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whats the best way to make money?

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Jamie Kimp

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:30 am

whats the best way to make money?

I have been working designing and signmaking for about 5 years, I have been set up for just under a year for myself. I design and make signs at a good pace, and know that from working with other people in various sign companies. I just don't understand how I am ever going to earn a decent wage from this? Did anyone else feel like this when first starting?
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Karl Williams

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Making money?

We all fear possible failure mate, and starting out is daunting. I've had a lot of sh!t over the years but I just say I must never ever give up.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah......a baliff with a torch!
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:00 am

Good question.

You need to work out an hourly rate that will allow you to earn a decent income and stick to it.

Don't try and undercut the opposition or compete with the sort of stupid prices you may see on the internet.

Good luck with your venture :D
Last edited by Phill Fenton on Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:01 am

Thanks. :wink:
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:07 am

I couldn't pm. you Karl, I am based in Norfolk Norwich region.
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John Childs

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:08 am

Well, perhaps you've found that working for yourself isn't a licence to print money. Something that many new entrants to this, and many other, trades would benefit from understanding before they start.

Before I start trying to analyse your problem, can you tell me what you consider to be a decent wage, and how many hours a week you work.




Karl, the light at the end of my tunnel is usually attached to the front of a train. :D
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Karl Williams

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:10 am

Well I have been called the Fat Cuntroler John.
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:22 am

I am living off the missus at the moment, not ideal I know. I am working partly from home I usually work from 8.00am to 10.00 or 11.00pm. Think my pricing may be a little out, because as soon as it comes in it goes out.

Cheers
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Karl Williams

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:25 am

nnsg wrote:I am living off the missus at the moment, not ideal I know. I am working partly from home I usually work from 8.00am to 10.00 or 11.00pm. Think my pricing may be a little out, because as soon as it comes in it goes out.

Cheers


That never changes mate. Try getting the misses to work harder. :wink:
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Andy Gorman

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:36 am

Your lack of visible profit could be due to many things.
Pricing is the obvious choice. Quantity of orders is another obvious one.
I know in my first year I didn't get many high value jobs. These came with time. I didn't really make much money in the first year or two.

Rest assured though, when you do reach a decent turnover you'll still be skint. Beats working for a living though!
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DavidRogers

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:53 am

nnsg wrote:I am living off the missus at the moment, not ideal I know. I am working partly from home I usually work from 8.00am to 10.00 or 11.00pm. Think my pricing may be a little out, because as soon as it comes in it goes out.

Cheers
What! You're pulling up to 15 hour days and still not making a profit beyond your own wage...maybe you pay yourself too much!!...OR pricing is waaaaay out...or you just work slower than 'optimal'...and/or have low paying jobs. IF you have the choice...be a bit ruthless...kick the low value crap into touch!

I wouldn't like to say what you should be aiming for to cover all of your overheads as it'll vary from place to place. But when I started up this business on my own, if I couldn't get 'enough' for a 40 hour week I was having a bad day...now with other staff to 'feed'...that's had to go up somewhat!

As Andy said though...you'll still spend whatever you make, no matter how much!

The first couple of years as a new venture is always a bit tricky...get a few years under your belt & the bigger jobs & repeat business will soon kick in as your reputation continues to sells you.

Dave
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John Gregson

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:13 am

It all depends on how much you think is a decent wage. I've been self employed now for 5 years and work more hours for less pay than I was on when I was employed in 2003. Over the 5 years my turnover has grown steadily each year, which is fantastic, but what ever money is in the bank is usually eaten up by buying more stock, new machinery or investing in the company to make sure next years turnover is even better.

Would I change it - not a chance, love the challenge. :D
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Dave Bruce

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:14 am

Just finished my fourth year on my own, first two years all profit went on tools of the trade, made some money in third year then last year it went on rent/rates etc. Moving to new unit next month and saving over £5000/year on a unit twice the size I had before, so hopefully I will make some more this year.

Best of luck


Dave
I think the torch batteries have run out :)
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Peter Shaw

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:47 am

If you work on your own with almost zero overheads (i.e. from home) and can't make a reasonable living, then you need to think again.

Lots of people set up as self-employed, doing their own thing, because they are good at making their product. Running a business is about selling your product.

When you're self-employed, never, never, never calculate your actual hourly rate. You'll become deeply depressed!
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Simon.James

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:03 pm

Re: Making money? dont give up the dream

Diversification is the key to a successful business, unless you can get a big player on board, you cannot guarantee yourself signwriting work day in day out. as design is so subjective and generally never paid for and then there is all your sales and marketing never mind your hit ratio off actually winning the new business, its very easy to be busy in this game, all on work you never really get paid for.

55% of new start business fail in the first year, but you are still going so you have got to stage 1.

If you dont think you are going to survive just making signs, why dont you look at something else as well, I personally dabble in Handyman services when I am not making signs.

my working philosophy is that i would clean the sh*t out of cuckoo clocks as long as i get paid for it. the best part about working for yourself is that although it is stressful its your own stress, when you work for someone else you have got to put up and shut up and do any old crap, which is 10 times more stressful.

sounds like at best your signwriting business is only ever in the short term going to be a part time business, and your missis is going to get well fed up if you dont start making some lolly soon.

why dont you keep at the signs, but retrain to do someting else as well. there are plenty of ways out there at making cash, mate of mine who makes signs from home was saying the same as you, he's just set up a car valeting business spent about a grand on kit and stock, he went and got some free training off a supplier and he is now doing really well and no longer moans and groans like a stuffed pig!

if Being in Business was easy everyone would be doing it.

dont give up the dream, cos working for someone else is a drag!


cheers



simon
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John Childs

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:08 pm

OK.

It sounds like you are a decent enough signmaker and that your problems stem more from your ability to run a business. I know that sounds condescending, but I don't mean it in a derogatory sense. There are lots of people out there who's skills are more aligned to their craft rather than business.

I've seen that lots of times in different trades. The absolutely excellent auto-electrician who thinks his boss is an idiot and starts up on his own. Because he's good he brings in lots of business but then takes on a lad to help him out with it all. The auto-electrician thinks it is his company and that he should be the one sitting in the office whilst the lad does most of the work. What happens then is the lad isn't as good as the boss, the standard of work drops and the customers go away, resulting in business failure. What he should have done was to stick to what he is good at, fixing cars, and brought in someone who is good at paperwork and admin to take care of that aspect.

OK. Back to your situation.

If you are working fourteen hours a day for five days a week (I bet you are working Saturdays too, but let's ignore that for a minute) at only £20 per hour, that's £1,400 per week. Working from home with low overheads you have got to be doing something wrong if you are not making good money.

So, let's start with what you do in those fourteen hours a day. Is it all chargeable? I'll take your word that you can produce signs as quickly and efficiently as anybody but, if that's the case, you must be wasting lots of time on stuff for which you don't charge. There's bound to be a certain amount of down time for things like coffee making, bookwork, housekeeping, dealing with government cr@p etc, but there's no reason why that should take up more than a couple of hours a day, which leaves you with twelve hours to earn money.

Keep a log of your time and work out how much of it is productive, how much you are wasting, and then decide what you can do about it. For instance, if you spend a lot of time designing, are you being paid properly for it? If not you have three choices; stop doing it, charge properly or, if that's not possible in your circumstances, make sure that you waste as little time as possible on it. I'm in the latter category so I don't mess with them. If I get a difficult customer who can't make up their mind then I just give them a drawing of their van and tell them to bugger off and come back when they know what they want. Then I can get on with something that earns money, or at least spend my time looking after good customers who have earned the right to that sort of service. That may not earn money today but it builds up customer satisfaction and helps me build a good sustainable business for the future, which I think is better use of my time than sitting around whilst some muppet decides whether he wants blue Times or red Garamond on his van.

Look at the type of work you do. Spending an hour designing a sign is a one-off and is then useless. Spend that hour on a van and you can use that same design time and time again on any future vans that customer buys. Even the plumber with one van will buy a new one in three years time, and again in six, and again in nine. You've done all the work and can get his new van in, bish-bosh, get it out, and get on with the next job. I love it. :)

That'll do to be going on with, because it sounds like time management is your main problem. Get that sorted first.
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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:20 pm

This is my 23rd year in business and I'm still broke a lot of the time.
I am a divorced mom and was able to raise three kids decently without benefit of daycare.
It took me about 8-10 years before I was getting enough work in to stay busy.
I did great until 2002, then work started to really dwindle. 04-05 were my worst years ever, and I had to get a "real" job to supplement.
By 06-07 I had my best years ever.
I have no idea why, other than I have been around so long that people know me and know I'm not a fly-by-nighter.
Having a website has really increased my business as well.
My biggest problem is that I have no business acumen, and I hate dealing with people. I am an artist not a salesman.
I do try to keep my prices at standard or slightly above, by using a pricing guide for sign writers. If you subscribe to SignCraft you get one free.
You could also try attending some business courses at a local college if that is an option.

Or...just print up some money.
:wink: :wink:
Love....Jill
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Hugh Potter

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:23 pm

think the advice John just posted is first class. it is certainly where I fall behind!

i'm getting busier all the time, with better jobs coming through the door regularly, but filling those gaps (like the two hours spent mucking about on the internet for eg) with paying work is where I certainly need to improve.

when i earn, i earn good money, a £300 van will often make over £230 profit, but, i need to be doing more of them, be more positive and push myself harder to bring more work in. When i look at my self assessment from 06/07, i've not made much at all really. 07/08 has been a lot better, and the tax man will be proud of me this year :o , but it can be hard going.

the problem i find, is that i'll get a batch of jobs come in at once, while doing those jobs, so i might spend a week getting all those jobs ready to go out, and then be fitting them over the course of another week, this is all great, but, in those two weeks, i've not been getting more work in, and end up doing the odd little jobs, as well as the next week or two getting more quotes and artwork done, before getting more jobs in to do! The upshot of all that, is that very often i'll look at the bank account and be well chuffed, but a few tanks of gas, and a few lots of housekeeping for the mrs, and general expenses, soon see's that gone and back to square one again !


So, as John says, Managing your time is the key! It does get better !
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Warren Beard

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:24 pm

I know how you feel, I am only in my 10th month now and February saw me seriously reconsidering what I was going to do. I spent the last of my money on a decent used printer for interior signs and canvas printing etc just to get turnover up so I can pay the bills. I was in a bad place in Feb and decided to carry on giving it my all and go until the landlord kicks me out on the street. Now in March I am going to have my best month so far by double and already turned over more in the past 2 weeks than I did in the last 3 months combined, I only hope it says that way :-?

I am starting to see more of my customers coming back to me to get more work done and it feels good when they tell you that you were not the cheapest quote but the most professional and that is why you got the work :P

At the end of the day all the advise given above is so true, if you are going to do every job in your business because you are a 1 man outfit then you have to be able to handle it all and do it to a good standard, all aspects come in to play to make a success of your business and you will always have your strong points, you must just realise what those are and push those while working on your weak points.

I still get envious when I hear about members getting big contracts to do 100 vehicles and I think how do they do it? why can't I get those or find those? I just believe that persistence pays off, and you have to, I repeat have to speak to the right person or you have very little chance of getting anywhere.

I am also sad in the fact that I believe that only when I am sleeping am I not working, my hourly rate will be frightening if I worked it out because I will work all night to put out a great design and change it 10 times if the customer wants but only if I know I have the work, not to get the work. I don't think you can work 9-5 if you want to launch a new business working for yourself, otherwise it would be easy and everybody would do it, but put in the time and effort now and reap the rewards in the future, JMHO.

I am used to working 12-16 hour days for somebody else, deliveries at midnight for the printer because production cannot stop, where do you think my boss was when I was delivering printing plates at 1am? I got the same wage no matter how hard I worked or what I did, it was part of the job and that is why my boss was/is a very rich man because he got somebody else to do the dirty work. The fact is that me working just as hard now as I did then will be rewarded one day. As the work increases I can start choosing what is more productive and profitable and split my time accordingly, until that day that I can breath a small sigh of relief I will work my knuckles to the bone to make it happen.

My biggest problem is making sure that the increase in revenue co-insides with the decrease in savings to be able to break even and be able to pay the rent.

best of luck mate and I hope it turns around for you.

Cheers

Warren
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Dave Bruce

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:50 pm

Great advice John, I should do that too would be a real eyeopener, if I had the time. When I worked with the last sign company, which had been in business for 11 years, was paying less than £3000 in rent/rates paid two people and the owner. The owner was taking home less than the workers!

I decided (just after starting)to look at every minute that each person actually worked, taking off tea making/toilet time/chatting/phone calls/lunch etc. looked at what each person was charged out at and came up with the supposed profit :o as you can imagine the real profit was well below that. apart from material wastage we never put a finger on the real reason.

The company soon went down hill when I left and half the customers followed me, now I have all the problems. :D

Cheers

Dave
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:10 pm

Call me cynical if you like - but here's an easy money making idea:-

Get your 9 year old daughter to go an live with an uncle and then tell the world she's gone missing.

Thereafter you can launch website appeals, organise charity gigs, parties and sponsored walks and watch the money come rolling in.

Sound familiar ? :roll:
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Karl Williams

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:04 pm

Phill wrote:Call me cynical if you like - but here's an easy money making idea:-

Get your 9 year old daughter to go an live with an uncle and then tell the world she's gone missing.

Thereafter you can launch website appeals, organise charity gigs, parties and sponsored walks and watch the money come rolling in.

Sound familiar ? :roll:



Now that's just nasty Phill. :-?
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John Gregson

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Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:04 pm

i'll get your coat Phill :lol1:
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Steve Underhill

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:32 am

Ok
youre cynical.

and of course way off the mark :-?

Glad shes been found safe though, only just found out.
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Roy Roffey

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:40 am

yeh..glad the little ens been found safe and all but....

the mans got a huge point there !! (-)

somethings a bit fishy there..did you notice the upgrade of shell suit there wearing ?? (?)
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Steve Underhill

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:45 am

I did,
they upgraded to the cigarette proof shell suits that wont catch fire when they fall asleep smoking in front of Jeremy Kyle after an afternoon on the special brew, they are now on golden Virginia instead of cutters choice, and have the full movie package with sky.
I think they even got the last alloy wheel they needed for the Capri.
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Roy Roffey

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:46 am

Steve Underhill wrote:I did,
they upgraded to the cigarette proof shell suits that wont catch fire when they fall asleep smoking in front of Jeremy Kyle after an afternoon on the special brew, they are now on golden Virginia instead of cutters choice, and have the full movie package with sky.
I think they even got the last alloy wheel they needed for the Capri.


class :appl: :appl:
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Chris Wool

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:53 am

phill wont like the capri comment :wink:
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:00 am

Think I will get me coat :-? :wink:
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Roy Roffey

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:03 am

bet its a 3/4 length brown leather one phil...goes with the capri..

me dad had one.. :lol1:
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Chris Wool

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:06 am

and whats wrong with a capri
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Karl Williams

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:09 am

Let you off Phill. The pics in the paper made me laugh, Looks like the Vicky Pollard estate.
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Chris Wool

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:12 am

Yea but
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John Childs

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:13 am

No but.
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Karl Williams

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:15 am

Yeah but...
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:17 am

Wot :-?
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Karl Williams

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:18 am

Wot but?????
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:19 am

Who's butt :-?
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Karl Williams

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:21 am

Nice Butt! Bo!!ox, getting boring now. What's the topic about?
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:24 am

Don't worry Karl - hijacking topics is a hobby of mine :-?
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Jason Xuereb

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:15 am

I agree with John. Good business people that I've met so far all have one thing in common. They know what they don't know and they get help with it. They never think they are the best at anything and always try and get the best people for the task.

This is hard at first but when my brother and I started our business I got myself a business mentor. At first I was catching up once a week with him going through all the problems I was facing and perceived problems. Most problems businesses face are all similar.

The key is to plan, plan for risks and plan for action. One of the biggest mistakes we ever made was buying a printer too early on in our business. The reason that was a mistake is because we couldn't lease or rent a machine due to our very short time in business and we had to tie up a fair amount of cash buying the printer. We didn't even use a set of cartridges in the first six months of having the machine. Now I can go through a set at least every 2 weeks. Luckily at the time our overheads were so low that having a cash flow problem didn't hurt us.

I think its easier for a business person to start and run a company then someone with special knowledge or a trade to start one. The reason I say this for example in the sign industry which we started our business before I even tried applying a piece of vinyl was this. Suppliers tend to want to help you use their products. Most of the time this advice and training is free. I know our supplier went out of their way to help us put out a decent product. Now they are reaping the rewards of that investment.

My brother and I always said: "Whats the worst that can happen? We can go broke but we don't own a cent. :)"
Last edited by Jason Xuereb on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Childs

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:03 am

Jason Xuereb wrote:I think its easier for a business person to start and run a company then someone with special knowledge or a trade to start one.

:yes1:
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Simon.James

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:05 pm

money worries

being busy may not be the key to success



even when you get the work, you can still be skint my overdraft is almost £30,000 at the moment never mind the credit cards my house is signed off to the bank as a guarantee for £17000. i paid the tax man in jan and have to pay again now in April (corporation Tax), my Accountant said I done really well last year with a 42% profit margin but i am still in the (oh i swore !). work 7 days a week and pay the bank on average £515 pounds a month in bank charges and in Admin charges for factoring.

but guess what i am making money but most of it is owed from a company in avon (not going to give their name out!) who pay me 90 days from the end of the month after you have done the work. an average pay day of 101 days throughout 2007

all this worry to take home £1200 a month (bought some nice kit though and put a bit aside for any dead months ahead)
the contract is due to end this summer and I hope to start working from home again.

financially I would be better doing a 60 hour week on minimum wage, flipping burgers asking if you would like fries with that sir! but the accountant says I am doing well???

its not all about the work its all about trying to get the right customers, I dont think I have cracked it, but reasonably happy working for myself, I think?????? not sure ?????? i think ??????? my wife constantly nags if you are doing all this work wheres the money????????
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Mike Fear

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Simon illustrates a good point - any business that has to borrow a lot of money to start up is always going to be at a disadvantage and will struggle for the first years until the loan is paid off.

If you look at a lot of businesses that have ended up quite large, a lot started very small and built up slowly. There is the statistic that something like 50% of new businesses fail in the first year, and a lot of this is due to over borrowing and being unrealistic in income forecasts.

With the banks its like the scene in Goodfellas - 'business been bad ? FU pay me!' 'waiting for customers to pay, FU pay me !' etc...

I have no overdraft, no loans and all my equipment was paid for outright from profits already made - I could walk away at any point and not owe anyone a penny. OK, perhaps if I got a big unit, bought loads of machinery and took on lots of staff I 'may' make more money, but would the risk be worth it ?

If you start up with lots of debt you will always be working to pay those off first before you start making any money for yourself, which isnt an ideal situation.
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Simon.James

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Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:17 pm

Hi Mike

in reference to keeping small

if you making a living good on you mike, where in wales are you based
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:01 pm

Cheers peps!! some wicked help there! like mentioned, I do need to look at the admin side of things, I know my design and signmaking abilities are not lacking obviously can always improve on things. Was speaking to my old man who runs a successful business he mention profit/loss forecasts predictions and basic accountancy, Does anyone know a good accountancy program? I have Microsoft money but it fries my brain, any ideas?

Also I have the price guide from www.priceitsignguide.com I found the vehicle pricing to be spot on, but couldn't get on with the other prices. I found a local sign company quoted £1400 for a large 2x bit dibond sign with edging and big polished cut-out letters on the face, I said to the customer about £300 - 400 at a guess. does that mean I am far too cheap in comparison? Is there a better way to get my pricing right?

Thanks
Last edited by Jamie Kimp on Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Karl Williams

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Post Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:12 pm

To start I would suggest just giving it to your accountant. You'll have enough on trying to run the business. Keep to what you're good at and let someone else do this.
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:47 pm

Sage instant accounting is very good. I've used it for 12 years and find it makes life very easy. You can keep track of customers statements and can see at a glance when payments become overdue. You can also track your profit and loss on a day by day basis.

I have to disagree with Karl - get a good accountancy package up and running to keep a constant track on the performance of your business. Don't wait for your accountant at the end of the year to tell you how well you've done or otherwise it may be too late. I know of a number of small businesses that have no idea if they are running at a profit or a loss at any point in time. You still need a good accountant to advise on such things as depreciation and any other tax related issues that the layman will be unaware of. So get a good accountant also. But definitely get a good accounts package to run your business on a day to day basis.
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Karl Williams

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Post Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:09 pm

Phil you've misunderstood me. I don't mean take a bag of receipts to him once a year. I see my accountant on a regular basis. He takes care of the books which lets me get on with the business.
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:40 pm

I didn't miss understand you Karl - I simply disagree with the advice you offered.

In my opinion, modern day accountancy packages are very user friendly and easy to use. They allow you full control over your business finances and allow you to spot problems at an early stage.
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:39 am

I heard you needed a degree to use sage or is that wrong? I will look into the program thanks
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:42 am

if you're capable of scratching your own balls, you can cope with Sage :-?
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:50 am

Lol, I just had a hernia operation.. :lol1:
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:52 am

I don't scratch my own balls, I use a ball scratching consultant.
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Simon.James

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:55 am

I like the idea of becoming a ball scratching consultant whats the pay like?


simon
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:55 am

How much does he charge you per ball scratch Andy :wink:
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:58 am

75 quid each!

Mind you, we are talking about some impressive orbs here.

How long before these posts get deleted?
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:02 am

Fair enough - use your ball scratching consultants...but don't come crying to me at the end of the year when he tells you your balls are empty :-?
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:08 am

It would be a crime to delete this thread... I haven't laughed so much in ages :lol1: :lol1:
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Ian Johnston

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:17 pm

Andy Gorman wrote:75 quid each!Mind you, we are talking about some impressive orbs here.


Phill wrote:Fair enough - use your ball scratching consultants...but don't come crying to me at the end of the year when he tells you your balls are empty :-?



PMSL the tears are tripping me :lol1: :lol1: :lol1: :lol1:
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Gwaredd Steele

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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:52 pm

nnsg wrote:
I found a local sign company quoted £1400 for a large 2x bit dibond sign with edging and big polished cut-out letters on the face, I said to the customer about £300 - 400 at a guess. does that mean I am far too cheap in comparison? Is there a better way to get my pricing right?

Thanks


Yes, Far too cheap! As a rule of thumb, I price up the materials & then double it to make my profit margin, so for example, 2 x sheets of Diabond £90.00 (don't forget to include delivery!) edging (I'm guessing the stuff from JAG?) £60.00, & big polished cut out letters aren't usually cheap, so for arguments sake, lets say £195.00 making your total cost price of £345.00 +VAT All this & you still haven't designed & proofed, assembled the sign, drove to location & erected it. How long will it take you to put up? How high is it - do you need access? Can you do it by yourself, or do you need some cash-in-hand help?

So say you charge £400.00+VAT, you make fifty five poxy quid for easily a good days (more than likely two) work. If you use the double it method, you'd have made £345.00 profit for the same amount of effort. Of course, this method doesn't always work & common sense must be applied to all jobs when pricing, so for the job above, as the other sign company quoted £1400.00 & you can do it for £690.00, why not make it £895 or even £995? It's still far cheaper than the other quote, but not too cheap as to raise suspicion to the customer that you're using inferior products & you make a potential £650 profit! You need to, because tomorrow, the phone might not ring...

As for invoicing etc, we use instant admin. Look it up on google. Easy to use & costs peanuts (I think we paid around £40.00)

Bottom line, don't be afraid to make good money from your customers. They won't thank you for doing it for £600 or £60, so make it £600!
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Post Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:55 pm

charge for every thing

I don't have nothing to say I 'am learning from you it's my first year my accouter says that I 'm doing well ,but I don't know if says that because he still want me to pay 600 € a year for keeping the books,

I did not make money this year as I have made some mistakes as I m new in the trade I under priced my self to get the job and I did get them every job was a training for me I wasted a lots of times designing for a small job which I never made any money but I have learned a lot . Now it's time to put my prices as they should be and charge for every thing

Arslan
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Adam Ross

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Post Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:44 pm

Hi mate. i myself have been going for about a year and agree it is worrying at times when it is quiet, December and Jan was awful but last month and this month have gone mad, i am lucky i have a group of customers which do alot of repeat business with me, but when i started there was nothing like that. i work from home so my overheads are low and we do vehicle graphics, sign making and t-shirt printing. keeps me busy most of the time. your pricing will get better with experience. don't give up although you wont make a fortune it still beats having someone tell you what to do all day !!
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:56 pm

Phill wrote:Call me cynical if you like - but here's an easy money making idea:-

Get your 9 year old daughter to go an live with an uncle and then tell the world she's gone missing.

Thereafter you can launch website appeals, organise charity gigs, parties and sponsored walks and watch the money come rolling in.

Sound familiar ? :roll:


I told you so :P :P
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John & Dawn Roddick

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:18 pm

As soon as I heard this I thought of you Phill - and to think you were just regarded as an old cynic
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Chris Wool

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:28 pm

well Inspector Fenton how do you see the rest of the investigation going.
we could put the press release out now and save a lot of speculation.

:wink:
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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:43 pm

I can "sniff out" the "baddies" from miles away :cool:

It's taken "Plod" three weeks to arrive at the same conclusion as I did :-?
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:59 pm

Phill wrote:I can "sniff out" the "baddies" from miles away :cool:

It's taken "Plod" three weeks to arrive at the same conclusion as I did :-?


any idea who stole my bike in 1975, Phill? To think the baxtard is riding around on it someplace!! :( :(
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:02 pm

Yup - it was your Brudder - he sold it to a gyspy for £10 :-?
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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:06 pm

couldnt have been my brudder.......he was sitting on the handlebars at the time :(
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Phill Fenton

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Nope - that was your younger Brudder - your older Brudder also got £5 for your younger brudder from the Gypsys when he sold them the bike along with his youngest Brudder :-?
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:22 pm

Just asked my Mudder about this and she says you are wrong!
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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:29 pm

Harry Cleary wrote:Just asked my Mudder about this and she says you are wrong!


But your Farder knew more about it corrs he put yer brudder up to it,
and your mudder wasnt to Know

Pedder
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:34 pm

Peter Normington wrote:
Harry Cleary wrote:Just asked my Mudder about this and she says you are wrong!


But your Farder knew more about it corrs he put yer brudder up to it,
and your mudder wasnt to Know

Pedder


I can't go any farder coz I don't have a bike!
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Karl Williams

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Post Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:46 pm

It wuz Rob dat buggered of wid it. He's using it to get to Sign UK! :wink:
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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:26 am

no way couldn't,t reach the pedals!

Peter
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Peter Dee

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:39 am

Phill wrote:Yup - it was your Brudder - he sold it to a gyspy for £10 :-?


That's a first - a gypsy paying for a bike :-?
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Harry Cleary

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:10 am

According to my Mudder, Phill was right and wrong!........we are gypsies and it was my sistur what did it....she admitted it all........I just found my bike and my brudder in the base of her bed! :o .........He says the chain needs oiling!
Thanks Inspector Fenton ....sir :D
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:41 am

Yeah well don't get your hopes up... I'll be taking you in for questioning too Harry :-?
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Harry Cleary

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:04 am

but why sur? :(
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John Childs

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:10 am

Harry Cleary wrote:but why sur? :(

You just look guilty Harry. :D
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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:37 pm

Peter Mindham wrote:no way couldn't,t reach the pedals!

Peter



Darn Peter your a very naughty boy!! :D :D :D :D :D


Here's the culprit!!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BLgV_7wNHkg
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:01 pm

Thanks for all the help on this topic. I have spoken with a couple of people mainly my old man. I have taken a note on exactly how much time is taken on every job. I did before but this time I did it exactly.

So now I know that 2 hours to cut 5m of 610 vinyl with a RABBIT plotter is where most of my problems lye. Before I didn't realise I was spending so much time cutting. I have worked on various different cutting machines, Rolands, Mimaki etc. and you could set off a 5m at once and leave it until it had finished. I am having to stop after each set of words and turn off the plotter, otherwise it will mess up. I take it the Budget Rabbit plotter has less memory than my mobile phone.

What do you think I should do? Just cut small jobs on my plotter and send off bigger jobs. Or save to get a top of the range plotter?

;)
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Steve Underhill

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Post Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:04 pm

Get a decent 610 cutter for now, you can get a Roland GX-24 from Xpres for 8 quid a week for 3 years or whatever it is or £999 + vat
the time saved will make up for the outlay for sure
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:40 pm

Nice 1. Have just contacted them.
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:18 am

I have been looking around for printers / cutters, because at the moment I am outlaying a lot of print work. What would be anyone's recommendation on this Roland VersaCAMM Printer/Cutter?

http://www.grafityp.co.uk/Printers/prin ... sp300v.htm

would it be worth paying a few grand more and getting the 54inch?
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Mike Fear

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:47 pm

Looks like an OK deal - another place to try is Roland directly as I bought my printer from them which was an ex-display one they had used as a demonstrator at a few shows and got a good price.

As to if you need the larger one - depends on if you need to print larger things really ! :D Most of the stuff I print is smaller more detailed work, and even the largest things I have made have fitted onto the SP300 no problem
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Jamie Kimp

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:53 pm

Thanks, Do you know their web address as I can't find it on the search
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JamieX

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:20 am

The SP540V is what has grown our business and is a must have due to reducing your Cost of Goods sold and allowing to provide a better service (faster turn around times).

Now with this machine do not go into the pitfall of being all things to all people! Find something you can do better or cheaper than your competition which is easy for you. Being home based this should be easy. Then get your name out there for this.

Examples of niche products are:

*Banners (if you can finish them)
*Pull-Up Banners (if your market is allowing a large profit which it isnt here)
*Stickers (if we were still at home I would base my business on this as we make a steady revenue from this monthly)

Make sure you don't fall for the same mistake we did and de-value your design!
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Post Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:35 pm

The Best thing in business I ever didto help me make decent money was to get a good administrator
all the best
roger

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