• Small budget, big message

    Published On: January 1, 2012Categories: Features, Management

    Turn up the volume and spread the news about your business–even with limited funds. By Charlene Clark In a perfect world, every business would have unlimited resources with which to market their products and services. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. In tough economic times, small businesses find themselves with very limited resources to dedicate [...]

  • Battle city hall, with tax deductions

    Published On: January 1, 2012Categories: Management

    By Mark E. Battersby Thanks, in large part, to the economy’s impact on cash-strapped state and local governments, many marine canvas and upholstery businesses are swamped with red tape, rules, regulations, fees and taxes, all sharply cutting into their bottom line. Fortunately, battling city hall, the county or statehouse over zoning issues, unfairly levied fines, [...]

  • Nine things you need to know about business credit

    Published On: September 1, 2011Categories: Management

    By William J. Lynott Credit plays an important part in business. Used wisely, it can be a profitable friend. Used carelessly, it can be a destructive enemy. Here are nine ways to help you put credit to work for you and your business. Be aware of your credit report. If your credit score is “good,” [...]

  • Price jobs to make money

    Published On: September 1, 2011Categories: Features, Management

    You’re in business to make money. That means knowing costs and pricing jobs realistically. By Marc Hequet This job’s a tough one; the design is different, the material expensive. The customer is haggling. Can you price it to meet your target margin? Do you know what your target margin is? Can you even price it [...]

  • Deter employee theft

    Published On: July 1, 2011Categories: Management

    By William J. Lynott Employers place a great deal of trust in their employees, but it’s important to keep your guard up. The unfortunate fact is that employee theft is the fastest growing crime in America, according to FBI statistics. To an employer, employee theft occurs when a worker steals merchandise, money, property or even [...]

  • Handling troubled customer credit

    Published On: May 1, 2011Categories: Features, Management

    Stay profitable while dealing with troubled customers. By Mark E. Battersby Beware! Even a marine fabricator’s best customers can suddenly become deadbeats. The good news, according to recently-released figures, is that fewer of your marine canvas and upholstery operation’s customers and suppliers are filing for bankruptcy. The bad news is that many businesses are hoarding [...]

  • The 3 Ps to small-business success

    Published On: March 1, 2011Categories: Management

    By Dave Sanders Small-business owners wear many hats. The demands of day-to-day business activities leave little time for planning or thinking about ways to improve your business. The past few years have been tough on all businesses, but especially on small business. Smaller operations have fewer employees and generally have a good understanding of their [...]

  • Organize your workflow and production

    Published On: March 1, 2011Categories: Features, Management

    A fabricator shares his system for effectively communicating assignments and organizing schedules. by Chris Patterson I purchased Weaver Canvas, a successful marine canvas shop, in May 2002. As we started to grow the company and add employees, it became clear that our work order process needed to be improved. I had always been impressed with [...]

  • Service your customers

    Published On: January 1, 2011Categories: Management

    By Pat Hayes We all know that service to our customer is critical, especially in this economy. How is it woven into your daily operation? Have you clearly defined your client expectations and established a means of meeting them in order to ensure satisfaction and a continuance of your business relationships? “Service” begins with the [...]

  • Techniques for balancing quality, cost and time

    Published On: January 1, 2011Categories: Features, Management

    Jeff Viehmeyer shares his techniques for balancing quality, cost and time in a customized approach to customer satisfaction. By Sigrid Tornquist “Excessive perfectionism can strangle success,” says Jeff Viehmeyer, owner of Alameda Canvas & Coverings in Alameda, Calif. “Every project has a correct balance between quality, cost and time—and you have to find the balance [...]