Marketing is always a great topic to discuss, as it brings us business, and that generetes money, so I'm for it!! Also, something that would be interesting as well is to see what small one to two person shops are doing for time management. What i mean is that im a one man band, and at times I almost want to pull my hair out, all the calls, the quotes, the deadlines, the "oh, can you change the color?", the rush customers, ordering parts, getting prices.......uugghhh. I can not be alone in this rat race, and im sure others have been here and found ways to manage it all. Some days its great, others........well, hectic is a good word to use. What do you think teach?
Along with the other ideas, I have always wondered about subbing work out, as far as services that small shops do not specialize in. How do you charge the customer and still make a profit? Are there certain rules to follow in dealing with both the subcontractor and the customer?
very wise words as always Fred, but a lil off of the subject i was referring to. I was trying to get specifics on how others are managing time in the shop, and out of the shop, as far as how does evryone keep a balance. Do they always make to do list, always order supplies on tues, do installs on only two days out of the week.......anything, im just looking for advice on how to not lose it. Im a one man shop and im getting really busy, meaning long hours, lack of sleep, and sometimes at the end of the day i look back and wonder what the heck it is ive done all day. Any idea? Anyone?
I thought I was pretty much on topic but may not have been clear.
My point is that if one gets reasonable prices for their work, they don't have problems of staying organized or being overworked because:
1. You can afford to do things like waste a little material to save your time.
2. Employ others to get the work out, either directly or through outsourcing.
3. Carry larger inventories of materials and consumables.
4. In general, have the funds and the profits to be able to manage your business efficiently.
There is also a lot of streamlining one can do when they reach a point in this business that they can afford it. For example, I rarely go out on a sales call or deliver work. My clients come to me. I specialize in those areas of signmaking which I can do efficiently and refer off or outsource that which I cannot.
I deal with several suppliers but my most valued one is my local guy who gives me same day delivery on anything I order by 11:00. His rates are 5% to 10% higher but he's worth it since his services reduce the need for me to carry larger inventories or even stock certain items while still being able to offer them.
But the bottom line, in my experience, is that if one is disorganized and overworked, it can usually be traced to either pricing, marketing or being stretched too thin.