Cash flow management

September 1, 2020

By Mark E. Battersby Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business. In fact, according to a recent U.S. Bank study, poor cash flow management causes 82 percent of U.S. business failures. Although seemingly counterintuitive, many experts advise putting cash flow management before profits. While profits are how a fabrication business survives, a failure to …

SBA releases new PPP loan forgiveness applications

July 2, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, which was signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application …

Sales and marketing during a pandemic

July 1, 2020

By Madeleine MacRae Determining the best way to sell and, even more so, how to effectively and appropriately market your products and services at a time of such widespread uncertainty and deep market disruption can be a daunting task. As a leader during this unprecedented time, you have a lot on your plate. You have …

Pricing and estimating

May 1, 2020

The most important, yet ignored, step in the canvas trade. By Russ Griffin Log onto any canvas or upholstery forum and you’ll quickly see that pricing and estimating is the most asked question by people in the marine canvas trade. Yet, it is the most debated and unresolved question, leaving the inquirer no more knowledgeable …

Common mistakes cost more than you think

September 1, 2019

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I  was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

OFPANZ annual conference, July 25-27, New Zealand

May 22, 2019

The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference at the Napier War Memorial Conference Center in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, on July 25-27. The conference will bring together a diverse range of speakers and workshops, offering a variety of educational, social and professional networking opportunities, including the annual …

Marketing your marine canvas business

May 1, 2019

By David Huntington Marketing is a critical component in the success of all businesses, and marine fabrication is no different. You may be booked weeks in advance, but even established shops should include marketing in their annual business plan to continue to build “brand equity”—making your brand valuable to the customer. Strong brand equity improves …

IFAI announces call for board and leadership positions

April 22, 2019

The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now seeking candidates for positions on its Board of Directors and Division Advisory Boards. The current 1st Vice Chairman Kathy Schaefer, IFM (Glawe Tent and Awning Co.) is Chairman-elect and will automatically assume the duties of the Chairman of the Board in October. …

How to streamline shop processes

January 1, 2019

There are common processes that are a part of every business. These include marketing, sales, estimating, quoting, work orders, scheduling, production, delivery, invoicing and reporting. Whether small or large, every business needs to consider how these tasks flow together in order to effectively deliver its products or services. Streamlining your shop requires you to identify …

Writing off equipment and vehicles is easier now

September 1, 2018

Last December’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) not only slashed tax rates, it also enacted rules that allow businesses to treat as an expense and immediately write off more—including 100 percent temporary expensing for certain assets. This means adding needed equipment, vehicles or even a new shop building is now a lot more affordable. …