UPHOLSTERY DISCUSSION BOARD
HOW TO UPHOLSTER FORUM

Rostov Upholstery Supplies Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 13, 2018, 08:43:14 PM
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
|-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| |-+  The Business Of Upholstery
| | |-+  Do you keep a business journal?
« previous next »
: [1]
: Do you keep a business journal?  ( 2901 )
Stephen
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 154


An upholsterer since 1966


« : November 24, 2015, 12:38:16 PM »

As an upholstery business owner, have you ever forgotten what you had told someone about a job, what you need for a job, to order, etc.. Over the years I have forgotten many things that would have been very helpful to remember. In recent years I have learned to take many more notes about jobs, payments, and the like. However, even so, sometimes my notes are scattered all over the place. I haven't had one central place to keep track of all the notes that are useful in running a business.
Recently I finally did something to help with that problem.... Read More

Stephen

SteveA
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +3/-0
: 1376


« #1 : November 26, 2015, 07:59:52 AM »

That's an interesting program.  Great organization -  till now I just create a folder with est, invoices, notes, etc.  I use note pad for reminders or to doc verbal discussions.  You have nice web site.  Thanks for providing it here
SA
Mojo
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4193


I'm Always In Trouble


« #2 : November 28, 2015, 11:02:53 AM »

I never used a journal in the early years. I always kept track of everything without one. Then business got brisk, more and more phone calls started coming in, more inquiries, more orders and I finally had to break down, buy a journal and start using it.

The journal worked great for a long time but then we got extremely busy. Our Manager designed a new contact and work sheet system and without that we would be lost. It allows us to make notes on every order or inquiry and if one of us is out of the shop then the other person can refer back to the notes. There are alot of options and different measurements we have to work with and since we never have the old canvas to pattern from we have to make all new stuff from factory settings, measurements and assembly models. We are slowly but surely using our journals and inquiry forms and work order sheets to build a massive database.

The other factor here is age. I can barely remember my name let alone a phone call I had during the day. :)

Chris
brmax
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 599


« #3 : November 28, 2015, 11:56:16 AM »

That's a good tip there with wp, I have seen others sites with its base and also blogs a great setup in my opinion.
I keep sayin to myself there must be ways to implement picture attachments within quickbooks, I just don't know the routine and need to work towards that. This feature would be good to send completed project photos to clients.
It a tough thing trying to do all phases within invoicing like, records and journal entries in a single program, so really appreciate the link to better understanding a method.
I am seeing more and more small? social programs that are catering to every age group, The combination of business and standard chat seems to run closer together, I'm not sure with that concept and still feel a separate page or site is good.
So my needed interest to keep and eye on available medias are as I say a nice required investment.

Good day
Floyd
Rich
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 1124

I'm a llama!


« #4 : November 28, 2015, 07:59:15 PM »

I started this business in 1989 and with rare exception, I have a written record of every business customer phone call and meeting I've ever had. I keep them, one sheet per customer in loose leaf binders I'm up to about my 8th binder. Doing this was one of my resolutions to never fall into the traps I did in my previous auto trim business. There, customers would take advantage of any vacillations they perceived from me and take the upper hand. For instance "Mr. Johnson, that will be $400.00. What? you told me $300.00 last week on the phone. Well, um, no I think it was $400.00, that what I usually charge for that. No, no, it was $300.00, that's what you told me. OK, $300.00"
Now, it's "I'm sorry for any confusion Mr. Johnson, but on November 12th, we discussed this and the price I quoted you was $400.00 and that is the price now. Oh, OK."
(Not to mention, like mojo, I can't remember anything these days either.)
It takes a little more work after each phone and in person conversation, but the confidence factor is, as they say, priceless.

In recent years I've been making a lot of use of Microsoft's One Note. It's like writing notes on paper, but they are easily moved around the page as well as other features, and being electronic, easy to copy or print.
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!
sofadoc
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +2/-0
: 4477


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


« #5 : November 28, 2015, 08:32:50 PM »

I've quoted prices to people over the phone.

I'll say something like "It will probably cost around $875".

Immediately, the person on the other end will say "Hold on a sec.............HONEY.......HE SAID HE'D DO IT FOR 8 HUNNERT!"

Customers have a bad case of selective memory. It's certainly a good idea to keep some sort of record.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Mojo
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +1/-0
: 4193


I'm Always In Trouble


« #6 : November 29, 2015, 08:01:03 AM »

Rich pointed out one very important point in keeping records and a journal.

I have probably gave away $ 5 K in the past because a customer would say You quoted me $ 800. Hell I couldn't remember what I quoted so I went with what they said. It wasn't their memory that was a problem but mine. :)

Things happen when you get older and I will admit I am down to two brain cells and one is holding the other hostage. Simply put I have a severe case of CRS. It has gotten really bad in the last couple years and without these inquiry/quote sheets and journal I would be in a world of crap.

To keep me on pace Mindy, our manager, and I have a meeting every morning. She knows I have memory issues from a previous stroke and these meetings help me stay on top of things. This is another reason why we hired her. When we were doing a couple orders every week when I was by myself I was able to overcome my memory issues with just a journal. But when we started getting real busy with multiple calls and e-mails for quotes and orders every day it over whelmed me.

I am blessed to have Mindy. Between her and my wife, the two women keep me on track and make sure things do not fall through the cracks. When we went from a sew shop to a production setting, crap really hit the fan. I have no problem admitting the two ladies cover my rear end every day. :)

Chris
Stephen
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 154


An upholsterer since 1966


« #7 : November 29, 2015, 10:39:16 AM »

I started this business in 1989 and with rare exception, I have a written record of every business customer phone call and meeting I've ever had. 1
Rich
Wow Rich. I am certainly admire your diligence in your record keeping. I am not yet at that point.

I've quoted prices to people over the phone.
I'll say something like "It will probably cost around $875".
Customers have a bad case of selective memory. It's certainly a good idea to keep some sort of record.

Yes, clients can have selective memories. That is one reason why whenever I give a phone quote I usually give the price in a range and within the context of a disclaimer. For example, when I give a phone quote I may say something like,

"To cover that wing chair in a basic* upholstery fabric, if everything is in good shape, it could run in the neighborhood of $600 to $900. The actual price may vary depending on the style and condition of the (sofa, chair, etc.), the type, style and pattern of the fabric.[/size]"
To read more detail about what I do to give estimates, go here: Giving Estimates

Secondly, I rarely ever do any work without first making out a Work Order (made out in Quickbooks), having a client sign it, and give a 1/2 deposit.  Click here to read more about making out Work Orders.

As a side note, let me say that I rarely go out to a client's home any more. Instead many clients will email me pictures to first get an estimate. At that time I give them a link to the fabrics page on my website. When they are ready they come into my shop to look at fabrics or place an order. Many times the client will be in rush, so I'll ask them if they want me to email the work order to them. Both at that time, and in the email, I'll tell them I need a signature and a half deposit. Thus, a large percentage of my Work Orders I will email to the clients, which they will mail back with the deposit and signature.


Best Wishes,
Stephen
« : November 29, 2015, 11:02:20 AM Stephen »

Rich
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 1124

I'm a llama!


« #8 : November 29, 2015, 01:38:17 PM »

Stephen,
I like your detailed estimates and the idea that a customer sees that by asking for a lower price, he gets less. No one gets hurt and it's pretty much self explanatory. I wonder though, is that a form which you plug in different numbers for different jobs? I'm thinking about the person who is all fired up from the beginning and then winds up putting it off indefinitely insuring that you spent a certain amount of time with no rewards.
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!
Stephen
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 154


An upholsterer since 1966


« #9 : November 29, 2015, 04:33:04 PM »

Stephen,
I like your detailed estimates....I wonder though, is that a form which you plug in different numbers for different jobs? Rich

Hi Rich,
I don't quite understand what you are asking by "plug in different numbers for different jobs".
So, I will say this, my estimate form is an Excel spreadsheet that I've programmed. The basic form can be used for almost any job. All the  amounts are calculated automatically. You can also use multiple jobs on the one form, by using a different column for each job.

Stephen


byhammerandhand
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 1925

"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."


« #10 : November 29, 2015, 09:04:37 PM »

Years ago, I had some classes in "Time Management" normally tied into one of the companies that provided paper organizers (before the days when about every other person had a smartphone permanently in their left hand).    One of the maxims was, "If you write it down, you don't have to remember it."

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
Rich
YaBB God
*****

Karma: +0/-0
: 1124

I'm a llama!


« #11 : November 29, 2015, 09:29:31 PM »

Good quote Hammer.

Stephen, I meant how much effort is it to plug in the numbers for each new job? Even though the math is done for you with the formulas in the cells, you still have to estimate the yardage, hours etc, right? Or do you have a predetermined set of labor and yardage number for a chair that is similar to the new job? I would like to see the time needed for an estimate become as low as possible since they don't all turn into actual paid jobs.
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!
Stephen
Full Member
***

Karma: +0/-0
: 154


An upholsterer since 1966


« #12 : December 01, 2015, 02:05:17 PM »

Good quote Hammer.

Stephen, I meant how much effort is it to plug in the numbers for each new job? Even though the math is done for you with the formulas in the cells, you still have to estimate the yardage, hours etc, right? Or do you have a predetermined set of labor and yardage number for a chair that is similar to the new job? I would like to see the time needed for an estimate become as low as possible since they don't all turn into actual paid jobs.
Rich

Rich, you have some very good questions. How to you figure out what to charge? and how much time does it take? Firstly, let me say that on my business website I have a page of Upholstery Labor Prices. Then, since You wrote this message I've been writing two other pages, that, in a way, kind of address those questions. You can find them here: How do I figure out what to charge? and here: Filing Out the Estimate Sheet. I think that you probably already looked at this other page: Giving Estimates. In addition, there are a whole group of pages about pricing and estimates connected as subpages to this page: Furniture Upholstery Pricing.

One reason that I prefer to do my writing on my own website is that I have the pages set up w ith a WYSIWYG editor and it is so much easier for me to write on and add pictures to those pages. I addition, I can keep all my writing organized and in one place. I have been writing on forums for years. Early on I began to realize that once I wrote a forum message, how to I ever find it again. And then, how would I connect one of my forum messages with another? Since creating websites is one of my hobbies and passions, I decided to just organize all of my writings on a website. But enough about this.
« : December 01, 2015, 02:20:58 PM Stephen »

: [1]  
« 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