahassee, but no longer working on tours.
Could it be I could just move to NY State and everything would be fine?
Could I just go pack up my car with what little belongings I didn’t put on Bonnie’s moving truck and just drive?
No. Not Yet.
How would I manage the Tallahassee virtual tour business and keep an eye on Kevin’s work / scheduling. How would I keep track of finances from NY State? We spent another month working out the kinks of running a remote office. We set Kevin’s Outlook Calendar to sync up to mine. All Scheduling is now done through there. I set up Credit Card Processing through QuickBooks rather than PayPal. I completely switched to QuickBooks Online so I could keep track and be in control of finances from NY State while allowing Kevin to send invoices, make deposits, and take phone orders from Florida. I used QuickBooks online payroll to pay Kevin and direct deposit his paycheck. Then, I packed up my car and drove away… I had to pull over and cry once I realized what I had just done, but two days after leaving sunny FL, I was walking my dog in a light snow.
As I write this, Kevin is out shooting 2 tours today in Tallahassee, FL and I am going through QuickBooks to make sure everything for last week is in order. Even in a tough economy with a winter sales slump, I am running my Tallahassee virtual tour business sitting in my new remote office in NY State.
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