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: Managing larger projects  ( 203 )
65Buick
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« : February 07, 2019, 09:34:09 PM »

I think most folks commenting here regularly are one-person shops, or have been at some point.

I haven't done a larger loveseat or sofa for a customer yet, but I'm building up my confidence.. So, I ask, how does one manage those pieces? I don't have access to a flatbed truck with a winch. :)
kodydog
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« #1 : February 07, 2019, 10:17:20 PM »

We have an Ford e150 van. For the first 20 years in business I was determined that if we did not hire a shop helper to help make pick up and deliveries nobody would use us and our business would fail.

10 years ago Rose finally won the fight and we started telling customers they needed one person to help me lift the sofa into the van. I'm sure we have lost a few jobs from this decision but for the most part the customers have concurred. There have been times when we got to the house and the person on the other end was a 70 year old lady. So me on one end and Rose and the lady on the other. We just finished a job for a retired NFL player. His wife is a triathlon athlete. She likely could have lifted the sofa by herself. She helped me carry the sofa when we picked it up and helped me carry it when we delivered it. When we tell customers it will be extra to bring a helper they quickly say they will get someone. For the most part this policy has worked well and customers like saving a little money.

Also we have a four wheel dolly. This means me on one end and someone, usually Rose steering on the dolly end. Getting through doors can be tricky. I usually get my end through first, set the sofa down, then switch places with the dolly to get it the rest of the way through the door. This works well when picking up. When bringing back I must be more diligent using many blankets. And yes sometimes it seams like a circus.

We also have a covered 8' trailer that will fit most sofas. And a Toyota Rav 4 that fits most chairs or a room full of cushions. I always thought it would be cool to make pick ups and deliveries in a vintage panel van. And am now thinking how cool would it be to deliver towing a trailer with a 65 Buick.
« : February 08, 2019, 09:12:56 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #2 : February 08, 2019, 09:24:27 AM »

I strongly encourage my customers to bring their own. Most do, but some just can't. 

For in-town pickups and deliveries, I hire a helper on an "as needed" basis.

I tell my out of town customers that they will have to provide a helper at their home. For many years, that was never a problem. But it seems that as I age, so does my client base. Quite often now, the person who is supposed to help me is no longer as physically capable as he thought he was. Then I'm stuck trying to carry both ends of a sofa.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #3 : February 08, 2019, 02:33:09 PM »

I do my own pick up and delivery calling into service my son or Miss Daisy who ever is available.  There are 3-4 local movers I work for and when I can't do it I hire them and they do a perfect job.
SA
65Buick
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« #4 : February 08, 2019, 04:03:38 PM »

I would have to establish with a local mover, which is a good idea. Fortunately with social media this may be possible..
Myself carrying an entire sofa is out of the question, and most folks inmy area are retired.

But thanks for the input there. I have a local designer who has opened shop not far from me, and she's actually doing the upholstery herself. So she must have some folks that are willing to move for her.
MinUph
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« #5 : February 08, 2019, 05:29:27 PM »

  We do most of the PU and Deliveries for our work. I would love not to but it is not in the cards. I have tried services to do it and they are very expensive. Much more than I could tack on to a project. Also finding one that does a good job is even harder. We hired on a local company to deliver a big job to a big client and they sweat all over the white furniture leaving hand prints on it. Took us a good 6 hours to straighten that out.
   

Paul
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65Buick
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« #6 : February 08, 2019, 09:21:44 PM »

That's what I'm afraid of, Paul.
This particular designer is having me do the wing chair. There is a sofa, and loveseat that match. At this point I told her I was unable to do those larger projects, which is a bit sad. But, it's not over yet. First she needs the contract. If she still can't find another upholsterer then maybe I will make something happen.
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #7 : February 08, 2019, 10:17:48 PM »

Looks like you should find a way to pick up and deliver if you want to be in business 65. If you can handle it you just need a strong young person willing to make a few bucks. They are all over. Some can handle furniture some just cant but you being there will let you know.

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


« #8 : February 09, 2019, 08:50:47 AM »

Looks like you should find a way to pick up and deliver if you want to be in business 65. If you can handle it you just need a strong young person willing to make a few bucks. They are all over. Some can handle furniture some just cant but you being there will let you know.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Yeah, there's the catch. The good ones who will handle the furniture in a safe, professional manner are likely too expensive. So you have to just hire knuckleheads and watch them like a hawk. I always insist on being the guy on one end of every sofa, because I know the guy on the other end is either an idiot, or he just doesn't care.


"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
baileyuph
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« #9 : February 09, 2019, 09:18:23 AM »

Moving furniture!

Nothing is easy - but much is easier than that.  As evidence, I get significant business repairing brand
new items that were damaged during moving.  It isn't always the fault of the labor involved - think about
it;  Furniture today is built larger - it is impossible to move that stuff the places it often has to go;  steep/winding stairs, turns in hallways:  It simply isn't doable and it gets damaged!  I get a heck
of a lot of repair business from it.  Often, it takes new parts from the factory that I have to install.

I was talking to very conscientious deliver furniture delivery guys and they talked about the problems!

This discussion was related to upholstered (new) pieces.  I don't want to get into hauling that stuff
in constrained places.  There is more money repairing it when it gets damaged - like I say.

Even in my auto work (seat upholstery repairs), much of that is dropped off - what a blessing!
I got a group of seats from industrial vehicles (about 20 in one bit of business) - all dropped off and
picked up by the companies.  This is more efficient with respect to my part - spend the equivalent time
doing the upholstery work is much more profitable!

Isn't that growing your business?

Doyle
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