Yes, I have a new partner, well a new business partner! My wife Claire finished with the Metropolitan Police a couple of weeks ago now and has joined me in the business. She doesn’t actually officially retire until 1st September, but until that date she is using up her rest days owed and annual leave entitlement, so to all intents and purposes she is retired. For the past few years Claire has been working as a Murder Detective in London’s East End, so is finding the sweeping work a pleasant, less stressful change! Swapping the streets of East London for the green fields and pretty villages of the local area and the somewhat less than pleasant usual police clientele for all our lovely customers.
Although, Claire won’t actually be doing any sweeping work she will be helping a great deal; helping set up, moving equipment to and from the van, talking with customers, doing the paperwork and taking bookings. To this end she has already made some significant changes. We have moved into the 21st Century with a computerized booking system that Claire is in the process of implementing. This system tracks all jobs, sends reminder texts, plans and directs you to the jobs, automatically completes any require documentation and feeds into an accounting package. Customers can also track our progress on the day of the appointment to see how close we are getting to their appointment and what our actual ETA will be. To run the system we have invested in a new iPad and iphones which have much greater memory capacity allowing us to do all the things I have described.
The humorous card Claire received for her retirement was actually made by a family friend in Wales; I think it is rather well done as well as being funny! I do so like her fetching Learner L-Plate pants! I’m sure she really does have a pair like that???? The bit I’m shouting to her at the bottom of the card reads as follows: ” Claire, how many times must I tell you! Don’t forget to let go of the brush!” I think the little yellow help flag should from hence forward be a standard piece of equipment on the van!
All joking aside, it has been so nice to have Claire working with me, the company and chats and laughs we have during the working day is great and make the day such fun! Its not like being at work at all. Claire is also a great help, and being a farmers daughter she is very practically minded which is an added benefit. The old adage about a labour shared being a labour halved is so true and an extra pair of hands making light work! It has amazed me what a difference she has made, allowing us to get through more work during the day, more quickly and more professionally. Well done Claire, the future of Walden Sweeps is looking good!