I never had to clean up my machine after a resew project. Yet I'm in the midwest. Boat canopies, awnings, canvas work that sort of stuff. Never never again. At first I thought the first one was a nightmare so the next would be better. Customer unhappy even thou we talked about a no guarantee. When the customer talked about the results of the job they never said that I didn't recommend the work. I tried four times to try and try again and I still say never never again.
I have charged for travel for a long time...I never heard others did so I never mentioned it . I was getting too many estimates without the work folowing it. For the estimates that decide to do the work I reemburse the estimate value. I haven't traveled as far as you all do, but I still record my travel. My customers have responded to emails with pics and the longest wxhxd measurement. They are told this is just a ballpark estimate (on the email ). I've found that this has eliminated the price seekers. The ones that think you should work for nothing. There are customers that are more than happy to pick-up and deliver when they can save some money. So far so good. My work is mainly furniture, motorcycles, small marine. I also have a partner working outside the home that helps make the slow time not so bad. I tend to hit the pavement when things get slow. Advertising has not produced work for me. All in all I do pass the buck on travel in the labor. The estimate charge is above and beyond everything else. Isn't it funny how I feel I'm not being fair to my customers when as some of you have stated any other company doesn't bat an eye.
I am still learning........(some) friends and family favors don't work out in your favor. When we owned a bar I enjoyed a sign given to me " Hey bartender how come you never buy me a drink?" Bartender replies " How come you never pay double?" I need to figure out a quick responce to customers whom think your price can be haggled.
I just recently finished a mechanical bull and all the leather I needed and priced was the best at Tandy. Yes I had to order hides, sometimes half hydes. All figured by square foot. Tandy helps with all of this if your unsure. The customer knows of the overage all up front. PS: these are hides with inperfections. Some customers don't get this. I would definately check with a distribiture of auto seats to save yourself. Enjoy the transformation.
In order for me to purchase fabric at wholesale prices I have to have a sales tax number. Along with that we pay tax's for Polk county and WI. I need to charge a 5.5 tax. I choose for the customer to pay those dues.
I did the friend thing one too many times with poor results always. Its half down and balance upon delivery. I don't squeese in people any more, things just seem to happen when I try to be nice. We owned a bar and customers would always ask "why don't you give free drinks". I don't know if my mother in law saw this somewhere but the bartenders reply is " "Why don't you ever pay double? "
I used to save everything. Some came in handy every once and a while. Now I only save a little plain fabric and black vynal. The supplies on hand are every day items and supplies not sold by the yard / inch. I didn't find that keeping everything else was worth it. I don't make that extra that some do by buying in quanity then resale. I purchase what the customer wants and keep my shop clean.
I'm going to have to look into donating some of this stuff. I would like it if it could work out.
I have used skirt stiffener. Just a small strip between the fabric (1" to 2" ). With really streachy stuff I double sew like June suggested. I sew the zip and 1 layer of fabric with the stiffener then turn over and top stich. Either way there's only one layer of stiffener.