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What Do Founders Do All Day?

Do other owners kill cockroaches, or remind employees to label their lunches? Here's a look at a typical Wednesday-in-the-life.

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1. Met with vendor partner to discuss collaboration on new software for the tattoo industry that will save customers thousands of dollars in overhead.

2. Killed a cockroach in the ladies restroom after being informed of its existence by an employee.

3. Investigated new health care options for my company that would give employees more benefits and the health insurance companies less money.

4. Photographed and emailed three new products to six customers to help expand their merchandise mix and drive sales.

5. Answered legal team’s request for additional information regarding pending intellectual property issues.

6. Discussed budgeting for upcoming merchandise restocking needed to insure stock levels even during Chinese New Year.

7. Answered customer email asking for refund because his child stole his credit card and ordered from us more than three months ago.

8. Reminded all employees to label their lunch items in the refrigerator or risk having them thrown out in an upcoming defrosting session (also my job).

9. Debated with partner about the validity of a customer critique and established follow-up method.

10. Sourced the origin of a strange odor in our offices (which turned out to be the neighbor’s lunch).

11. Argued with vendor relations at a large retail chain about an unfair chargeback that would have cost my company all the profit on the order.

12. Got pricing for material safety testing for a new product we are developing.

13. Called about obtaining a sales tax ID for a new product we will be adding to the line at the beginning of 2012.

14. Personally selected gift cards for holiday gifts for each of our 14 employees.

15. Used membership rewards to book travel for upcoming trade show and reduce the cost of our presence there.

16. Read an article on ups.com about shipping as an extension of marketing and discussed implications of this idea with partner.  

17. Worked on product development with design team.

18. Met with web developer for demonstration of new website in beta stage, which did not even allow me to log in.

19. Made phone call to top customer to determine why they had not yet placed their order.

20. Checked in with Sales Manager on the progress of sales rep lagging in sales, and suggested it was a direct result of the employee’s goal set.

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Nov 16, 2011

In 2004, VANESSA MERIT NORNBERG opened Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company that sells to more than 5,000 specialty shops and retail chains in 23 countries. Metal Mafia was an Inc. 500 company in 2009.
@vanessanornberg




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