Learning the Hard Way

Apr 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

I was introduced to the auto repair industry when I started doing the daily books for my in-laws. They ran a two-bay service and gas station and my husband worked for them.

I liked it when the figures “balanced” at the end of the day, and I loved the challenge of finding the “error” when it didn’t. But, boy oh boy, did I learn a hard lesson of “balancing errors” when we started our own business.

I didn’t realize all of the “hats” I would have to wear when we started our business. I quickly learned I needed the help of a lawyer, banker, accountant and my mother-in-law. Yes, my mother-in-law. She became my mentor and best friend during those early years.

I knew nothing about doing payroll, figuring out sales tax, account payables and receivables and how to be a boss – and learned all this while being a mom of two young children and a wife to a husband who worked 60-plus hours a week.

My mother-in-law showed me the ropes, listened to my complaints, walked me through so many problems and “errors” and was the best grandma and babysitter in the world. Two of the best lessons I learned from her were to make copies of everything and write down notes about phone conversations — everything to do with employees and the government.

I admit, I thought I would remember things, but I soon found her advice to take the time and make copies and notes saved my butt and helped me “balance errors” many times. I know we’re supposed to go green and save trees, but I still make copies and write things down, because I’m not getting any younger and have some relapse-in-memory moments.

I’d appreciate no comments on that…