Written by Nicole
Here we are, six weeks out and I am finally getting some time to catch up on our BLOG!
The last four weeks have been all about getting projects done. Our to do list is up to 6 pages long and I won't bore you with all of the details, but it certainly has been an overwhelming few months. Here is a little of what we have been up to.
We have downsized our home and moved into an apartment of a property that we have purchased. We have had a screen room built, we have treated some rotting wood and painted the buildings, we started a Catio so our cats will have a safe place to play outside, as well as several other smaller projects on the property. We still have a bunch of projects to finish over the next two weeks, but we are making some great progress!
We have put our Window Cleaning business up for sale and though we haven't had any serious offers, we did manage to sell two of our Counties as Franchises. An employee signed the deal and is currently training with me to take over those locations. This will make it a little easier to sell our other two locations, either as Franchises or as a whole. Though this won't happen before we leave, we hope to find a buyer in the next year or so. We also decided to move into the smaller office since we won't be needing the extra space for our other business or storage. This will also allow us to rent out the larger office which will increase our investment income. The downside is that we also had to downsize the business which meant sorting through and getting rid of things that we don't need, and more moving, though considerably easier that our personal move!
We have been taking care of all of our medical and dental appointments and making sure we have everything that we need medically for our trip. Since we will be back in Florida before we leave the country, we don't have to worry about any shots or anything yet. Getting prescriptions for 18 months is the hardest part and we are still working on that process. The VA will mail mine and then Daniela (our Assistant), can forward them to our current location, but we are still working on Toni's. Doctors tend to be reluctant to write prescriptions in advance so we will see how all of that works out.
The majority of my time has spent hiring and training new staff that we needed, and working with Daniela and our current staff to them all on the same page, working together to ensure that everything runs smoothly when we leave. I will still be running the overall operations of the business, but Daniela and two of our Supervisors will be overseeing the daily operations on the ground. I am able to access our security systems on my phone and can even talk to the staff through it so, though I hope that I am only working about an hour a day at most, I am able to literally keep an eye on things and yell at them if needed! I joke of course. I have some excellent employees and I rarely yell...the business will be in good hands. In two weeks I will pull back from the business and let them start to run it, with me being close by. This will allow us an adjustment period to work out any details that we may have missed. Of course there is always a chance that some of these Supervisors will leave us within the three years. This is why we have multiple people splitting the workload, but learning all of it. This means that the others can pick up the other tasks until we promote someone else and get them trained on those tasks. I felt this was better than hiring one manager for everything.
As our concession business is winding down we are starting to say goodbye to customers that we have built relationships with over the last 12 years. It has been bitter sweet. People all are sad to see us go, but commend us on taking this journey and seem sincerely happy for us. Three years will go by fast...they will be back to eating Philly Cheese Steaks and Kalua Pork in no time! Many of our customers are snow birds and will be leaving before our final May events. It's truly the end of an era, but hopefully we will be back here in a few years to pick up where we left off!
Everywhere we go we have been talking to people about our trip and we have been getting some excellent suggestions. We've added on some additional stops as well as a couple of Countries that we hadn't considered before. We will be posting an updated travel route soon!
Lastly, we have been working on getting our Social Media, Website, and other online business tasks done. We have some new things in the works that we are getting excited about. We are shopping for new cameras, drones, and getting ready to take some classes in May that will help us with alternative photography, social media platforms that I'm not yet trained in, and finding additional ways to make money with our travels!
Really, there is so much going on that its' hard to explain the enormity of it all. We are making some excellent progress and I am confident that it will all get done in time. In the meantime, we would love to hear opinions on the best point and shoot cameras with good low-light photos and the best drones out there for photography.
We really appreciate everyone that has been helping us and those of you that are currently following us. You will start to see more posts about our planning now that we are getting closer to the big date! Stay tuned.....