When it is time to make an appointment at home with an erratic schedule, what do you do?
When we leave home, we usually have no clue when we might return. It could be a couple of days, or it could be three months or longer. However, there are times when we have to be back for a doctor, dentist, or an eye exam and those are firm dates and times. Shutting down a business that depends on the tires rolling down the interstate is expensive, and an $80 doctors visit can and usually does cost our business thousands of dollars. To spread out the costs of being down, we maximize our time by making as many appointments as possible. In other words, we get it all done at once!
Planning is everything, and there are several ways we use to maximize our downtime. There is only one time of the year when we know we will be home year after year and that is Christmas till after the New Year. Knowing this, we schedule our medical appointments and also plan for preventive maintenance for the truck.
Our medical appointments are planned first, so if there is any follow up, we have time before we head out again. We live out in the country, and it is a distance to get into town for any appointments, so we plan accordingly and usually make a day or if needed more than one day of running from one appointment to the next. In this manner, we can maximize our downtime with the least impact to our business.
Life is not always convenient, and there are times when we have to be home to renew our driver’s license, TWIC card, or get our DOT Physical and these do not fall near a holiday. In our situation, we are lucky as our birthdays are exactly one month apart so that we can go to the DMV at the same time. When we know that we will have to be home at an odd time of the year, we plan ahead.
When it is time for physicals, we start planning at the first of the year so that we do not have to leave the house and turn right around and come back as that costs us. I will stagger our home time so that we will be out at least a month before the time of the appointment, and then we will also schedule anything else we need to get done.
Home time most often consists of:
- Truck preventive maintenance
- Bob adding something to the truck or fine-tuning something we already have
- Washing all of the bedding in the truck in our bigger washer at home
- Medical appointments
- Making time to spend with family and friends
- Relaxing and working around the house
Before we know it, we are loading the truck and getting ready to go out for an unknown amount of time.
The key to maintaining a profitable business is to plan and use our time wisely to stay profitable.