Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: My No1 Rant with Small Business Owners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251

    My No1 Rant with Small Business Owners

    It really is great to see that many people that are members here are self employed and do woodworking or allied work for their livelyhood.

    We all see posts of the websites and as woodworkers enjoy the work and comment on the work.

    What frustrates me and what i would like to get across to everyone that has a small business is the need to alert the customer as to why they should choose you.


    Why you, why not the next guy with the same shop.

    What is the your difference.

    What is in technical terms your "Unique Selling Proposition" or better still "Customer Value Proposition"

    I visited a gear manufacturer the other day. The guy inherited the business from Dad many years ago. They make gears of all types. They having a tough time.

    Work normally just came to them. Now its drying up.

    I asked if i were to tell someone about you what would i say was the reason they should use you.

    "Well er we make gears."

    So i said, so does a ton of other businesses and if thats all there is to your business then you had better consider closing the doors cause there are many others in this world that make gears and have cheaper labor and cost structure than you.

    " We cant do that we have been in business all these years"

    Well then lets get serious about what it is you are prepared to say about what you do.

    So think about this when you put up a site with pictures of your work. Yeah your work is a great statement but at the end its just another picture of a wooden object made by someone.

    Now if you say you design to order it changes things, if you say you aid in the idea to solve your clients needs well it changes things, if you say you only work in exotic wood, it changes things.

    I think you will get the idea. There has to be specific deliverables. The shotgun look at me i am a woodworker approach leaves people uncertain as to whether you can do what they want when they are searching.

    You need to be specific and commit to that specialization and then show items that demonstrate it. Dont confuse the picture that you create with a one fits all solution just incase someone drops through the crack.

    Its not good enough to show you can do it and hope they trust you with their new design.

    Think about what you are prepared to offer that is unique, to you, your business, your area or target customer.

    Then say so on your website and get rid of the rest.

    Dont throw up pens, bottle stoppers and breadboards and expect to get commissioned to do renaissance master pieces.

    Even in the craft area be specific why yours are different.

    If you dont do it you bring everything down to price and thats not any good for any business.

    Rant over.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,828
    Good post and wise counsel that normally would cost a bundle to get if we hired you, I'm sure.
    A good example of what you were saying is the current series of commerials on TV for Yellawood. I don't know if you get it in Canada.
    But, the Yellawood, treated lumber, has been around for many years. But, most of America never heard of it. The owner died and left the business to his son. Son just happened to be a high level marketing whiz. He applied his marketing genius to his inherited business and now is well known and almost a popular cult figure.
    He tells folks why they should buy his treated lumber and not just any ole other brand.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,890
    Wise words and I'll incorporate your thoughts into the remake of my site. Thanks.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Rob,
    I couldn't agree with you more. In my post to Dave I was only letting him know that the restoration business is slow all over. In my case I have a situaltion where I have had to set priorities. I wouldn't be taking on any restoration business until the commision work is done if I didn't think it would hurt my reputation in the future. When I started out I was very agressive in my marketing and would take on just about anything. I got so busy that I had customers getting tired of waiting for me to get around to their pieces so I backed off on the marketing. With the commision I only take on as much work as I can do on a part time basis because the commision is my number one priority at this point in time. I get all of my work either from antique dealers or from referals from dealers who have stores with a much larger overhead and advertising budget then me. They all tell me that the economy is hurting their sales. I also know several other guys who do restorations and they too have seen a drop in thier business. None of them go to market the wway I have. That said I feel that if I were to get agressive agian I could fill the shop to overflowing. As the commision nears completion if thing don't pick up with my existing sources I'll mearly increase the marketing and I am sure it will pick up. As an aside, I have over 30 years of sales and marketing expierance and know all about the sales funnel. Actualy it's more of a sieve cause a lot spills out before it reaches the pipeline.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    It may be a rant but it's an impressive one Rob
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    UPlengen - try and find that ;-)
    Posts
    23
    yep, I'll second Bob Gibson- It may be a rant but it's an impressive one Rob
    even on this side of the pond there are people/ firms with that attitude, I am hoping to move my joinery/ cabinetmaking business back to Florida this summer, so I may ask for some tips as to your basic premise on this topic.

    hs
    You name it, I'll butcher it !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Posts
    4,552
    Hey Welcome aboard Karl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    UPlengen - try and find that ;-)
    Posts
    23
    Many thanx J
    You name it, I'll butcher it !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    185
    Uplengen is a municipality in the Leer district, in Lower Saxony, Germany.
    Regards,
    Bill Antonacchio

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    UPlengen - try and find that ;-)
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Antonacchio View Post
    Uplengen is a municipality in the Leer district, in Lower Saxony, Germany.
    Somesone's being GOOGLING lol ! yep your right and its bloody cold there now oh and covered in 4" of wet snow, so bad its been I have not been able to get there in 1 1/2 months , hope to get a small kitchen built in Holland, then I am going back to check the post and see what damage has occured. Then I getting my sorry rear over to Florida to help my mum out.

    karl
    Last edited by Karl Wissinger; 02-04-2010 at 11:04 AM.
    You name it, I'll butcher it !

Similar Threads

  1. small business, lifting yourself by your bootstraps
    By hu lowery in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-27-2014, 01:47 AM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-26-2014, 06:09 PM
  3. Question for the MOD's or owners
    By Dave Hawksford in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-30-2011, 11:16 PM
  4. small business planning
    By Mark Kosmowski in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-11-2008, 02:56 PM
  5. small business liability protection
    By Mark Kosmowski in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-11-2007, 04:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •