Reminders, yoga help owners accomplish dreaded tasks

vbridges@newsobserver.comAugust 6, 2013 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners about their least favorite task and how they motivate themselves to tackle it. This is what they said:

•  “There are a host of tasks at the beginning of the month, such as forecasting your monthly workload, keeping up with existing deadlines, marketing for new projects and the list goes on,” said Alison Steele, an interior designer and owner of A+S Design, an interior design firm in Durham. “But in order to get paid, you must submit those time sheets and get those invoices out. It is a task I always underestimate the time involved.”

•  “My least favorite thing to do at business is the paperwork that goes along with the business such as taxes and filing,” said Doug Van de Zande, who owns Van de Zande Photography in downtown Raleigh. “My wife does a great job of keeping after me to get those things done. I also have a good accountant who reminds me to sign and mail in taxes and forms on time.”

•  “I’d have to say my least favorite part about my job is working on images in post-production,” said Max Cohen a freelance photographer and owner of Cohen Studios in Wendell. “Sometimes, if sitting inside really gets to me, and I don’t have time to get out of the house due to a deadline, I’ll put my feet up, listen to gangster rap, and possibly follow up with some yoga for 15 minutes.”

•  “Bookkeeping,” said Larry Herst, founder and principal at Durham’s Triangle Ecycling, which collects, refurbishes and recycles computers and other electronics. “I keep my receipts and other notes in a file in my briefcase. Early Saturday mornings, I make a pot of coffee and force myself to get it done before the coffee is gone and the kids wake up. Fortunately we are growing to the point where I can just about afford a part-time bookkeeper.”

•  “Preparing contracts is my least favorite task,” said Kevin Seifert, president and principal photographer at Kevin Seifert Photography in Durham. “If it is a big-ticket item, the rush of closing the deal motivates me. If it is a smaller job, it is often a hard deadline based on the photo shoot date that forces me to hunker down and get the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.”

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