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Discussion Starter #1
Especially you guys who do everything for your shop alone?

I was thinking since I probably won't get too many sales if I start my site I would just shut down while I was gone, remove the add to cart buttons or whatever since I don't really care about losing a little money. What about you guys?
 

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Work with another fulfillment center, i.e. if a customer orders from your site you have another fulfillment center 'fulfill' the order, i.e. your orders can get forwarded to the other center and have the fulfillment center use your logos, etc. Although you might loose a little bit of profit, since it will cost more to use a third party fulfillment center, but it's worth it for vacation. Just make sure you trust the fulfillment center's quality before you send your customers there.
 

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heck, why shut down everything . .

I went on vacation Aug 1st, spent a great week down in Key West . . .
I forwarded my home/office phone line to my cell phone and I took my laptop
checked my email late in the evenings . . the week before I left for vacation, sales were slow .
I checked my email late on the 2nd night . . I'll be dipped . . I had several orders and payment submitted . . . so I emailed the buyers to let them know that I was on vacation and that their orders would be processed upon my return . . gave them a returning/processing/shipment date . .
I also made my home/office number available to them in case they had any questions or concerns . .

when I shipped out their orders . .
I included a $5.00 off coupon towards their next purchase (w/90 day expiration date)

I might be away having Fun in the Sun . . at least I still have some income coming in . .

Diane
;o)
 

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I take my vacation during the slow time of the year. I have my calls forwarded to my cell and my laptop is always close. if a customer needs something and it can't wait(this has never happened), I have a local shop that will help me out. We don't compete with each other. He and I sat down and discussed things. I do work for him and he for me. I know everyone doesn't have this luxury. ... JB
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good answers as usual.

It's just amazing how people are always willing to help here. Usually an online forum is an argue-zone, this is like a sanctuary deep within a forest full of evil wizards and lizards.
 

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I take a different approach. I put a sign on my sites saying I'm on vacation till...., but they can still order if they wish. The sales confirmations emails also clarify the reason for any delay.

I switch my cell phone off, leave my computers at home and enjoy my vacation.
 

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I take a different approach. I put a sign on my sites saying I'm on vacation till...., but they can still order if they wish. The sales confirmations emails also clarify the reason for any delay.

I switch my cell phone off, leave my computers at home and enjoy my vacation.
Probably the best way to do it! If you're going to take a vacation, it's because you need some time off from your job! Right?

John
 

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I'm kind of in the same situation except I'm not going on vacation ... my grandmother is very ill and I am semi-moving to MS temporarily to take care of her (the plan is to go for one week, come back a week, etc.).

Luckily my cart (ZenCart) has an option to put up a notice at the top of each page. It's actually intended to notify the public of when the website will be down for maintenance, but I altered the code so it says I will be out of town due to a family emergency and orders will not be processed until I return Sept. 1.

I struggled with this decision because I really thought it would be best to disable the 'add to cart' button, but in the end I decided that when people order I will send them an email making sure they saw the notice – and if they didn't and are not okay with waiting for their order, I will refund the money. I will also offer them a 10% discount on their next order to (hopefully) compensate for the inconvenience.
 

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Yah, I do. Thanks! :D
I just wanted to say Rhonda my prayers are with you. If I can help you in any way PLEASE me know.If more people in the world made this kind of sacrifice for their family, the social service agencies would not be so overwhelmed. I know taking care of a family is a hard job and in some cases a thankless job,but in the end when you have no regrets. Your peace of mind will far out weigh the sacrifice you made. I wish you the best. ..... JB
 

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I just wanted to say Rhonda my prayers are with you. If I can help you in any way PLEASE me know.If more people in the world made this kind of sacrifice for their family, the social service agencies would not be so overwhelmed. I know taking care of a family is a hard job and in some cases a thankless job,but in the end when you have no regrets. Your peace of mind will far out weigh the sacrifice you made. I wish you the best. ..... JB
Thanks JB ... I really appreciate it! She has made many, many sacrifices in her lifetime for her family so I have no problem returning the favor. She means the world to me.
 

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When all is said and done, nobody is desperate for a tee shirt, or most of the other things we sell. We all have different reasons to take a break from our businesses, whether that be family events, or just the need to take in new horizons and 'recharge our batteries'.

As I told one of my customers a few weeks ago, desperate is when you don't have clean water to drink, no food in your belly and your nightly view of the stars, is not by choice.

We all need breaks for whatever reason. We owe it to the people around us, that quietly support us in the background, with no complaint.
 

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When I go on vacation I call pretty much call all my customers and let them know ahead of time that I will be on vacation and when i will be returning and I leave a recording on my answering machine, I don't check e-mails and I don't forward calls, I hate to lose business but sometimes you just need some time away from it all and relax, thats why it's called a vacation.
 

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Hey!

Go mobile! My main goal for running my own biz was to have flexibility. All calls are forwarded to my cell...all the time. All of my graphic work, accounting, website updates, etc. are done from my laptop. I schedule all my print work and shipping to be done in a 3 day period (usually monday to wednesday). Granted, I am still "small time" but I manage to pay the bills. Getting set up for mobility is tricky...but here are some steps I took. Maybe it will save some time.

- Accounting - I have two people that need access (myself and one other). Use quickbooks online edition.

- Assets - I keep all of my design work with me at all times. It's stored on an external USB hard drive which is backed up often.

- Production Speed - Very important when you are anxoius to get back to the shore. This is where I spent the most amount of research. Everything must be set up for fast production. Look into single light source metal halide exposure units (you can build one yourself). Dip tank for reclaiming. Pre-registration tools. A good rotary press that's easy to register. Washout booth is a must (I use two and built them myself as well). You'll need super black transparencies to save washout time.

- Quoting - Make up a pricing guideline, have a link to it on your desktop, and rehearse it. Keep one printed out and in your glove box too.

- Internet - Get yourself a wireless card for your laptop from a cell phone provider. Wifi hotspots can have weak signals. You'll always need instant access to internet. I even have a laptop stand in my car. It's the same one the police use.

- Workflow - Create an efficient routine to get each days work done. Included checklists for things like supplies. Go through the checklist often to make sure you have all the supplies you need. Make sure you don't get jammed up waiting for that one thing you need to finish the job to be delivered.

- Website - Spend a lot of time optimizing your website for good search engine results. Get customers to come to you...save time on chasing them.

In the end, I spend 3 days a week in my shop. The rest of my work week is spent from where ever I please - a coffee shop, the beach, anywhere. My work routine may not be the best...but I make money, put out a lot of shirts, and have a stress free and flexible career.
 

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Well this I hadn't exactly a clothingshop, but I import Shutter Shades from the USA into the Netherlands. Since there aren't really many people selling these in my country, things are going pretty good :) I started making an investment of 50 euros, now I already made a profit of 2000 euros, might not be much for you, but for me it's alot :)

But when I was on vacation, my brother was still home. I made a document that had everything he needed to do and I gave him a percentage of the sales.
 

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One question...
Whats a vacation..lol..
We have a retail sign shop.. and have taken only a couple days off.. (spread out over the last 3 years) lol..

In Oct. every year we go to vegas for rc boat races and do take 2 extra days for a weekend..
at that time.. we just post a sign in the window for a copule weeks leading up to it.. and let our regular customers know we will be gone.
 
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