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: What a Strange Couple Months  ( 1340 )
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« : December 02, 2014, 10:57:27 AM »

This has been one goofy fall for me. Orders have been full tilt boogie and then its dead. Then it is back on and balls to the wall. Has anyone else seen this or is everyone else's business stable ?

I did get some preliminary numbers today and our growth continues but it seems our revenue is starting to moderate a little. 2012 we were up 60 %, last year I believe it was 30 % and this year we again grew our numbers but we are only up 20 %.

The wife and I are at loggerheads over the future. I am an A Type personality and have always been full on in business. So I want to grow it more next year by adding a few more rally dates and do some select advertising. She is comfortable with where things are currently at and does not want to grow anymore.

I just feel if I do not keep growing things will stagnate and our numbers will start dropping. It is something her and I need to really work through.

Has anyone else had a goofy Oct-Nov-Dec ?

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


« #1 : December 02, 2014, 11:35:51 AM »

Geez Chris. You got more money than God now. Take it easy.  ;)

But that's easy for ME to say. I'm whatever the opposite of "Type A" is. I just take the work as it comes in, and it's always more than I need or even want.

But I know that it's easy to worry that "If you're not growing BIGGER.......you must be growing SMALLER". And if you're staying level, then the inflation parade is passing you by.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #2 : December 02, 2014, 02:58:08 PM »

Balls to the Wall ?  not sure ? 
I go through Feast or Famine all the time. 
Haven't figured it out yet - maybe someday ?   Good luck with your rising numbers -
SA
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #3 : December 02, 2014, 05:58:39 PM »

I was just thinking...........where has all this money gone ???....lol.......

In the front door and out the back.

I am sure that if I continue doing what I am doing and do not expand out then sales will start
reversing and coming back down. The markets I am currently in are getting played out. But I only
have maybe 10 % of the overall market so there is more out there. Heck I haven't even touched the residential market. Just depends if I want to go after the other 90 %.

If I was 25 I wouldn't hesitate. But at my age ??? The wife has me thinking...... :)

Chris
Darren Henry
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some days are better than others


« #4 : December 02, 2014, 07:19:27 PM »

Quote
again grew our numbers but we are only up 20 %

If you are comparing jobs completed, or number of customers,billed hours etc---I've got to side with your wife ( sorry her name escapes me at the moment.You have mentioned it.) simple because there comes a point of saturation. The two of you can only produce a certain amount of product in a reasonable "work week". To go beyond that you are either denying your self a healthy life, or you have to bring in staff. I don't think I need to remind you of what a gong show that can be.

 
Quote
if you're staying level, then the inflation parade is passing you by

Dennis brings up a good point. I am at the same rate of pay as when I started here 4 1/2 years ago. Despite retiring a significant payment I am back to the same "money in my pocket" at the end of every two weeks. The cost of living and of doing business does creep up---so should your prices to reflect that. If 8 hours of billable time & material mark up provided you and your Sheila a tank of gas and burgers, fries, and a shakes all round in 2013; It has to still do that in 2019. My $.193 USD opinion.  
« : December 02, 2014, 07:40:58 PM Darren Henry »

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
gene
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« #5 : December 02, 2014, 07:39:21 PM »

This has been the oddest holiday season ever for me. I'm busy but not crazy busy. I won't need to burn the midnight oil at all to get things finished before Christmas. I haven't had anyone calling and asking if I can get their job in before Xmas: please, please, please?

I had a customer tell me yesterday that a major job was cancelled by the homeowner. I think she took my numbers and got a cheaper price from another upholster. Either way, I would have liked the work but I won't miss it. (This was to have started this week and would have been finished late January.)

Not much of a back log, but sales continue to be strong.

gene

 


QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
Mike
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« #6 : December 02, 2014, 08:18:02 PM »

I agree with dennis just take it as it comes you can only produce much .

me as this is my first year at the new shop my landlord dealer bust finished the Lauderdale and ft myers boats shows so I have had a influx of work this past month one to do tomorrow and one more schedualed after that all to try to do while doing my own work . I don't have time to do the math
« : December 02, 2014, 08:38:09 PM Mike »

Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #7 : December 02, 2014, 08:29:22 PM »

Darren:

You bring up some good points. I have a couple other ideas and am going to put a two year plan together. What I do now will directly effect what happens in two years. I will either come out a hero or a zero in 2017. :)

I honestly thought about selling and had a meeting with a potential buyer. He threw some ideas at me and an offer but I backed out. I am not ready to retire again. My wife also said " You will NEVER retire.....ever... if you sold this business you would open up another one the very next day in some different field. "  Damn I hate it when she is right.

My goal is to have a two year plan ready for the New Year. I am going to do some phone conferences with some close friends and present some ideas to them. I have a vast amount of business experience and marketing but I never launch a new program or idea without bouncing it off some very knowledgeable and successful business friends. I always rely on my outside brain trust ( as well as my wife ) when making big business decisions because they are sitting on the hill looking down on the forest. They also add alot to what I am planning or thinking.

We shall see.

Chris
gene
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« #8 : December 03, 2014, 07:15:59 PM »

Quote
I had a customer tell me yesterday that a major job was cancelled by the homeowner. I think she took my numbers and got a cheaper price from another upholster.

ID called today and said the homeowner wants me to reupholster two of the chairs that were a part of this project, (the project that was supposedly cancelled).

The other upholsterer said he needs 8 yards MORE fabric for the two chairs than what I said I needed. The fabric, (on this project that was supposedly cancelled) has already been purchased based on my fabric estimates.

Why does he want so much more fabric? I don't know.
Is he trying to rip us off? I don't know.
If you can do it for less fabric why can't he? I  don't know.

I had just over 2 hours of time put into the Estimates, phone calls, going over photos, and going over the fabric types and repeats.  

I'm wondering if the next Estimate I give this ID will be able to be beaten by every upholsterer in the continental US of A, including shipping?  

gene


« : December 03, 2014, 07:19:20 PM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
byhammerandhand
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« #9 : December 03, 2014, 08:50:02 PM »

Why did they purchase fabric for a cancelled project?   I don't know.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #10 : December 03, 2014, 08:58:08 PM »

Why does he want so much more fabric? I don't know.
Is he trying to rip us off? I don't know.
If you can do it for less fabric why can't he? I  don't know.
Why is the ID asking you these questions instead of the other guy?


I don't charge for my time to work up estimates. But if I ever spent 2 hours on one and then the ID cancelled on me.........we're done.

And I have zero patience for ID's that are just bouncing back and forth looking for the cheapest estimate. It sounds like the ID wanted the best of both worlds. She wanted the other guy's labor price and your yardage estimate. Tell her to pick her poison.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #11 : December 03, 2014, 09:24:08 PM »

I think crazy is second nature in this business. Four years ago we got slow, really slow. To the point Rose and I decided to throw in the towel and seek employment elsewhere.

I found a job at a workroom in Deerfield beach. The pay was great but the lifestyle in south Florida was to fast paced for this country boy. 

I went to work for a shop in Jacksonville. The pay was poor and I soon learned the quality was too.

So I went to work for an Ex-employer in Gainesville, and all was good. My wife found a job working for the state and we were making more money than we had in a long time. After about a year things started to sour at my job. The old "Poor planning on your part dose not constitute an emergency on my part" syndrome. I was getting blamed for things I did not do.

So I went back to work for myself. And all is good. Work is steady and Rose has an awesome insurance plan. Rose has a blood disorder. Shes had it since she was a teen. Nothing serious but always in the back of our minds. A pharmaceutical company just came out with a treatment that curers it 100% in most cases. The cost, $80K. Our co-pay, a few hundred dollars. Rose wants to come back and work for for ourselves but this treatment is a fantastic opportunity, one we can't afford to pass up. It is a 3 month program.

We were both working in Gainesville, a one hour commute to and one hour home every day. So we bought a house there. When I quit my job (a family decision) I went back to work in our shop in Live Oak. During the week I'm up here and shes down there. We get to see each other on the weekends. I really miss her.

Our two year plan started last April when I quit my job. That is to sell the Live Oak house and move the business to High Springs or Gainesville. The first step happened Sunday when we listed our house with the realtor. I'll start a new post on that now.

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