Sunday, November 07, 2004

I’ve done a little bit of restructuring at my beauty salon and other business ventures. My general manager/accountant, who was the originator for the idea of opening the salon seemed to be the source of conflicts in my life, with her overly eager and unwelcomed need to be helpful in areas where she had no business being involved in. In short, I was having to work more in the area of damage control with issues of business and personal matters than I should because of her.

I had warned her in the summer that she was under no circumstance to be involved in matters of my personal life, this after she repeated something I had told her in confidence, from which started a string of rumors. Then at the end of summer, we had a repeat performance, to which I decided that her behavior was not going to change, so it was time to reduce my liabilities and fire her.

Fortunately for her, when she violated my trust the last time, I was in Yerevan and could not fire her on the spot, which gave me time to reconsidered the option of firing her and out of kindness to make it possible for her to be a more desirable person to be hired elsewhere, I took a business like approach and in the name of good business, I eliminated her job, justifying it as a budget cut. Her last day was Friday, this after giving her a months notice of the elimination of her job, to give her a chance to find another job, which she was unable to.

I have now found an accountant who I will be talking to tomorrow, who use to work at the tax office, but quit her job to care for her daughter, who was born with Down Syndrome. I will only need her to work a few days a month, to keep our books and make sure our taxes and pension fund contributions are paid up, the rest (making payments and purchases), my driver will do.

As for the rest of the work at the salon, my friend who I am leasing the salon building from, his mother Era (who is like a second mother to me), will be working with me to manage.

Though until now and from the first day we opened the salon, we have only had a profit of about $50 a month, from the last couple days of being present at the salon, business has picked up quite a bit. Though I don’t suspect my former accountant/general manager of any wrong doing (other than maybe not doing), it seems that what people have been telling me of my employees not reporting all the work they do, could be true.

From the register they keep of the income at the salon, which is just a book that sometimes reflects each individual transaction and other times just a total income of the day, it does not seem to reflect accurately everything. I know of one transaction that took place a few days ago for 2,500 drams ($5) by my driver’s wife, which didn’t seem to make it in the books. From what I understand and from what I’ve seen over the last few months, my accountant/general manager when she was present, sat in her office playing computer games or watched television and didn’t pay much attention to who was coming and going to the salon and keeping good control of the income.

I guess in time and with more control of the comings and goings of the salon with the daily presents of Era, we will see if there is an increase in profits or not. One thing I have already done is print up a receipt book so every transaction is recorded properly.

Another thing Era and I are discussing to increase business is to hire another hairdresser (she would also act as a safety net for use if the present one quit or if we had to fire her). The woman that is interested in joining us has a beauty salon near the bazaar. One of her reasons for wanting to join us is that not only are we looking for a second person, but because she will soon have to relocate her business which is one of those temporary tin booths. It will be more profitable for her to join us and of course for us it will be beneficial, as she is the popular hairdresser of the older folks in Martuni.

Anyway, tomorrow is the first day of business with our new manager Era, who my employees don’t know about yet, so I have to be present to hand over control to her and introduce the change to those she will be managing.

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