Compensation control

July 1, 2014

You can protect your workers … while keeping workers’ compensation costs in line. If you’re a typical marine-fabrication business owner, workers’ compensation costs—or the threat of them—can quickly become a major expense burden. Almost every business in the United States that has employees must deal with the cost of workers’ compensation; it’s a perennial issue, …

Quinte Marine Canvas and Upholstery

Quinte Marine Canvas and Upholstery Quinte Marine Canvas and Upholstery How did you get started? I bought a boat. Its upholstery, though, was not something I would want my cat to sit on. An old-school electrician and contractor, my dad always taught me to be handy, to fix things on my own. So, with a …

Seven steps to sales success

By Bill Foster There is certainly no lack of advice on how to increase your sales success. Books and seminars can be counted by the hundreds, and many of these are quite good. First-hand experience working for others in sales positions and managing my own business have helped me to formulate principles that can help …

Cushions for a lean mean fishing machine

May 1, 2014

The end use of a boat really dictates how Trevor makes his cushions at Kennedy Custom Upholstery. So last summer when we were asked to make all new cushions for a charter fishing boat, we knew we had to make them as tough as possible while still looking like a high-end custom product. The boat …

Hiring the right person can be a tough job

By William J. Lynott On the surface, it appears to be a routine chore: You have a job to fill, so you must interview the applicants and select the most promising. In truth, interviewing job candidates today is far from a routine task. One of the toughest issues to resolve with new hires is measuring …

Stand out

January 1, 2014

“The past years’ economic challenges have not been a problem for my business—in fact, I think they’ve made my business even stronger because I’ve separated my business from the competition,” says Dave Elliot, owner of David’s Custom Trimmers, Brisbane, Australia. “We offer products other similar businesses don’t offer in terms of strength and neatness, and …

Eye of the needle

September 1, 2013

Bread and butter. Life blood. Members of the family. Call them what you will, industrial sewing machines are fabricators’ best friends—or, perhaps on a bad day, their worst enemies. Fabricators, manufacturers and suppliers tell us what’s new and what’s still working. Opinions abound about lubricants and thread and buying used machines. They share invaluable advice …

Tax relief for equipment

Thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, managers, executives and owners who have hesitated or postponed making capital investments for their marine fabrication businesses through the recent economic downturn might now want to consider how the use of those tax incentives and others already on the books can substantially reduce the cost of …

Knowing your customers helps spur sales and return business

A customer is standing in front of you. Maybe she has a question. Or a complaint. Or maybe she’s thinking about a purchase, and wants to discuss a product issue. What do you say to best serve the customer, and bring about a win-win resolution of the conversation? Sounds like a simple question. But the …

Contingency plan: An unexpected breakup leads to solo success

July 1, 2013

“I think the most significant lesson I’ve learned over the past couple of years is not to get too comfortable,” says Cindy Boersema, owner of The Nautical Needle in Holland, Mich. “Being a business owner is not about relying on others to always be there to work for you and with you—because they can be …