Monday, July 24, 2006

New Free Stuff

My dad gave us a whole bunch of laptop computers that weren't working. FH, ever the computer genius, got the best of the lot working in about 15 minutes (it had been dropped and something came loose, which he plugged back in). It is a Dell Latitude, very nice. Since FH knows I've been wanting to save up for a laptop for my business, he very generously let me have it.

I think he was in a generous mood because he also got some free stuff this weekend. A few months ago he made Employee Of The Month and got a $250 Best Buy gift card. He had also gotten a $50 gift card and had traded for another $25 gift card, so he had a lot of free stuff coming to him. He chose a widescreen monitor and the biggest power supply they had in stock, since we've had a lot of problems lately with computers going down due to inadequate power supplies. All this cost more than his gift card, though, so I paid for it out of the business funds because I use the computer with the inadequate power supply for the business. I also got a headset with microphone for my tutoring. Nobody ever asks for voice tutoring, but since the software has that capacity, we're all supposed to own a headset mic.

Anyway, the laptop is perfect except that the battery is toast. A new battery only costs about $50. So for $50, I'll have a working laptop for my business! How cool is that?

The reason I wanted a laptop is so I can take it to my booth when I go to sell, and record sales in Quickbooks as I'm making them. At the moment I'm recording them on paper and entering them in when I get home. It is time consuming and I'm often interrupted by kids, losing my place in the receipt book. And I often make mistakes. I track onesies by size as well as style, and if I enter in the wrong size of onesie, I can end up having to dye an extra one to fill an order. So now I'm looking at getting a USB barcode scanner to increase my accuracy. With a laptop and a barcode scanner, I will be totally tricked out and better than every other craft booth. I will be the envy of everyone on my craft show Yahoo group! But more importantly, I'll be saving a LOT of time. One mistake can mean hours of work re-inventorying merchandise or dyeing single onesies.