As a writer and editor, I prefer to do most of my work alone in the quiet of my home office. But during the dark days of a Minnesota winter, working alone gets lonely and my ideas feel thin and uninspired.
That’s why I attend literary conferences and classes each winter. The creative spark that happens when I’m talking with like-minded people who offer different approaches to similar challenges is so valuable, that no matter how busy, introverted or poor I’m feeling, I build these gatherings into my schedule.
I hope you do the same. Are you attending the Marine Fabricators Conference in New Orleans, La., Jan. 26-28? This is an excellent opportunity to connect with other fabricators, meet new suppliers, learn new business practices and hone your fabrication skills.
This issue is about strengthening both your business and your connections to others. The “Heavy Metal” feature explores different ways to deal with metal fabrication, including collaborations with other shops. “Mobile Shops” discusses whether it makes sense to add a mobile unit to your annual business plan. The 2023 Time Standards Manual, developed with the expertise of the Marine Fabricators Association, will help inform your labor estimates for an efficient and profitable upcoming year.
Faith Roberts, IFM, MFC, Banner Canvas, discusses how to approach tricky client design challenges. Russ Griffin, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, discusses the ins and outs of horizontal and cantilever frame systems, and Krisha Plauché, Onboard Interiors LLC, discusses new ways to market your business to connect with potential clients post-COVID.
One of the most surprising things about connecting with others is realizing that feeling inspired and inspiring others often go hand in hand. As Michelle Tillis Lederman, the author of The Connector’s Advantage, says, “Don’t underestimate your ability to bring value to someone else.”