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: What a Wacky Business  ( 1666 )
YaBB God

Karma: +2/-0
: 4294

I'm Always In Trouble

« : March 05, 2013, 09:54:51 PM »

I cannot believe how this business is sometimes. I know Mike goes through what I go through but was wondering if the rest of you see this.

I was getting down to my last order on the board and was getting worried about incoming orders ( there were none ) and then wham.......... I am now buried for two weeks. My savings accounts were getting low because I have been slammed with expenses. I have spent $ 3,000 this month on motorcoach rallys for March, April and May and have been watching my accounts slowly dwindle down.

Thankfully my coffers are getting built back up again. But sometimes the stress of these business cycles drives me insane. Full out balls to the wall one week, slow downs the next two then three weeks of flat out sewing. It is never steady.

I dream of a smooth steady operation but realize it will never happen. What is your business like ? Is it constantly up and down ?

YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 2911

Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL

« #1 : March 05, 2013, 10:09:55 PM »

I too was caught up then I got qa good job down ft myers beach and quite a few mlore still on the book,  lousey part was the guy in ft myers was leaving this week I had to install Saturday n the cold then he had a couple issues no bigy but I had a hour drive   so sunday I show up thinking im all good but he said he had one more issue but  I was almost to my car so rather hten call me cell he waited till sunday to tell me so I  was going to make him happy and return that afternoon right awqay but then when I was leaving to return he said he forgot and could I be there Monday pm?  OOOKKK
sol my schedual got all f up as sunday I was going to make a top and install Monday morning   but sat urday a guy call would like a estimalt  how would wensday morning be  I said ok this was Saturday  now moday im paid and done in ft myers and today make the top and will install wensday morning  about 6 pm when ikm taking my trash barrels out I remember the appoint conflict tomorow

Sr. Member

Karma: +0/-0
: 271

Ash Flat, Arkansas

« #2 : March 07, 2013, 11:13:43 PM »

I am, and have stayed buried since starting this....unfortunately I have misjudged some time to complete a few jobs (mainly because my skilled help doesn't feel the need to show up) and am working my arse off to try and get caught up so currently not scheduling any work until april, but already filling aprils calender, it is crazy right now because noone thinks to have their boats done off-season, they all pull the covers off at same time and flood us with them , wanting it done before boating season is in full swing
Darren Henry
YaBB God

Karma: +2/-0
: 5651

some days are better than others

« #3 : March 09, 2013, 10:43:38 AM »

they all pull the covers off at same time and flood us with them , wanting it done before boating season is in full swing

My favorite was the guy who showed up on the thursday afternoon before the May long weekend (unofficial start of summer in Canada) expecting a new convertible top by sat. morning. We had 3 boats on the go and two waiting for the same deadline. Even the boss and his daughter were hanging canvas instead of doing upholstery to help the two of us "just" make it.

His argument was that he had meant to do it all winter so had already been waiting that long. ??? :o 


Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
YaBB God

Karma: +3/-0
: 3223

North Central Florida

« #4 : March 09, 2013, 02:04:43 PM »

We opened our doors for business in 1989. The first year was rough but after our name got out there our backlog never went less then 6 weeks and at one point we were scheduling for 6 months.

That is till about 4 years ago. We had our first slow period but never completely ran out of work.

That is till about 2 years ago. We finished one job and the next job was not there. That leaves a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. Fortunately my wife is a great sales person and got on the phone and called old estimates that we hadn't heard back from. She rustled up some work. This happened several times and we started thinking what happens if one of these slow periods lasts for weeks or months. We devised a game plan to bring in more business that included participating in antique shows, calling on design firms and opening our business to other markets. All helped some, but it came to a point that we had to realize its time to think about looking for more steady work. Those bills keep coming even during the slow periods and it kills me to take money out of savings.

The great thing about being a skilled upholsterer is there are plenty of companies looking for help. Finding one that matches your personality and pays a decent wage can be a challenge. But after 2 years and 3 tries I found a job I'm very comfortable with and plan to stay till I retire.

Funny thing is all the other people where I work warned me of slow summers and the typical slow period after Christmas. One fellow came up to me and warned me to take it easy so we'll have work for the slow times. I've been there 11 months now and haven't experienced one slow day. I don't think they knew how much work I brought with me.

After 9 months and several interviews my wife finally got a job that matches her collage education with the Fl Dept. of Revenue as an accountant.

My wife and I continue to do upholstery work on weekends but now we can be very picky which jobs we take.

Some time in the future those smooth and steady days will return but not until the economy becomes smooth and steady.

« : March 09, 2013, 02:11:09 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
YaBB God

Karma: +2/-0
: 4546

All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #5 : March 09, 2013, 04:11:17 PM »

The great thing about being a skilled upholsterer is there are plenty of companies looking for help. Finding one that matches your personality and pays a decent wage can be a challenge. But after 2 years and 3 tries I found a job I'm very comfortable with and plan to stay till I retire.
I enjoyed looking at the Facebook pics where you work. Looks like you got a great gig.

I'm as busy as I ever was, but I suspect that's only because in my area, as the demand for upholstery work has gradually declined over the years, so has the number of people doing it. It's been a natural attrition.
I've never even come close to running out of work, but that's mainly because the local competition has dried up.

In the last few years, I've had several experienced upholsterers ask me for a job.
I tell them "Sorry, but I just take in what I can do myself". A couple of them hinted (threatened) that if they didn't work FOR me.......well then they would have no choice but to compete AGAINST me.

I never even hear rumors about them after that.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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