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Messages - Mojo

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 231
General Discussion / Re: Y'all Will Get a Kick Out of This
« on: May 02, 2019, 06:53:17 AM »
Good Gawd. Really ?

Just when you think you have seen it all. : )


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Facebook, Again.
« on: April 29, 2019, 06:36:09 AM »

We did the Google paid ad once. Big mistake. We got overloaded with fax calls and scams. I dropped it 3 months later. The bad part was that it was pure hell trying to get Google to drop the ad. That took 3 more months. Once they did the fax calls and spam calls stopped.

What is funny is 3 months after we cancelled our ad's, sales started picking up off google searches. We have a customer contact form we use in house and ask every customer where they found us. A lot of our sales are coming off google searches. I hired one of my son's techs to do an SEO optimization and whatever he did must have helped. I still attribute a lot of our internet success to our online store front for parts and products. This is one of our sites which is a division of Talin Manufacturing. - www.talinrv.com   This also feeds into the parent companies website  www.talinman.com . There are links here which feeds into our other company  www.stonevos.com .

One of the other benefits we are seeing from increased traffic is our our outside rep status with international big brand companies. Their product listings on our website boosts traffic for us. The one thing I learned in web site design was the use of keywords. I make sure I utilize brand names on our website. Using words like Sunbrella and other household brand names also helps as these keywords get a lot of search activity. I structure our websites to use many keywords that are used in google searching.

I am far from being an internet expert and admit to not knowing much about SEO's but what some of the experts that shared info with me and I latter applied seems to be working. It just seems that with more sales we gain more inquiries and with more of those we gain more sales. The more click thru's on the searches leads to even more click thru's. It is crazy how it all works but it is obvious that the bigger you get the more internet traffic is fed to you.

The problem we are now having is that we are getting a lot of sales off E-Bay for products and that grinds me. I hate selling on E-Bay because I hate giving them bastards some of my profit. But they do move products and our sales have been great on e-bay. My buddy is pushing me hard to go to Amazon. He is an inventor and designs LED lighting, has it manufactured in China and sells on Amazon. His sales are killer. I have resisted thus far but may have to revert to Amazon. If I do that then it will result in a bigger footprint for us on the internet.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Dealing With Stress
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:48:54 AM »

Thanks so much for the invitation. I avoid kayaks like I avoid the dentist. I do well in boats and pontoons but have a phobia of water. Mainly because my swimming abilities resembles that of a cement block.

But I love fishing. I admit I know nothing about salt water fishing. We stayed at an RV Resort once on the gulf and they had a fishing pier. Ingrid and I bought all new salt water fishing gear and we had a blast. Caught several small black fin sharks.

Thanks again for the invitation.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Facebook, Again.
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:28:09 AM »

We have more engagement off Facebook the last 6 months. We are getting more customers contacting us through PM's and we are converting more of these contacts into sales. We have 2 facebook pages, one for each company. Both have seen more engagement. I also have started lending more technical support on RV owner groups on facebook which has driven more traffic to our facebook pages. But sales from Facebook is minimal as compared to the action we get elsewhere on the internet, mainly RV owner forums, etc. Those venues drive our sales. I use Facebook as a small part of our overall internet strategy which boils down to " market presence ". I too have noticed our facebook reach numbers grow the last few months. I attribute it all to Zuckerbergs back room analytics and bullshit. I do not believe anything has changed and the only reason we have better facebook numbers is because we have been more active in facebook RV groups. I trust Facebook reach numbers like I would trust the mafia.

The problem I now have which is turning into a major headache is our growth has been phenomenal but a lot of it is coming off the backs of shows. I changed my branding strategies to provide more growth but it is now requiring me to spend months on the road doing these damn events. I have already done 4 in Florida, have one to do in Indiana, another in Louisiana, one in South Dakota, one in North Dakota, another in NY and another in Atlanta. It is getting old and I am tired of living in our bus for a month at a time.

I am going to do a phone conference with my consultants and start devising plans to gain growth from other sources other then these events. This is going to include reaching into brand new markets. I am tired of living like a hobo and these shows are a killer for someone our age.

Back to facebook - You should consider Facebook as a necessary evil. Your presence is required there only because it feeds into google SEO algorithms. Every post we make ( as well as our customers ) where our companies are mentioned all feed the same monster. Yelp, Google listings, searches by prospective customers, facebook, forum mentions, etc. all boost your online presence. Internet marketing never comes down to just one site. It is a combination of all these things. We have seen a tenfold increase over the last 12 months off google search sales for our fabric company.

I can tell you what has really propelled our online presence is when I installed storefronts for our parts company on our website as well as started an E-Bay store. Parts and component Sales have shot through the roof. I just closed the books for March and on a comparison of last years March sales and this years, our numbers increased by $ 25,000. That isn't much for a large company and would be laughed at by most CEO's but those are big numbers for a tiny company likes ours. A lot of that I attribute to our online presence. Like it or not, our society is going to the internet for everything, including their buying.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Dealing With Stress
« on: April 04, 2019, 05:47:54 AM »
My biggest problem is that I have never been able to just be satisfied with a small successful business. One in which there is just one or two of us who eek out a comfortable living. 30 years of being a business consultant and marketing analyst required that I always pushed for growth, bigger sales numbers, etc. I have never been able to turn that growth switch off.

Looking back I have many days I wished I would have never started these companies but then would I have been happy and content ? Probably not. It just has never been a part of me where I can relax and settle for simplicity in life. I have always been too damn driven.

There is one benefit to having employees ! I have slowed down, turned over more and more of the daily operation to key employees
and am going to pursue more of my hobbies like flying airplanes, shooting at the range, etc.

I just turned 61 today and it is time to act my age and slow down. : )


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Dealing With Stress
« on: March 27, 2019, 08:16:35 PM »
In as far as managing stress, I do the best I can. The stress level increased considerably when we brought on employees. We now have a crew of 5 and my biggest worry is staying 6 months ahead with payroll in our bank account. It is scary when I consider I hold the well being of these employees and their families in my hand. We are responsible for their livelihoods, their car payments, house payments, groceries, etc.

Other stresses come from the large investment we have made with a service van and all its equipment and tools which ran into the thousands not to mention the cost of this specialized service van. We are getting ready to add another new product that we manufacture and coupled with the other products I worry over liability issues with each one. Some of our clientele are power players who could sue us into the stone age.

I try and not bitch about al of this because it is the life I chose. I knew the headaches and stress found in growing companies. Every business owner who has employees, high dollar equipment, manufactured products and alot of overhead has a lot of sleepless nights. It costs us $ 15 K to open the doors every month and that is before buying materials, products, fabric, etc.

Damn scary sometimes. You learn real quick to manage your cash flow and keep a large stash of cash hidden away when slow periods hit.
What helps me survive is having a business partner ( my wife ) who is calm, understanding, extremely intelligent and keeps me on level ground. She is my stress reliever.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Dealing With Stress
« on: March 27, 2019, 08:10:18 AM »
This is one of the best pieces of advice:  “If you find yourself stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Not only does this help you avoid wasting time, but it also will typically result in the best solution to your problem or situation. You will only contribute to the amount of stress in your life if you attempt to fix or problem solve everything on your own,” says Dustin Armstrong of HighestCashOffer.com. “Pride and ego aside, you need to understand that it’s perfectly fine to ask for help when you need it.”

I constantly have ideas rattling around in my head. New ventures, new products, new directions in business but never do I act on them without running them through the gauntlet. I keep a small circle of trusted advisors ( friends ) who I consider excellent businessmen and constantly run ideas past them before acting on any idea. If I have a new product idea I seek out experts to give me input. Over the years one of the biggest downfalls I have seen with business owners is pride and ego. Thinking you know it all, have things figured out is a great way to set yourself up for failure.

Yes our companies are extremely successful but I would be a liar if I told you it is all because of me. It has been an accumulation of my ideas, my tenacity and drive and a boat load of seeking advice and input from talented people who helped me hone my ideas before launching them. I will eat my pride and ego at any moment and anyday if it means obtaining my goals, success and financial rewards.


General Discussion / Re: Arrows
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:21:10 AM »
I have had that happen. Dang chalk marks rubbed off. It is aggravating.

2 weeks ago I climbed up a ladder on top of a bus to measure awning fabric. I got up there and realized I had my pen but not my notepad.
So I took the measurements and wrote them down on the back of my hand. Climbed back down and went to my vehicle to write down the measurements and evidently when I put my hand in my pocket it rubbed the ink off. Got the ladder back out and climbed back up on the bus to measure again. Once again I forgot my notepad so this time wrote it down
on my arm.

I was once at a rally and had 60 roof top inspections to do on buses and was moving quick to get through them. I finished one section of the fairgrounds and moved to a new section. I climbed this bus ( my knees and back were killing me by then ) and realized I didn't have my tape measure with me. Had to get down off the bus, drive to the previous section and climb the previous bus where my tape measure sat on top of a roof air con system. The owner said " I thought you were finished with my coach " ? I said " So did I ".

Getting old sucks...........


General Discussion / Re: What else did I miss?
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:06:15 AM »

As you can see I have a lot of smart ass friends who enjoy making my life miserable. :)
Hope you are healing up well.


General Discussion / Re: What else did I miss?
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:59:26 PM »
Wish you the very best and hope you beat this cancer. PRaying for you Sgt Major.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Are You Building Your Business?
« on: February 07, 2019, 10:29:29 PM »
Boy. I feel better now. It is nice knowing I am not the only one who is suffering from workaholic syndrome.


The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Are You Building Your Business?
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:17:51 PM »
I really envy you guys. I wished I could just ride it out with what I have and then say screw it and walk into the sunset. But I have a sickness since I was a teen and that is called workaholic. My wife and kids have jokingly talked about an intervention and sending me off to some treatment center. Every year it gets worse. It is almost like a passion and I push myself daily to come up with new ideas, products, services etc.

I should slow down and take it easy and start looking for a buyer. Instead I just made one hell of a risky move last week and expanded and created another division under our RV parts company. I bought a service van with a Utilimaster conversion ( onboard Onan generator, air compressor, inside work room, etc. I also hired a young RV Tech and like a dummy launched a mobile RV service in 4 Florida counties.

Next year I am looking at adding a second service van that will concentrate on doing mobile engine service on diesel motorcoaches. RV'ers are starting to hate going to service centers and in the society we now live in where everyone wants convenience and their ass kissed, this service is now a hot commodity. If I was 40 I would bring in a couple investors and franchise this across the country. I nearly franchised a business I owned back in the 80's but my ex wife said no she didn't want the financial risk. My competitor did franchise it and is now a multi-multi millionaire. I get pissed every time I hear their business name " Shred It ".

Instead of looking to retirement I am focusing on building our revenue more and expanding. I think when I hit the $ 1 million mark in sales which is my goal I will call it quits, sell the companies and hide out. By then I will be old enough to not give a crap anymore. 3 more years and I hope to be there.

I will admit this new mobile on site service is a bit scary. The investment was huge so in a years time I will know if I am a hero or a zero. I have always taken risks in business but they are always shrewd, calculated well thought out risks. I just hope I didn't screw myself this time. LOL


General Discussion / Re: Theater Seating
« on: February 06, 2019, 07:46:52 PM »
I think Ed just did some theatre seats at some lavish home. Maybe I am mistaken but I thought he did those type seats.


Here is some of Mike's work:


Here is some of Ricks work:


I have done patterns in the past on boats and must confess I am not the expert here in this group on this subject.
But when I did multiple colors and patterns I cut out each pattern in the corresponding colors and stitched them.
It can be tedious work and while I was learning how to do this I admit I ruined a lot of fabric. : )

In regards to names, many of us have them embroidered first on the vinyl and then sew them into the seats or whatever.
This is especially popular with automotive headrests.

We have 2 resident experts on this subject who have done more boats then you can shake a stick at - Ricat & Mike.
Both are some of the best marine fabricators around. Their cushion work is out of this world amazing. Maybe one will see this post
and respond. I put Rick and Mike into the master category in marine upholstery work.

Sorry I cannot help you more. I am nowhere near an expert on this type of work.


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