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: Your Work Hours  ( 6681 )
Mojo
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« : May 31, 2013, 08:50:29 AM »

Mike brought something up that I found interesting and thought I would pose the question to ya'll.

How does your work day go ? Are you strict on your hours and sew with typical 15 minute breaks and 30 min or an hour lunch ?

I typically sew for an hour take a 10 minute break then sew some more. I take a 30 minute lunch break and then get back to it. If I am on chemo then at noon I will lay down for a couple hours and get back up and sew till 8 pm.

How do the rest of you schedule your work time ?

Chris
Mike
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« #1 : May 31, 2013, 09:07:59 AM »

Well typicly i have coffe on my patio. Leave ariu d 8 am stop for a mcmuffin. At the park overlooking the harbor. Either i have to go to somones house to pattern or i go to my shop. Today im waiti g for ups tyen i can sew. Lucnh is generaly whenever if i patterned i may have luch at 1100 when im done.
 I may sew a bit go to linch and casuale friday will probly wiluit  early.
I did have a lady said she would like see me at the shoP this morning

sofadoc
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« #2 : May 31, 2013, 09:26:04 AM »

I try to do as much of the 'stand-up' work as possible done in the early part of the day, before my feet give out. Then I do all the 'sit-down' sewing work in the latter half of the day.

But of course, with each job being different, my plan doesn't always work out that way.

I'm here from 7-5 Mon-Fri, and I come in for a few hours on Sat morning to tie up loose ends. I try to do out-of-town PU/Deliveries on Sat afternoons. Since most of them are in the Dallas area, the missus and me use Saturdays to mix business with pleasure. She'll do some shopping, I'll call on a few customers, and we'll cap the evening off at a restaurant.

As for breaks, I take 'em any time I want to (like right now :D).

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Mike
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« #3 : May 31, 2013, 02:42:10 PM »

I ended up sewing and making the whole cover left at 3.
 Ut biy sofa even the sit down part seaing kills m back id like to find a good
ChIr. I had to ly on a sewing to to streach. My. Back
out straight
« : May 31, 2013, 06:44:52 PM Mike »

gene
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« #4 : May 31, 2013, 05:14:07 PM »

I work half days, Monday through Saturday.

It really doesn't matter which half of the day I work, as long as I get my 12 hours in.   :)

ba da boom!

Or, maybe it's more like 8a.m. to 9a.m. for paper work then to the studio till 6 or 6:30 Mon - Fri and 4 or 5 hours at work on Saturday.

I enjoy what I do so I seem not to mind the long hours. It's kind of like a CEO of a big company who spends his/her life at the job, except I don't have the money, benefits, status, or prestige of a big company CEO. It's more like a working class stiff trying to make ends meet.

gene

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Rich
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« #5 : June 01, 2013, 07:16:49 AM »

One thing I think is important here is the number of employees or none at all. From what I think I know, those who have responded so far work alone like me. That makes it easier to see the hours worked since it's only one person. Gene, it seems like you manage to put in a lot of hours doing actual productive work vs. administrative time. I find it difficult to do that. My mix is more like 50/50 most days unless I''m out on the road where it will be 90/10 (productive/admin) for that day. But, there are the days after and before where the administrative hours for that job balance it out. So, over all, 50/50 is about it for me. I'm just curious, if you don't mind my digressing Chris, what are the hour mixes for others posting here?
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Darren Henry
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« #6 : June 01, 2013, 07:53:45 AM »

When I had my own shop I would have been 50% like Rich. Answer the phone,order material----it all takes time that ; at least in my market,you couldn't bill without pricing yourself out of the job.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Mojo
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« #7 : June 02, 2013, 06:36:47 AM »

I would have to say that my hourly split is probably 70/30. 70 % spent in the shop sewing and 30 % spent on admin work. Most of my admin work is spent answering e-mails. My wife commented the other day when I was answering a question for a customer " it is 10 PM......do you ever set this business down ? ". I prefer to do all the admin work at night when I am tired and out of energy.

During the day time hours when I am filled with energy I get right after the labor portion of this work.
Maybe my admin hourly split is a little low because my wife handles all the invoicing.

Chris
sofadoc
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« #8 : June 02, 2013, 08:07:55 AM »

It's hard for me to even factor administrative time.

I'll reply to a few e-mails while sitting in front of the TV every evening. I do most of my estimates from an e-mail photo. I rarely do in-home estimates anymore.

It takes less than 30 minutes per week to pay all the invoices from my suppliers.

And I keep MY invoices to customers short and sweet. No long drawn out itemizations.

Other than Chris, who takes in most of his work via the miracle of the inter-web.........What are the rest of you guys doing (administratively) that consumes so much of your time?
« : June 02, 2013, 08:08:40 AM sofadoc »

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Darren Henry
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« #9 : June 02, 2013, 09:34:58 AM »

For me it was phone calls "how much to fix my boat top?", drive/boat over for measurements, draw up a cutting schedule to find yardage,write up the free quote and phone them back. then if they went with me vs. a competitor;Phone in the order, carry the material from the house out to the shop, and then put the paperwork into my ledgers after the job was done. I did upgrade to tablet and pencil 1.3 which featured an eraser and incandescent light---but it was still slow.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Rich
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« #10 : June 03, 2013, 06:21:47 AM »

It's hard for me to even factor administrative time.

I'll reply to a few e-mails while sitting in front of the TV every evening. I do most of my estimates from an e-mail photo. I rarely do in-home estimates anymore.

It takes less than 30 minutes per week to pay all the invoices from my suppliers.

And I keep MY invoices to customers short and sweet. No long drawn out itemizations.

Other than Chris, who takes in most of his work via the miracle of the inter-web.........What are the rest of you guys doing (administratively) that consumes so much of your time?

From a previous reply to a similar topic on this forum last August:
"I operate my business mostly myself. Of course, I couldn't do it without the help of my wife who keeps the office in order (and a million other tasks) part time. But, all of the productive work, you know, the stuff customers will actually pay for, is done by me. I don't get off the hook for much of the related stuff, however, since I still have to make phone calls, write up quotes on the more intricate jobs, talk to customers both in person and over the phone, reply to emails etc."

I didn't realize you guys are mixing work stuff with personal time. I guess I could say I do that to an extent, but for me it's working on a new spreadsheet, working on a new method, etc. things that would help my business in general, but not specifically related to the jobs I do. For that reason, I don't count it as administrative time (is it R&D time?) So, for those that do emails in front of the TV, or while driving (let's hope not!) I guess you couldn't really say how many total hours you put in to your businesses right?
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Mojo
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« #11 : June 03, 2013, 06:39:43 AM »

Rich:

In all fairness I may do more then 30 % admin time. Like Dennis I do answer e-mails and even wind bobbins at night while sitting in front of the TV. So if that time was included then yes I may be at 50 %.

I was basically thinking of my work day and during those hours I spend as much time as possible in the shop sewing. I do not even take my phone into the shop with me most days so I am not disturbed. I can do this since 95 % of my orders all come in via e-mails. I check my voice mails throughout the day and return calls right away if need be. If I am waiting for a specific call I will keep the phone near me but otherwise and on most days It stays in the living room.

The daytime, especially mornings, are my most productive times. Evenings roll around and I am typically to damn tired to sew. But lately, because of a large backup of orders I have been sewing till 8 or 9 pm. This is one of the benefits of having a shop at home but it also can be a real PITA because it is hard for me to relax in the living room when I know 30 ft down the hall way sits a backlog of orders.

Like my wife says sometimes " you need to slow down and not let this business consume you ". That is easier said then done considering my OCD takes over and I feel I should be working. :)

Chris
Mike
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« #12 : June 03, 2013, 11:03:04 AM »

Today i sewed on some reinforcement pads to a cover i made friday. Then install it on the lift.
Lunch and thats a day.  Not much point starting ampattern across county  now

Ps started pourin g anyway
« : June 03, 2013, 12:05:14 PM Mike »

Rich
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« #13 : June 04, 2013, 06:03:27 AM »

I forgot to mention one item that consumes a lot of my time and that is quotation follow up calls. And there can be a lot of them. When I had my auto trim shop, I never did this. customers would come in, get an estimate and then bargain for the best price. Usually, they would have the work done. If they didn't come back, that was that. In my business now, I'm making phone calls after about a week or two to find out what the doctor has decided and many times it's either, "He hasn't made a decision yet" or "She's decided to put this on the back burner" which really means, "she had no idea reupholstery of her chair would cost so much and she's looking for someone to do it for less". I think it's mainly an issue of auto owners who really wanted to customize their cars vs. doctors who have better things to do than to encounter another expense for maintenance.
Every few weeks my wife will present me with a stack of customer folders saying "you really need to call these people".
Takes more of my time than I would like to spend on it, but it does result in more work, so I do it.
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Mojo
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« #14 : June 04, 2013, 07:02:51 AM »

Rich:

People think I am nuts for doing free slide topper inspections but it represents future business as well as data collection. I should mention I also inspect everything on the roof - caulking condition, antenaes, air con covers, sky dome condition, etc. I hate climbing on top of these big damn buses and doing inspections but I do them for several reasons. Some of these owners are too old to get on top and inspect them and they really appreciate me doing it for them. Some haven't a clue as to how to inspect the thread for rot. And the main reason is it gives me the opportunity to meet a potential customer, give him my business card, inspect his coach canvas and give him an estimate if needed.

But the beauty is I have amassed a large filing system of coach reports for future business. I keep a record of each inspection including measurements, fabric colors, awning assembly models and brands, coach type, coach manufacturer, coach model designation, etc. These inspection reports all go into my file and if a year down the road the owner decides to replace his canvas he can make one call to me and I have all the info I need.

One of these days I want to build a database and enter all this data and be able to generate reports on who may be in need of new toppers based on age and condition at the time of my inspection. My idea was to use these to generate new business when things are slow but to be honest I am so busy all the time I have never had to resort to calling owners based on these reports. But these reports have not been a waste as 1.) I convert many inspections into instant orders 2.) I have got alot of orders from them down the road since they all know I have all the the info and can just call me.

Chris
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