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: Unpredictable Business  ( 1843 )
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« : September 25, 2013, 09:25:19 PM »

I am trying to grasp how you Marine/Furniture/Automotive peoples business cycles run. I would like a comparison to the RV side.

I was laying low, burned through all my orders and was doing some home projects because I was out of work. I used this down time to start another run of the nasty med's and started out with low dosing and was going to slowly ramp up. I was actually enjoying myself, doing OK and even got one order and pawned that off on Big Mike ( thank you Mike for taking that order ).

Then all hell broke lose this week. I am now booked out till the end of October, and that is sewing 6 and 7 days a week. The orders have been pouring in over the phone and internet and I was scrambling trying to keep everything straight. I do not want to sound like I am ungrateful but these cycles are getting very annoying. It has been the best year I have had and orders have been steady. My blow out months were all coming off rallys I did but now I am seeing the big influx of orders has no relation to any rallys. I am getting back into this rollercoaster ride again. Steady - busy - then flat out.

Are the rest of you like this ? Do you get a little slow and then get slammed for a month or two ? Or are your cycles pretty steady ? What about you furniture guys and gals ? I know Mike hits his cycles in the marine world and I believe June does as well ( according to the seasons and snowbirds ) but am wondering about the rest of you.

Does your business oscillate up and down ?
Thanks,

Chris
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #1 : September 25, 2013, 09:40:07 PM »

Hi Chris,
  I'll speak of my day job. We had a good start of the year. Very busy unlike last year which was hit and mis. We then got a big job for Disney which took up months almost full time for all of us. No normal work was coming well it trickled in. Which actually was good seeing we had tons to do for the Disney job. We finished the job and now the work is flowing like a broken hose. We have no room to move in the shop. Not complaining mind you but it is humming. If I knew a local upholsterer I would probably put them to work.
  Hope this finds you well.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #2 : September 25, 2013, 10:07:56 PM »

My business has always been VERY steady. In my younger days, if I needed extra money to pay bills, all I had to do was work extra hours. The work was always there if I needed it. Still is.

But I've never considered myself "slammed". Nor Have I ever found myself sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

I've bid on big jobs like the Disney thing that Paul spoke of. But I never really aggressively bid on them. I've got a few of them (big jobs), but for the most part, those jobs went to places that obviously wanted them a lot more than I did.

There's always been more than enough for one.......but not enough for two.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #3 : September 26, 2013, 12:40:39 AM »

chris floridas pace has been a learning experience for me new England was predictable wit  the snow and boat hibernation.

but I got here and got work right away along with 2 boat dealers but then 4 months later were  were hit with hurricane charley ( great welcome to florida) and was deluged with work from dealer and my own customers  dealer were work immediately and private customers trickled down for a few year waiting for there own reasons all the time I had the regulr influkes of normal customer mixed in.
and then all the dealer either closed or moved out .  and 2006  the boat show was great a lot of jobs came of it 2007 2008   . but my cyle are pretty steady  yes snow =birds keep me busy  normally they start coming later in October and November then its dead thru the holidays till it picks up again in January, I gwet deadline in april then I get fulltime resident all summer I ran low a couple times this summer but juast as I did I got call for big jobs, this last week was the first time there was nothing on the books. now I wont say im book but I have  gotten a few nice jobs and a couple maybes todays got to talk to the wifes and a couple small cushion jobs not to mention your awning guy thank you (btw hes 22 yards 46")
this was the first time I didn't sweat it when the worked slowed. to run out I would have panicked b4 and I always get stressed out with the busy deadlinesl so im changing to it gets done when it can be from now on

I think you should take it easy not pushing yourself so much. I know how it is though ive got a lot of things tile carpet and pait I need to do   but when it was slow I worked improving my shop I really just want to relax more id like to try kayaking and fishing the shallows more if I made the time

crammage
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« #4 : September 26, 2013, 07:21:34 AM »

My work is always hit and miss, but since it's a part time business that works ok for me.  Right now I'm super busy because I have a big job hitting tomorrow and it needs to be done in a week since I'm leaving town the following weekend for a week.  So it's going to be all hands on deck for the next week!.  Yep, putting the wife to work pulling staples and cutting fabric!

Oh, and when you get slammed it seems like everything else happens at the same time, we have a funeral on Saturday (1 hour drive away so there's 4 hours gone from my prime working time), I have a church board meeting Sunday evening, and tons of little things before I leave town.  fortunately I have lots of vacation time from my primary job and it's very flexible so I can take some days off this week to work on furniture and get double pay! 

Clay
Joys Shop
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« #5 : September 26, 2013, 08:19:43 AM »

I do only furniture and I'm booked up 5 to 6 months in advance

I must not be charging enough
but

I don't get every job that I give an estimate on.  Which is one way I judge whether my prices are too low or not

If I got every job, then the prices are too low.   If I can't get any, then prices are too high



Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #6 : September 26, 2013, 09:52:09 AM »

Joy ss long as your happy that what matters.
I started as the best prices in my area  but i was able  be cheaper and profit well
« : September 26, 2013, 09:53:22 AM Mike »

bobbin
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« #7 : September 26, 2013, 04:58:43 PM »

I was sweating.  But have since received 2 inquiries on yacht interiors for "winter work", a GO on a very nice outdoor kitchen area winter cover, and couple of repair/duplication projects.  All of which has heartened me greatly.  We'll see!
forsailbyowner
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« #8 : October 01, 2013, 05:51:15 PM »

The way Im set up on my boat I can go a couple of months just sailing around eating seafood and stores from the boat when things get slow. I really enjoy those times and am looking forward to the holiday slowdown.
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #9 : October 02, 2013, 06:54:30 AM »

Are you saling down to florida again?

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