A combination of space, location, equipment and employees creates the ideal shop.
Barb Czarnecki runs a one-woman shop producing top-quality products.
Greg Smith and Tom Matson share thoughts on customers, scheduling and the market among other things.
Terri Madden of Sand Sea and Air Interiors shares tips on scheduling, handling customers and more.
Keith Purves shares details on making custom tools, shop layout and marketing a business.
Mike Erickson gives the details on his shop's nontraditional capabilities.
Fabricators rely on a variety of techniques to solve the balancing act of supply and demand.
Cindy Boersma gives the lowdown on her marine fabrication shop.
Keith Purves of Riverside Covers makes custom tools to streamline business.
Darren Arthur of Nautilux Custom Canvas gives insights on how his shop runs.
Fabric selection for marine interior and upholstery work starts with communication and education.
Proper techniques and regular machine maintenance lead to efficiency and profitability.
Three simple tools aid fabricating efficiency.
Choose the best fabric for successful products and satisfied customers.
Pad profitable cushions by knowing foam options, properties and applications.
Everyone from pop psychologists to business gurus is flooding the internet and landing their faces on the display tables right inside the door of your favorite big box bookstore. Everybody wants to help you make it through this tough economy, don’t they? Who to believe?
Tempting as it might be to drop your prices or sell a cheaper product, there is a chorus of voices out there all singing the same song: “Don’t do it!” Amid the cacophony are these useful bits of conventional wisdom:
> Customers have a short memory when it comes to price cuts. If the economy improves and you try to return to your pre-panic pricing, your customers might not come with you.
> Price is important, but if your customers are not satisfied with the quality, they will think they paid too much.
> You don’t have to exceed customer expectations; just make sure they are never disappointed.
> What’s your company’s stickiness level? Real loyalty goes beyond transactions to a mutually beneficial relationship that improves your customers’ competiveness, too.
> When customers get pickier, mediocre products or poor customer service fall by the wayside.
> In a bad economy customers want to feel safe. That means they will always go back to the companies they trust. Yes, integrity trumps even price.
From “Start and Run Your Own Business,” by Alan Le Marinel, reprinted on www.howto.co.uk.