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: Are You Building Your Business?  ( 328 )
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« : February 05, 2019, 09:47:11 AM »

For the past few years I've been thinking about this web page update suggestion from Manta.

"Update and/or redesign your website using a mobile-first approach. If you haven’t updated your website in the last three years, it’s time to do so. You don’t have to be an expert, according to Taylor, who recommends using an agency that specializes in working with small business owners. “I use and recommend OptimizedScribes.com–they do it all and they are ridiculously affordable,” said Taylor."

But the older I get (Birthday the 25th) the more I think screw it. I'm at a point where I'm happy with my customer base and thinking I can ride out the next 7 or 8 years before retirement on business pages we already have in place, our company reputation and word of mouth. I still update our business pages from time to time by adding new photos of our work but a website redesign does not sound like fun. Of course if the economy ever goes south I may have a different attitude.

I know there are a lot of old farts like myself on here so I'm wondering how many of you are spending precious time thinking about retirement rather than building your on line presence and building your customer base?

https://www.manta.com/resources/small-business-tips/6-boost-digital-marketing-2019/?

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
SteveA
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« #1 : February 05, 2019, 11:11:13 AM »

Similar here - need a couple of years to SS - not looking to push.  Especially now here in NY - income based ACA has finally worked in my favor.  This year the 15,000 ded has gone to zero based on the changes to include more people in affordable health in NY.  It was a shock to get the letter telling me my plan was changed to zero ded - although over the years I've put some 450,000 into health care via premiums - finally now I'm going to have a much more easy course.
Sites like manta and linkedin put my name within the first or second page and I don't have to do anything.  They want to make their search engines favorable to folks and no complaints here.   
SA
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #2 : February 06, 2019, 10:42:32 AM »

I'm not thinking about retirement. But I'm not thinking about building my business either. I just get up and go to work every day. When I finish one piece, I move on to the next one.

I don't try to push it. 40 hrs. is enough. Not even remotely interested in expanding or hiring. Just keep my head down and keep chopping wood. Not interested in training the next generation of upholsterers. When I'm gone, they can tear my building down and put up a Jiffy Lube if they want to.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #3 : February 06, 2019, 11:15:33 AM »

Doc I was thinking of a speakeasy for old grumpy white upholsters - of course stylish with the best of furnishings, lighting, and a wall with broken phones in memorandum  !
SA
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #4 : February 06, 2019, 08:17:51 PM »

I really envy you guys. I wished I could just ride it out with what I have and then say screw it and walk into the sunset. But I have a sickness since I was a teen and that is called workaholic. My wife and kids have jokingly talked about an intervention and sending me off to some treatment center. Every year it gets worse. It is almost like a passion and I push myself daily to come up with new ideas, products, services etc.

I should slow down and take it easy and start looking for a buyer. Instead I just made one hell of a risky move last week and expanded and created another division under our RV parts company. I bought a service van with a Utilimaster conversion ( onboard Onan generator, air compressor, inside work room, etc. I also hired a young RV Tech and like a dummy launched a mobile RV service in 4 Florida counties.

Next year I am looking at adding a second service van that will concentrate on doing mobile engine service on diesel motorcoaches. RV'ers are starting to hate going to service centers and in the society we now live in where everyone wants convenience and their ass kissed, this service is now a hot commodity. If I was 40 I would bring in a couple investors and franchise this across the country. I nearly franchised a business I owned back in the 80's but my ex wife said no she didn't want the financial risk. My competitor did franchise it and is now a multi-multi millionaire. I get pissed every time I hear their business name " Shred It ".

Instead of looking to retirement I am focusing on building our revenue more and expanding. I think when I hit the $ 1 million mark in sales which is my goal I will call it quits, sell the companies and hide out. By then I will be old enough to not give a crap anymore. 3 more years and I hope to be there.

I will admit this new mobile on site service is a bit scary. The investment was huge so in a years time I will know if I am a hero or a zero. I have always taken risks in business but they are always shrewd, calculated well thought out risks. I just hope I didn't screw myself this time. LOL

Mojo
SteveA
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« #5 : February 07, 2019, 09:31:05 AM »

I have that sickness as well. Maybe to an even more extreme.  Granted - I don't work every hour of an 8 hour period and many days I barely work but that's when I'm going to a museum, seeing a friend, I'm I'll, or driving Miss Daisy.  Otherwise I've worked 7 days a week for the last 40 years without a vacation or day off.  Even on Christmas I spend an hour or so in the shop and paperwork every night regardless of the day.
The crazy thing is that it's what I like to do and yes it's a passion and workaholic combined. Never out earned anyone I grew up with but I wouldn't trade what I do although sometimes I wonder if I worked for a big company I'd give new meaning to dress down Friday. 
SA
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #6 : February 07, 2019, 12:17:48 PM »

Workaholic sounds like a sickness, I've got a better name.

I was talking to a neighbor the other day. He is retired from an HVAC business he owned. He generally had 10 to 15 employees. He told me no mater what size company you own it will not be successful if you are not "self motivated".

I guess that includes everything you do in life including working for someone else. If your not motivated to get up at 6:00am (or earlier) every day and hit the road running you will continually be left behind.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #7 : February 07, 2019, 07:08:47 PM »

  I don't know if I'm a workaholic but I sure fit the bill.
  I'm always trying to build the business into more. I am probably the oldest here and I just can't stop. If I stop I think I will die. Not literally worried about it but what would I do with myself. Maybe if I win the Lottery and can travel to world I may think about not building the business but for now it is just part of my nature not to slow down or stop. If I'm not slowing down I'm trying to make it better.
  Oh well.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #8 : February 07, 2019, 10:29:29 PM »

Boy. I feel better now. It is nice knowing I am not the only one who is suffering from workaholic syndrome.

Mojo
baileyuph
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« #9 : February 09, 2019, 09:31:10 AM »

There are many ways - I am sure - to build a business.  There is always - ways if you will - to enhance
the existing business.  Just the desire to make a living, enhance profits, etc.  will drive a lot of business
owners to continue making improvements to gain those profits. 

Spending less time selling (phone, etc.) is an excellent way!  Often I can remove/ disassemble in
less time than the phone time.

Just be sensitive to what your duties are;  wasn't it
Sofa who implied that procedure.  It is often easier to improve an existing business than going in
other directions.

Good reading - thanks all!

Doyle
gene
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« #10 : February 12, 2019, 07:54:26 AM »

I listened to an interview recently of a guy who sold his company at age 34 for millions of dollars and bought an 89 foot yacht and sailed it around the Caribbean for several years. He said he died from boredom. All the people who were his age who he found interesting were working. The scum bags, drug addicts, hangers' on, all the low life throughout the Caribbean all wanted to be friends with the guy who owns the big boat. He said almost all his conversations were with waiters and bar tenders because he usually ate on shore. He was retired for only a few years before he went back to work.

I decided to not grow my company with employees several years ago. It was a very sad time for me. And a big economic decision regarding my retirement. But it was the best decision for me to make. If I were 30 years younger it would be a very different story.

Retirement for me will be working at things I enjoy with no deadlines. I can't imagine me not doing something, even if it's volunteer work.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
jaxjandj
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« #11 : February 13, 2019, 02:29:54 PM »

We are building a business from the ground up. For us, this is the what comes next part of our lives as
professional careers head off into the sunset.  It is also driven by volunteerism, which as we get deeper into this understand that it is a craft that is going away because it's not taught in too many places if at all.  We will be doing a combination of re-upholstery work and marine canvas fabrication both outside and inside the boat.  My wife with a life times worth of sewing experience started re-upholstering furniture 2 yrs ago, and I have the type of day job that allows me to work on my skills.  Through our volunteer work, we have access to a shop to work in and boats in need of canvas and fabric repair that could last a lifetime.  Building skills is the biggest frustration, we have taken one class and are looking at signing up for others.  It's an interesting journey but sure beats sitting behind a desk everyday.
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #12 : February 13, 2019, 03:37:41 PM »

If I could start over again I would focus on Marine. The problem with furniture is people constantly compare reupholstery with the cheap stuff coming out of China. Boat work is completely custom. You cannot go to a discounter and buy a Bimini top or a full enclosure.

Good luck and welcome to the forum Jaxjandj

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
baileyuph
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« #13 : February 15, 2019, 08:56:49 AM »

Boats are not exempt from China -

Ranger (boat manufacturer for well over 50 years) in Arkansas is now available from China.  I just
installed seat upholstery fabricated there.

I work on pontoon boat covers made there frequently.  They cost about 50% less.

Marine is not exempt - it has been happening.

It is all about PRICE!

Doyle 
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #14 : February 16, 2019, 09:56:11 AM »

That's interesting Doyle. I don't do boats so maybe I'm speaking out of turn.

I'm sure there are plenty of one size fits all boat covers imported from china. My neighbor has one. The cover fits very sloppy and every time it rains it traps puddles of water inside. His cover looks like a one size fits all cover. Kinda like a one size fits all slip cover for a wing chair. This is a shame, boats are expensive. A boat owner will quickly lose value when his investment is not maintained properly.

On the other hand take a look at some of the covers our friend Mike makes.
https://www.facebook.com/Bayview-Canvas-139172656155816/

He works on $60k boats and when he is finished the cover fits tight and looks good. An owner with a $60k is not going to buy a cover made in China. I'm sure Mikes covers are much more expensive than those made in China and they should be. This pretty much goes for all of the other type work he does too. You can't buy seats like this at a discount store.
https://www.facebook.com/139172656155816/photos/a.249941055078975/2539912042748520/?type=3&theater

So back to growing your business. When Mike was younger he decided to moved to a place that has a lot of boats and people who have lots of money. And he set up shop right on the bay. His shop is convenient and from what I can tell he stays busy. 

 

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
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