UPHOLSTERY DISCUSSION BOARD
HOW TO UPHOLSTER FORUM

Rostov Upholstery Supplies Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 21, 2019, 08:17:53 AM
How To Reupholster A Couch, Chair, Ottoman.
Recover Car And Boat Seats. DVDs
Foam Cutters $130+
1/2" and 3/8" crown staple guns- air and Maestri electric.
Upholstery Tools
Long Nose Staplers $124
Sunbrella Fabric     Complete line of Sunbrela fabrics. We also custom sew beautiful cushions from Sunbrella.
Custom Cushions     Custom cushions sewn at a high level of craftsmanship. Choose from fabrics and a range of quality foam.



: Check out CoachTrim's Advanced Leather Workshop and Basic Sewing Course on Suppliers Page
***Please click here www.facebook.com/upholster.upholstery and click "LIKE" for our UPHOLSTER Facebook business page (it will help me promote this free site)-Ken***



 
 EZ Foam Cutters with 240 volts and plugs for Australia, New Zealand and UK and EU.
SPECIAL 110V MODELS $130 (limited time!!) http://www.upholster.com/toolkits/Foam-cutter.html



+ My Community
|-+ General Upholstery Questions and Comments
| |-+ General Discussion
| | |-+ How is business in your areas?
« previous next »
: [1] 2
: How is business in your areas?  ( 6402 )
SHHR
Sr. Member
****

Karma: +0/-0
: 481


« : August 25, 2011, 07:57:55 AM »

There's comments quite often all of the time about this topic, and I was again curious to see how things are going. More than once over the last few weeks I had to check to see if I remembered to pay the phone bill since it wasn't ringing much :D .
It's really not that bad, but is very slow and the calls I get are not big jobs.

This has me thinking of some reasons for this;

First and foremost is the economy, No one is spending. The guy who takes care of our IRA and some other investments tells me people have money, some are sitting on it, others are spending. He's quick to point out that the endless media attention to the financial situation does cause a fear for people to hold on to their money. I was at a major national car show the first of August and attendance and registration was down, Possibly fuel prices? other travel expenses? or some other reasons I'll touch on in a bit?

Second the weather,  we live in a boating area with rivers and lakes nearby. Boat upholstery and canvas has been WAY DOWN this year. the spring brought lots of rain with rivers being above flood stage into late June early July. After that we went into a very humid heat wave. I feel that has kept many off of the water.
Around here if boats aren't on the water, the owners just don't think about them or doing any work they may need done.

Third is School, Around this area at least most schools have been in session since the first of August (my wife who's a teacher had to be back on July 29th). That has effectively cut off a third of the summer breaks I remember as a kid when we got out around Memorial day and didn't go back until after Labor Day. I believe that has cut short many families vacation season and as a result of trickle down economics (or lack of) people just aren't spending any extra to get things done.

Fourth is things like E-bay or other auction/classified ad sites or pre-made interior kits. There's been a lot of discussion about this lately on supplies that's imported, but what about finished products? Since my interests lies with custom cars and hot rods I'll use that as an example: as stated before I was at a national car show not long ago that is also a trade show with lots of new equipment there. A guy now can build a show quality, award winning hot rod in a little two car garage in a neighborhood by just using his credit card.
 That includes the upholstery. There are several companies on the market who offer seats ready to bolt in and will sell matching material for the builder to complete the rest him/herself. I would imagine that is also going on in the boating community some too. Don't get me wrong nothing beats a true custom built interior, but these kits I'm seeing are very good quality not like the old J.C. Whitney seat covers you use to buy.

I'm sure there's many other reasons too, but just touched on a few of what's in my mind.
I guess as it's been said on here before, one of our jobs is to be more creative and offer something that can't be found in a catalog. Hope things pick up soon!
Kyle
needles eye
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 147



« #1 : August 25, 2011, 09:13:07 AM »

Hi
really enjoyed reading your post in the above regard as you make some very salient points and make most insightful comment.
Well, now. In west oz we hear on the news that the States owes a trillion dollars but it's ok because Mister Obama's Office is going to print some more greenbacks. So don't panic.
You hear rumours that the Chinese have big mobs of geenbacks stashed away for release sometime sooner or later in the Asia pacific countries. Don't worry. Print more!
Now in the news the emphasis has turned to the varied bankrupted countries of Europe.
All in all its a lot of wall street mania again and talk of 2nd global recession.
Its all a bit of a shambles and what not however one can stay poised in the power of the present moment maybe and trust that things have a habit of working out, that is, as the cows will come home to pasture.
Hot tip - market  thicker wallets for more money and some nice boots for the cow's homecoming.

Gregg @ Keystone Sewing
Guest


« #2 : August 25, 2011, 09:56:13 AM »

It's August.  End of summer, people on Vacation.  Thing will pick back up in the Fall. 
Mojo
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 4263


I'm Always In Trouble


« #3 : August 25, 2011, 11:00:30 AM »

This is typically my slow time but I have been hammered. I have been stitching 7 days a week and many times at night as well. I admit I am exhausted and in desperate need of some time off. Besides that I am retired and didn't sign up for this kind of schedule. :)

I know exactly why my business has boomed. 1.) My name has been being passed around on RV forums lately and friends are recommending friends who are recommending more friends. 2.) Slide out awning replacement is something that most RV'ers cannot put off for a year or two. Most who I do the replacement fabric for have their awnings ripped out and are in desperate need of new fabric so to prevent interior leaks on the slides they have to get them done asap. 3.) The leading awning manufacturer for RV's switched to a ply thread in 2004 and it is complete junk. It is cheap Chinese low bid crap and has broke, come apart and, disintegrated. Thank you Carefree Inc. for producing crap awnings. 4.) The older Sunbrella awnings have hit their life expectancy so I am also busy doing awnings for 2000 - 2002 model years. 5.) Most motorcoach owners have the cash to have these awnings replaced because the vast majority of my customers are retired and have bigger savings accounts and are in better financial position then the young uns. If you can afford a 1/4 million dollar coach you can afford a
$ 1,200 awning replacement job. That's 3 tanks of fuel for some of these people. :)

But there is one major drawback with RV work. It is very cyclical. You do not get a steady flow of work and I have had weeks where I twiddled my thumbs. Then the next week I am booked out for a month. This is one thing my boss ( wife unit ) and I have discussed. How to spread the work out over the year and grab business during slow months. It is nothing new and many industrial's practice this same exact method. It is called the utilization of fixed based resources. I will explain that in a new thread as I do not want to hijack this one and I do have an idea as to how to combat the slow months.

I am busy as heck right now but am looking towards a slowdown next month. In November when the RV snowbirds start hitting the great State of Florida I will start picking back up again. One of my dealers gets slammed big time in November and December and that hopefully will keep me busy. I already have jobs booked for October and November when a few snowbirds hit the State and February and March wen the temp's start rising in FL this is when I have my biggest months for solar screens. I was so busy last year that I was booked out for nearly two months and was sewing 7 days a week morning and night.

Overall I am happy as this is turning out to be my biggest year ever since I started this business. But since I specialize in RV's only my customers could be a bit different then the rest of yours so it is logical to think that this is the reason why I am busy right now.

Chris
Mike8560
Guest


« #4 : August 25, 2011, 11:29:36 AM »

Boating is everywhere around me   It as been slower and slowest this year I'd say I only did a couple of the 5-6 k jobs the rest have been a few entire upholsterys and mooring covers.  
Now is my slowest tiime of the year waiting for snowbirds to return and local back to  life with kids I school.
The ones with money seemed to be holding off work to see what happens unless like  one ,they were hit  with a windstorm and had no choise.  
  it's been steadyslow. I've alway got somthing to do   Like cleaning my truck the other afternoon I was asked by a guy who stopes  and asked if I could go take a look at his boat.  Got that one and today I got a resew job. It's not much bit it pays for food.  
Chris do you think that the rvs are aslo gettig ready to head south that you Re busy right now also ?

Oh ps that resew was a toon.  Asked snout s nw  Cover and I told  him a new one best I could do would be like $900 he said  cz t do that so let's resew a d get some more life out of it  
We could use a nice  nearmiss stirm to blow thigs around then I'd party with kkdydog  
« : August 25, 2011, 12:39:46 PM Mike8560 »
scottymc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 524



« #5 : August 25, 2011, 10:00:46 PM »

Hi
really enjoyed reading your post in the above regard as you make some very salient points and make most insightful comment.
Well, now. In west oz we hear on the news that the States owes a trillion dollars but it's ok because Mister Obama's Office is going to print some more greenbacks. So don't panic.
You hear rumours that the Chinese have big mobs of geenbacks stashed away for release sometime sooner or later in the Asia pacific countries. Don't worry. Print more!
Now in the news the emphasis has turned to the varied bankrupted countries of Europe.
All in all its a lot of wall street mania again and talk of 2nd global recession.
Its all a bit of a shambles and what not however one can stay poised in the power of the present moment maybe and trust that things have a habit of working out, that is, as the cows will come home to pasture.
Hot tip - market  thicker wallets for more money and some nice boots for the cow's homecoming.


Hey Needles, our economy in the East is still good as long as you guy's in the West keep on sending all those mining taxes over here to prop us up, keep diggin them holes. ;D
RandyOnR3
Jr. Member
**

Karma: +0/-0
: 61


« #6 : August 28, 2011, 06:34:49 PM »

  I've got more business than I know what to do with..
Doing quality work has paid off as the less desirable shops have gone under..
  We've built a reputation of only using high end material, (sunbrella and Stradaglass) and refuse to drop our standards........
  We're booking jobs for Mid November and have been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for the last 6 months.......
   Its just the wife and I here in the shop, been looking for a quality worker but it seems that all I get are low-lifes wanting to put crap together, and we've got no place for them here.........

CanvasAndUpholstery.com
Mike8560
Guest


« #7 : August 28, 2011, 06:45:17 PM »

Randy it looms like your in northern CA. When is your slowest time of the year? In fl here  I've found it to be sept kids back in school and winter snowbirds still up north   
RandyOnR3
Jr. Member
**

Karma: +0/-0
: 61


« #8 : August 28, 2011, 06:58:22 PM »

Randy it looms like your in northern CA. When is your slowest time of the year? In fl here  I've found it to be sept kids back in school and winter snowbirds still up north   

 dosent look like we'll slow down any time soon.. and we're just getting into our big-boat season.. full inclosures, and just finished or working on the last of the sailboats with bimini and dodgers bound for mexico..
 I'm in the California Delta...
 our shop is located in an upscale Marina... the owners here also own two other marinas..... its a tight knit community where word of mouth and the quality of workmanship is a great value.............

CanvasAndUpholstery.com
Eric
Sr. Member
****

Karma: +0/-0
: 423

Endeavor to persevere.


« #9 : August 30, 2011, 08:25:15 AM »

Could be better. I'm losing jobs to an awning business that thinks it can do canvas.

The Bayliner on the right is mine, the Cruiser on the left I lost to awning place, that is there canvas.
Lost I believe 4 jobs to them because there cheaper.
My question is how to market to customer? I can build you a nice job, but if price is everything and looks don't matter let me know, I'll build you a piece of crap?
Eric
kodydog
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +3/-0
: 3172

North Central Florida


« #10 : August 30, 2011, 08:42:58 AM »

My question is how to market to customer? I can build you a nice job, but if price is everything and looks don't matter let me know, I'll build you a piece of crap?
Eric

If all their jobs look that bad they must be getting a ton of complaints. My experience is some people want the lowest price but still expect high quality. Sooner or later the awning business will have to either make a better product or stop making boat enclosures.

Most people take a lot of pride in their boat. These are the people you want to target. How about an ad with that picture in it? It got my attention and I don't even own a boat.
« : August 30, 2011, 08:46:40 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mojo
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 4263


I'm Always In Trouble


« #11 : August 30, 2011, 09:16:31 AM »

Could be better. I'm losing jobs to an awning business that thinks it can do canvas.

The Bayliner on the right is mine, the Cruiser on the left I lost to awning place, that is there canvas.
Lost I believe 4 jobs to them because there cheaper.
My question is how to market to customer? I can build you a nice job, but if price is everything and looks don't matter let me know, I'll build you a piece of crap?
Eric

Eric:

I have had the same problem with my awnings and solar screens. What I had to do is sell quality. I took the largest awning company in the USA and found their weaknesses in their manufacturing process, fabrics they used and even the thread. I then built a marketing program from there and beat quality into my customers head.

I never mention the names of my competition but made sure the customer seen the difference between their awnings and solar screens and mine. I have had no problem selling what I offer, even at a premium price. I did have to drop my prices a touch due to dealers pricing structures but it didn't kill my margins.
The one thing I will not do is price match. Doing that would dilute my products as well as my margins.

A lot of the success in down playing your competition is through careful wording. You do not want to concentrate too much on what they do wrong but more on what you do right. Tearing them apart is no help to you and few customers like it. There is an art to learning how to rip your competition in a professional way and not come across looking like a big ass and whiner. :)

Your going to need to find all of your strengths ( and their weaknesses ) and then highlight those to prospective customers. What kind of fabric are they using ? Thread, Sewing techniques ?, etc. In other words your going to have to find your strengths and then climb inside the customers heads and make them want to spend a little more based on quality.

Obviously, with the looks of your competitions work, it shouldn't be to hard. :) If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me and I will help you the best I can.  Chris@stonevos.com

Chris
scottymc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 524



« #12 : August 30, 2011, 03:06:13 PM »

Could be better. I'm losing jobs to an awning business that thinks it can do canvas.

The Bayliner on the right is mine, the Cruiser on the left I lost to awning place, that is there canvas.
Lost I believe 4 jobs to them because there cheaper.
My question is how to market to customer? I can build you a nice job, but if price is everything and looks don't matter let me know, I'll build you a piece of crap?
Eric

I'm looking at those two boats Eric and I doubt you will be able to lower your standards to match there's, it might even take you longer to get the quality down that low, not to mention all the sleep you would lose. ;D
Mike8560
Guest


« #13 : August 30, 2011, 03:28:16 PM »

I've got to Admit when i started I was learning as  I went  and inwas the cheoer guy  as I learned I went up in price as far as i could. People Weill talk and just havingntgoowe two boat sitting  side by side. Will do it I'd hate to be thebguy with the lousey boat and have to look at  your nice job.
Somebody had a saying about a cheap job  if you overspent on  somthing all you lost was what you overpaid  but if you got a cheap job. Younlost everything you spent
Peppy
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 1006



« #14 : August 30, 2011, 05:23:32 PM »

Somebody had a saying about a cheap job

Quote
"There is hardly anything in this world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and those people who consider price only, are this man's lawful prey. It is unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money - that is all.   When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot; it cannot be done.   If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better"
 
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Not mine, but I thought it was awesome.

You'll lose a little business at first, but they'll all come back. We've got an undercutter in town and it's perfect. People only concerned about price go to him and are disappointed. Without sh☁t jobs customers won't realize you're the best!
« : August 30, 2011, 05:41:40 PM Peppy »

☠ ✄ ✂ ✁ ✂ ✃ ✄ ✌ ✄ ✂ ✁  ✂ ✃ ✄  ✁ ✃ ☠
http://www.facebook.com/greybruceupholstering
☠ ✄ ✂ ✁ ✂ ✃ ✄ ✌ ✄ ✂ ✁  ✂ ✃ ✄  ✁ ✃ ☠
: [1] 2  
« previous next »
:  



Latex Mattress    Foam Order allows you to design your own latex mattress using layers of certified natural and organic components.
Organic Mattress     Foam Order makes a wonderful organic mattress using certified natural and organic components. Choose your own firmness.
SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines