Great sales proposals: The basics

March 1, 2016  |  Management, Resources

As marine fabricators, you sell both products and services, and sales proposals are probably part of your business. Proposals educate prospective customers, motivate them to buy, and ultimately inspire them to establish and deepen a business relationship with you. What makes a great sales proposal? …
Know your market, make your sale

February 8, 2016  |  Management, Resources

Social media is a tool that can directly tie conversions to the efforts you set aside to utilize its potential. There are two main sectors of social media that businesses of all sizes can utilize to market their products and services: organic and paid. “Organic social” is the free, content side …
Get that Business Loan Approved: What lenders look for in a borrower?

February 4, 2016  |  Management, Resources

Most companies run on credit to sustain their initial business expenses. They file for a business loan to cover liabilities for the following: purchasing inventory and equipment or credit to support expansion. Previously, we have highlighted various places where businesses can get a loan, including …
CRM programs run the gamut

February 1, 2016  |  Management, Resources

There are dozens and dozens—maybe hundreds—of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs on the market. And it seems that most are difficult to use. In terms of navigating the programs, many CRM packages seem to be rated along an arc of complexity, from user-unfriendly to totally i…
Ready to share 35 years of fabrication experience

January 1, 2016  |  Management, Projects

In this series of articles, I will be introducing you to another talented fabricator, Aaron Stroud-Smith from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, located across the country in Victoria. Aaron has taken on 95 percent of my strange methods, changing the way he fabricates and having excellent success with hi…
2016 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2016  |  Management, Resources

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an on…
As the ACA stands

January 1, 2016  |  Management, Resources

Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been around since 2010, and despite more than 50 congressional attempts to repeal it, its shaky financial footing may do it in. According to a report from the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, small businesses are among those most vulner…
Not everything slows down during the slow season

October 13, 2015  |  Feature, Management, Resources

Preparing for seasonal lulls includes finding ways to generate income when business slows. One way is to encourage customers to put off certain types of projects until the off-season. Discounts Mark Hood, MFC, of Hood Marine Canvas and Training, Merrimac, Mass., uses this tactic for customers reques…
Should you extend credit?

September 14, 2015  |  Management, Resources

Fabricators stress caution when extending credit to customers. On the surface, it sure seems like a slam-dunk decision for a marine fabrication shop to not extend credit to customers. “Let’s see, when you write off thousands and thousands of dollars—maybe even $100,000 over the 30-year life of…
Business ethics: Facing the dilemma

September 1, 2015  |  Management, Resources

It seems like, in the wake of big corporate scandals, a heightened awareness of business ethics pervades organizations of every size. Most ethical dilemmas, however, aren’t that momentous or dramatic. They’re rooted in commonplace business activities you and the people around you encounter every…