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Messages - Rich

Pages: 1 ... 35 36 [37]
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: The Resto Rod business
« on: June 17, 2010, 09:01:12 PM »
Being away from the auto upholstery business for over twenty years, I can't speak from that angle. But for one who follows the old car hobby by attending shows with my own Chevelles, monitoring the online Chevelle forum and watching auctions on TV like Barrett Jackson, I don't think this trend has run out of steam. I do know that ever since muscle cars became the most desireable of the older cars, the true, high performance cars like the SS Chevelles, GTO's, Hemi 'Cudas and such have become priced out of most enthusiasts range. That gave rise to the Malibus, LeMans and Barracudas which, because they weren't the HP version, left the door open for just about any modification that would increase the "fun" factor. I think that will probably continue as I believe most car collectors emphasize performance when they plan on what to invest their money in.
My .02

The Business Of Upholstery / Know any upholstery games?
« on: June 17, 2010, 08:47:49 PM »
Recently, our town office has gotten together with local businesses in my town to organize a business and professional organization to get the word out about what each of us does. Among other things, we will be participating in a local event called Heritage Days. This is an annual event that features old time tractors, farm demonstrations, games for kids, historical exhibits etc. We have been discussing activities that the local businesses could offer, maybe games for kids to promote awareness of our businesses. So, I'm trying to think of what my upholstery shop could do to participate. So far, foam dodgeball and a spring toss are about all I've come up with. Anyone have any creative ideas?

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Dealer Discounts?
« on: May 18, 2010, 08:00:24 AM »
When I buy materials, I pay one price for cut yardage and another, lower price per yard if I buy the whole roll (or 10+ yds. depending on the dealer). Once I establish a good business relationship (read: a fairly good volume of purchases) they may give me another price break. Just because someone is in business doesn't automatically mean you are going to be getting a good deal of business from them and that is the only reason you would want to extend a discount to them. If you end up with an occasional job from them and your cutting your price, I'd say you're getting the short end of the deal.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: labeling requirements
« on: January 02, 2010, 06:34:22 PM »
Please keep this under your hat; years ago, I kept receiveing letters from some state authority to submit information on my business for proper registration of the practices I employee for such things as filling materials. I kept ignoring them and since they kept coming in and the pile kept falling over, I decided to wad them up and use them for filling material. I figured of all people, they wouldn't send out anything toxic, so what the heck? Anyway, after awhile, I guess they gave up b/c the mail stopped and I had to resort to buying real filling materials to use.
Oh, BTW, I never did register, but like I said, keep it to yourself.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Another way of looking at pricing
« on: October 04, 2007, 07:27:27 AM »
Thank you Rafi, for taking the time to post some comments here. As you will see, there are some common pricing problems in this business, which, I am sure, are shared by others in other businesses.
Stitcherguy, it may be your experience that no one wants to pay for interior work, (it had been mine as well when I was doing custom auto interior work) but the fact that they are willing to put thousands into the paint and mechanical components means that the money is available IF they want to spend it. I think their are ways of getting these customers to part with more money for interior work. Our job is to find what it is that motivates them to spend, or better yet, WHO it is that will spend.
As mentioned before, not everyone is a candidate to spend the big bucks. For the rest of the crowd, lower priced alternatives have to be developed (remember the ATRN editorial) so that those customers can get what they want at THEIR price without the shop owner having to lose money on the deal. If they don't want to spend as much as what is normally charged for high level custom work, maybe a more off-the shelf version could be developed that will fit this level of pricing.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Another way of looking at pricing
« on: October 03, 2007, 07:30:33 AM »
One thing I found interesting about the book "The Art of Pricing" was that it made me look at lower profit jobs in a different way. I'd always felt that since my time is all I have, I should be getting the highest return on every hour I spend working on a job. That is a good goal to pursue, however, if it means that I've turned a way a sufficient amount of jobs (by having a higher price than they were willing to pay) that it leaves me with periods of no work, then overall, I'm losing money. The lower margin work, if used to fill in where no high margin work exists, will boost the bottom line in the long run. Back to the auction, setting aside the issue of a reserve price, when the highest price an audience will pay is not what was expected, the auctioneer says "sold!" and movs on to the next item knowing that that was the highest price to be gotten for that item. If it went unsold, there is no income from that item, and the higher bid items must be relied on to make all the profit. Better to sell everything and reap the profits both high and low from the entire lot.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Another way of looking at pricing
« on: October 02, 2007, 08:28:53 PM »
Now you know, that guy at Ashley furniture is us! We (as a general rule) are more craftsmen who know the ins and outs of upholstery than salespeople. And that, as Stitcherguy has illustrated, can be what enables us to upsell; we don't seem like we're trying to increase our commissions so much as we appear to be trying to provide the full experience for our customers. Most of the time, that's what we are doing. Many customers appreciate having someone with expertise advising them.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Another way of looking at pricing
« on: October 02, 2007, 11:23:24 AM »
I'm in the process of re-reading the book. It's only about 225 pages or so, but I find I get the general idea on the first pass, then start to absorb the concepts on the second. The author uses a lot of examples, but one idea he is fond or using again and again is the idea of an auction. most bidders would take the item at the starting bid, but as it goes higher, fewer and fewer will until there is one person left that pays top dollar knowing full well that he is doing so. Every pricing method should take this fact into consideration, and I think the best methods are those that plan the pricing before the customer walks in. Some folks are very good at getting the right price from the right customer. but I don't find that I've ever been too good at that and many of you may not either. In the book, he explains ways you can gear your pricing strategy to attract those buyers that will pay the highest price as well as those who will only pay a lower price. If you maximize your market, the higher paying customers subsidize the lower paying ones, you didn't have to turn away alot of customers to turn a profit.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Another way of looking at pricing
« on: September 30, 2007, 07:32:39 PM »
Well, if the persons who place the highest value on the product won't even pay enough for it for the business to make a profit, the business owner needs to be doing something else!

The Business Of Upholstery / Another way of looking at pricing
« on: September 29, 2007, 08:44:12 PM »
I just finished a book written on pricing methods. The book is "The Art of Pricing" by Rafi Mohammed. The author builds a strong case for a pricing method I've used for years, but goes much further by breaking it down into the many strategies he feels (and gives real-life examples for) will enable anyone in any business to reap more profits.
The basic theory is that every service or product should be priced to reflect what the customer's percived value of it is and that since different customers place different values on the same product, each should be paying according to how they value the product or service.
Has anyone read this book? If not, I would recommend it and would enjoy participating in a discussion on it. Maybe there are other books you've read on the subject, but I think value pricing could provide a new angle on the pricing game and prove helpful for anyone in the reupholstery business.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: ATRN on Custom upholstery
« on: September 17, 2007, 08:10:29 AM »
Diversification is a double edged sword. Yes, in certain situations it may be your only solution, but to really be sucessful in a specialty that you want to be known for, you must use diversification as a means to an end. You need to be pouring most of your efforts into your specialty and going "deep" with that. If you don't, then you will find yourself in the same diversification "trap" 10 years later an then 10 years after that. You will have always wanted to do more of your specialty but never got enough call for it. It doesn't call you, you have to actively pursue it. This is what I believe the sucessful people have done.
My .02,

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