Monday, May 15, 2017

I guess it's official now

Today I registered my Employer ID number with the IRS and my seller permit with the state board of equalization. I can officially do retail sales now :)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

(Un)Officially open-er

The business license arrived today. Hurrah! I can soon start advertising and accepting more clients! :) I have a few more things to get sorted before I open to the general public and start advertising.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Unofficially Open

I've mailed off my business license application :)
Since businesses are allowed to do up to $2500 in a year without requiring a license, I've decided to open unofficially until the business license is valid.
Current days of business are Mondays and Tuesdays until I can afford to scale back hours at my retail job. I plan on being completely independent by June 01. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Credit cards accepted

Credit cards can be accepted for transactions! :)
For now I will use a PayPal reader, which can use chip, swipe, or manual entry. Once I have an actual shop, I'll change to a regular retail card processor and save the PayPal reader for on-the-go work.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trying out a new look

I changed things up a bit in prep for getting this page ready for customers. The background image is temporary, but will do until I create something custom.
The customer sign-in stuff was added back to the right column. If I start getting spammed with fake customers, I will disable that feature entirely.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Automatic Open/Closed/Lunch sign

On the left of this page is an image which shows whether we are open or not. If working correctly, it should show as an "Open" sign during business hours and "Closed" during non-business hours. Also, between 12-1PM, it should show as "Lunch". Saturdays and Sundays should also override the hourly settings with a "Closed" sign all day.
I think it works, but will need to check it over time.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kiosk

What to do with an 12 year old laptop or desktop? Why, turn them into kiosks, of course.
I had previously tested the kiosk check-in, but on my own PC in a regular browser tab. This time I tested a proper dedicated kiosk system which will be installed in the shop for use by the customers.
An old HP Pavilion dv8000, in fantastic condition, was recently re-purposed for this task. It was too old and slow to use comfortably with a modern operating system. So the operating system was replaced with a stripped-down linux system which only runs firefox browser on one website only. And then it is full-screen, with no navigation bars or menus, restricted keyboard use, etc.
All it does is display a check-in screen for my customers. If I am busy with a customer and another enters the shop, they will have the option of checking their computer in them-self via the kiosk. I then get an alert in my customer management and trouble ticket systems to be processed with a couple of clicks. Then I will already have the basic info to get started when I am able to help them.
After turning the laptop into a kiosk, I did the same to an old desktop machine which a friend had donated.
Next I will contract a friend to make a wooden cabinet to mount either, or both, machine(s) in. There will be a window for the screen and a platform for the keyboard and mouse. The mouse and keyboard will both be knotted behind grommets, so they can't be pulled out of their USB sockets. The kiosk will need to be comfortable to use and accessible to all. Most likely it will be a box sitting atop a normal table, with the computer guts mounted inside it and an LCD panel up against the plexiglass window. Those guts might just end up being the laptop itself, with the screen detached to be mounted. Perhaps I should use both machines and make it a double kiosk, back-to-back.