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Thread: Jan 2013 , all dressed up, whats you plan to making your woodworking bus happen?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2013 , all dressed up, whats you plan to making your woodworking bus happen?

    This post if for our comrades out there that we all know are either unemployed or underemployed yet have the shop to be able to do some work and change the current picture.

    I would like this thread to be a kick in the butt to get you off your butt and motivated to make some change and put those machines of yours to work.

    So whats your plan to swing in to action and get some work going through your doors in this new year? Where are you stuck, bogged down that your brethren here can throw out some ideas to get the wheels turning and you back into action.

    January is a perfect month to dust off the cobwebs and take a fresh view of the world around you and get some new initiatives going.

    So you made some mistakes in the past, you got the cart before the horse in some cases and now you find you all dressed up and raring to go but need some customers.

    Have you got a plan to go out and get them?

    Care to throw out your ideas and have them looked over ?

    Whats your sales and marketing plan for your small business at the start of this new year? Can it stand up to scrutiny? Or is it so based on hope and luck that you best dont want it questioned?


    Remember the old story ........Fail to plan then plan on failing......

    And if last year did not work for you, just doing the same thing you did last year aint gonna make this year any better. So whats gonna change in your business this year?

    Are you still sending out 1000 flyers to try to get 1 customer ? Ever stop to think that something is wrong with this shotgun approach?

    Ever see a turkey hunter go into a field guns blazing and come out with a turkey?

    Have you stopped to consider carefully who it is you need to reach to sell what you have in mind to make?

    Have you done the prep work to fully understand your target customer the same way a fisherman prepares his rods and boats before going fishing and makes sure to have the correct selection of bait to suite the waters.

    Ever stopped to pause and think of what this person would like to see/hear/know from your business before they commit to having you do something for them?

    Are you still stuck believing price is the only thing that matters in any sale? And price is preventing you from getting any business?

    Lets talk the issues over and get some of you out of the shop and on the phone and knocking on doors and making this year different.

    It hurts me more than anything to think of my woodworking buddys being umemployed. It dont need to be that way and you need to believe it.

    So jump in here and throw out your plans and conerns and lets see if we can stimulate some change.

    Its not going to happen with you tidying your sock draw and cleaning out the dust collector or sweeping the shop for the 10th time. And no more making jigs or sorting harware or skip planning wood either.

    You gotta be the rainmaker and make rain.


    Time to get motivated to get some customers, its actually easier than you think if you prepared to try again and give it all you got.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Lou Ann and I are graphing out our kitchen to scale, cutting out the appliances and trying to come up with a floor plan. If we agree on a floor plan, as money allows, we will be remodeling our kitchen finally. I will be putting on a small deck outside of the french doors I put in last fall in the dining room. Changing the big door on my shop to an insulated metal roll up door and putting a deck/dock outside of it so it adds some useable footage to the shop.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    sounds like someone is on the rampage to me i need to get a large project done for a daughter that has given me some cash for my materials,, then its gonna be some thinning of inventory i hope, and am looking to make something to put up for sale somewhere as well as look for more outside work be it repair or shop work. no plan rob.. just hope and use some old contacts for advertizing. my assembly speed isnt as fast as allens or glenns.. plus i need to get some veneer back to jonathan, was gonna drop by but i havnt made it yet..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
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    Well My plan is to get the website up and running and stuff posted on it. Also working on getting business cards made up. Then hitting Branson I know of at lest 3 places the would be interested in the Guitars then on to Silver Dollar City to see it I can get into the fall craft festival.
    Oh yeah and get some more CBG's and strumsticks done. I have been to one music store and they showed some interest. I have some of my old customers that are willing to make some videos of the playing interments. Also the music store I go to for lessons has one of the strumsticks and a couple of them were jamming with it so going to try to do some trading for demo videos. They are pros so I know wont do it for nothing.

    There is a spring Art Festival that I have played my Street Organ for going on 12 years and I know I can get into that show (rain is the big problem) it brings in over 30,0000 people in 2 days.

    Still have to learn how to promote on the web and and figure best place to advertise.
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Caughron View Post
    Well My plan is to get the website up and running and stuff posted on it. Also working on getting business cards made up. Then hitting Branson I know of at lest 3 places the would be interested in the Guitars then on to Silver Dollar City to see it I can get into the fall craft festival.
    Oh yeah and get some more CBG's and strumsticks done. I have been to one music store and they showed some interest. I have some of my old customers that are willing to make some videos of the playing interments. Also the music store I go to for lessons has one of the strumsticks and a couple of them were jamming with it so going to try to do some trading for demo videos. They are pros so I know wont do it for nothing.

    There is a spring Art Festival that I have played my Street Organ for going on 12 years and I know I can get into that show (rain is the big problem) it brings in over 30,0000 people in 2 days.

    Still have to learn how to promote on the web and and figure best place to advertise.
    Sounds like you've got a few good leads there and on a good path. As for the organs are you playing to sell organs, sell kits, or as work as a performer? Just curious. Sounds like a good opportunity to cross sell your other instruments too.

    As for the website, consider it your on-line business card/shop. Try to build your audience via videos, facebook, Google+, Twitter, forums and other online social areas, but be sure to cross promote all of them and tie back to the website/store.

    Don't be afraid to consider international markets either. A friends wife sells custom wedding veils, surprisingly much of her sales is from over-seas as the dollar is cheaper than some of the areas she's sold to.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word ďboo.Ē Ė Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Sounds like you've got a few good leads there and on a good path. As for the organs are you playing to sell organs, sell kits, or as work as a performer? Just curious. Sounds like a good opportunity to cross sell your other instruments too.

    As for the website, consider it your on-line business card/shop. Try to build your audience via videos, facebook, Google+, Twitter, forums and other online social areas, but be sure to cross promote all of them and tie back to the website/store.

    Don't be afraid to consider international markets either. A friends wife sells custom wedding veils, surprisingly much of her sales is from over-seas as the dollar is cheaper than some of the areas she's sold to.
    Planing on selling organs and kits and parts and the same with the CBG's working mostly on the CBG's as there is a larger market and more people can afford them...........and there just plan fun to make...........
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  7. #7
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    Here is a point I would like to throw out there for those of you looking to sell an item and do not have customers yet or are looking at securing new customers that have perhaps not even heard of you or your product or you bringing to market a "new product".

    Consider that very little today is really new. It may appear new to someone that has not come across it before. But new to that person does not make them haul their wallets out and buy it.

    There are a group of people in this world that do this they do exist in every category of products being sold but its been proven in the digital world that they are not necessary the ones that get the majority to consider buying.

    Lets keep in mind the primary aim here is to sell. I emphasize this because many think if they show off their wares people will buy. Just showing off your wares expecting people to buy relies on them having an impulse and being stimulated to buy as a result of this impulse. A huge chunk of retail spending is impulse buying.

    So consider a few things that need to happen when you break down an impulse buy.

    1) The stimulation needs to be there that creates the "I got to have it" motivation. If you get in touch with this desire in yourself you will intuitively get to understand some of the many triggers.

    Consider something we can all relate to, a hand plane.

    We could want it for the pure admiration of the engineering art that it can represent,
    we can want it as a user plane for our toolkit,
    we can want it because we do not have that specific plane in our collection,
    we can want it simply because we see it as a bargain and good deal,
    we can want it in some cases to extract a part we need for another,

    and this will by no means be a comprehensive list. So remember impulse needs a trigger.

    2) Once the trigger has been pulled and the person has made the move to buy, they then need to pay. It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses fail to grasp this fact. The world is awash with payment mechanisms other than cash. We all read about the huge debt citizens around the world carry today yet do not consider this fact when it comes to selling our wares. Few people have the cash to fund impulse buys, most live on fixed incomes and have budgets. So they have to fund the impulse purchase even if its temporary via some means other than handing over cash.
    You do not want that person to even think twice about this issue for it will quickly turn a deal sour. Just stop to think, if we have drive through throughout North America for all sorts of things, it tells you that the majority of people are looking for convenience. If you put up roadblocks when it comes to payment that provide time for thought and remove the convenience you are killing the impulse sale. Donít matter whether you at a flea market, online or have a store. The only reason we tolerate a line up for something is because we have a need for that item and the alternative is just as inconvenient or unaffordable in the long run. Think groceries. You have loaded up the cart and need the food. To repeat the whole selection collection process and go to another store and repeat it all again is unlikely. Same thing at Christmas time we will endure the line up at Best Buy to get that gift only because of the need for the gift and having done the pricing search and product selection and research we now are captive. Take away "Christmas gift driver" and the whole equation changes.

    3) Need and market equilibrium. For people to make the purchase from you other than as an impulse their has to be a need. This is key to recognize. On a day to day basis most of us have our needs already satisfied. I would argue that most of what any of you are going to take to market already has a business providing a solution to peoples need.
    Lets examine this. If you were looking to sell wood (LARRY) to woodworkers they already by and large have a local lumber yard that is satisfying their needs when the need arises. Many will already have the wood on hand they need for the next project or already have a supplier in mind. Pros will have existing relationships that they have established with suppliers over time. (Donít we all have our favorite coffee shop, gas station, convenience store, grocery store etc.)

    So essentially the market is typically already before you appear on the scene in a state of equilibrium. Bear this in mind. Even at a craft market there is a certain level of turnout and I would be willing to bet a certain level of gross sales that occur on each given day of that market dependent on time of year and weather.

    Take the month of January. In the Northern parts its cold. We all get to have to pay more for energy it certainly does impact the family budget. Add to that is the hangover of the expense from the festive season. I would argue that disposable income is not a common term in January among the majority of people.

    If we examine NEEDS in January, they have little to do with buying an impulse buy and little to do with spending money on things other than essentials while retiring the expense of the festive season. It therefore follows that if you going to secure sales in January or launch a new business venture in January you had better provide exceptional drivers to manifest NEEDS and trigger IMPULSE.


    Think on these points when considering how you plan to approach the market place. Think about how you plan to mitigate or generate these mental reactions you desire people to have in order to get your cash register ringing. Its very easy for us "technical types" to understand the logical use and reason behind a product or service but we humans are far from as logical as we think we are.

    Your whole communication with your audience needs to be done in their terms. Trigger their minds to embark down the action route you desire to make a sale occur.
    They need the stimulus from you. Few will generate it on their own.

    Product creators/service providers get so caught up in themselves and how great their product or service is they forget about what is going through the minds of the prospective customer.

    Try to put yourself in their shoes. Itís key, then think of what you would like to hear if you were them.
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Specific replys for Jay and Larry

    @Jay

    Your marketing needs to conjure up all sorts of things to get someone to buy. I think itís a fantastic product (cigar box guitar) and has loads of opportunity to sell it. But you will have to trigger those reasons. Some examples

    Fun, joy, entertainment, pleasurable times, things memories are made of, very much an emotional item.
    Give as a gift to someone you know.... enjoys to play instruments, .....enjoys to entertain...bring joy.
    Purchase by a band .....as a means to make a memorable interjection to the normal line up, as a talking piece .....as a trigger to a special piece of entertainment (Paul McCartney helped your cause tremendously at the Sandy concert by playing one on stage in the new song he put together with Nirvana). You got to buy a copy of this image, include it in your literature and website somewhere, get the association with celebrity going.
    Create the great times at the next family gathering that you remember when granddad/uncle/grandma whatever played some "homemade" instrument.
    Make up kits for the diy sector just like Grizzly has done for their guitars. Make it convenient and easy to DIY it for those that donít have shops like us.
    Make sure to use images upfront that show joyous fun occasions with families, audiences etc but also the lone player getting pleasure on the porch in a rocking chair. All these images trigger the NEED the desire to replicate the image in the audiences own life. Donít get hung up on the wood type or loads of other technical details let people dig for that info its the least important to getting the sale. Use those elements once the persons hooked to load up the price within reason. I.e. pickup a versus pickup b will cost you more or less. But I would try to steer clear of that kind of thing because it gets them thinking they need to do research. Thatís anti buy. Donít drive them down this path. Think like Henry Ford....any color as long as its black. Later when the market fades you hit those that bought initially with the new "any color" models.
    Make sure that you segment the market. The real instrument experts will be interested in technical issues because they understand them. So cater to them separately. But donít mix the mass nostalgia entertainment fun market buyer with the techie. They are different animals. Hunt for them like you would a turkey and deer. One use a shotgun the other use a rifle with a scope.


    @Larry

    Hanging a sign out saying got wood does zip for me. I donít need wood. But I am always wanting to buy wood, what woodworker is not.

    So whatís going to make someone buy wood from you? What are you offering me other than " a good deal rob" in your wood selling business. Assume for the purpose of this exercise I do not live across da border complicating wood sales.

    Why do I buy from you in Michigan as opposed to my local lumber crowd. WOOD is a broad term. What wood? Whatís special about your wood.

    You need to get away from the commodity element of wood. The best wood marketing I have seen has been done on the internet in my opinion. Every woodworker needs wood, its like clamps we never have enough. Whatís this tell you? We want a stock to have a choice when that next project comes up.
    Every woodworker would like to have a few pieces of "special wood" he/she may never even use that wood, its just bragging rights when his mate comes over to show off. Or to have handy for when that special project does arise.

    So how you planning on breaking into relationships that pros which are the biggest consumers have or getting the average Joe that is a hobbyist to stock up?

    One idea that I can think of is putting together bundles. But before you do this decide on your pricing. The single thing that deters one from enquiring at a lumber yard is the lack of a price list. Lately my lumber yard has finally hung price lists around the place. I never liked it before. I donít live with wood everyday, and I donít know the market price. I donít care what the market price is as a hobbyist. Its quiet simple, if its too much I go to another wood. Whatís too much is a crapshoot. I think all wood is too expensive so I look for deals.

    I have covered the elements of payment above. But in your case delivery plays a role. I think you got to get serious and aggressive in this regard and get a little creative about solving the delivery issue. There are several ideas i have if you prepared to explore them aggressively.

    Also what will you do if you do not have wood i want. In other words are you really in the wood business? Because if i were a pro one thing that would deter me from buying from you is continuity of supply. When i buy from you and my supplier finds out which he will when he asks me why I am not buying from him no more, then my accumulated benefits of the relationship are going to go out the door.

    What warranties are you offering me on the wood you want to sell. Do I get to come on over and pull out each board and select. How do I know I will get a fair deal.

    Well I think thatís more than enough for ya all to chew on for one day. Letís see more of the plans guys. It isnít as hard as it seems we are the biggest obstacles to our own success.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    well rob i have seen the impulse factor in my own case and others.. and recently seen how it can make and brake a sale.. as for the wood i am not trying to get rich i am just gonna make room i had thought some of offering a drop in and i will cut and plane for you but then i get to much involved let alone the inconvenience and liability problems.. inventory, i do have some other sources that i have made some contact with and i do know what good wood is compared to bad wood..so i could get what said customer needed in said period of time.. i agree on the not new idea story,, so i am still in how to get them to see this product that they need.. and have me make it for them or acquire it.. sometimes a middle man mentality is better than the producer, they have the headaches and the time wrapped up and the middle man has the profit margin in his pocket..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Boy Rob that is some great stuff and it looks like I am on the right track with your reply to me. I have been working on most of the ideas you have suggested its just taking more time than I had hoped. It is starting to come together tho Thanks
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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