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End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

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Martyn Heath

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:12 am

End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Hi guys. Hope you all enjoyed your xmas and cant wait to get back into work :yawn:

Ok i wanted to talk about my situation and hope some of you similar "one man bands" can tell me if im on the right track or can see something going wrong.
I know its a tricky situation talking about money, turnover and profit but hoping some of your honesty would reassure me that my business is not a disaster.
Ive been in the game 15 years now, 9 employed and 6 years self, 3 of which have been in my new country finland which i moved to 3 years ago. Having just done my 3rd year of books i was a little shocked that i had done just under our turnover of last year as i thought we had been busier, this has made me question the success of the business and how much growth is available for a small business as there is only so much you can do and so many hours in the day.

Now i work from home (which is a 400sqm old school) so im lucky enough not to have the usual overheads like rent and rates etc.
Our turnover to date is: 1st year 18k
2nd year 29k
3rd year 28k.

My direct costs this year were 6600k which is a 77% average profit margin.

We are very busy (5 days a week, 8 hours a day) for best part of 3 months a year, and the rest of the year i average 2.5 days a week.
My margins on jobs range from 60-90% profit depending on the type of work. Unfortunately our busy 3 months of the year are sports kits which give me a lower daily rate than other work. 150.00 a day compared to what i try and earn 300.00.

So im wondering if this sounds like where a business of this size should be? with the amount of work i do or are the numbers off.
In theory if i was busy all year round i guess im looking at a turnover of 60k with a profit of 45k. Does this sounds about right for a small firm?.

I know the area, competition, type fo work and country! come into play but for the sake of it lets say finland and england are like for like.

Anyway thanks in advance, any thoughts and honesty would be much appreciated.
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David Hammond

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:56 am

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.

Your turnover may be down, but profit could be up. We had a small increase in turnover, by cutting some dead wood, and focusing on different work, but saw a large increase in profit.

Provided you're making enough to support living, and are happy with your work life balance :thumbsup:

Any reason you're only busy 3months of the year, what could you do to increase turnover for the other 9 months?
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Martyn Heath

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:11 am

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Thanks for the reply david.

The main reason we are only busy for 3 months of the year is because our 2 main customers (football team and floorball) get all of their work done at the same time March, April, May. Then we dont see them again until the following year. Their income accounts for 30% of our annual turnover.

Apart from that we dont have any repeat bread and butter customers which is something i know would ripidly change the situation. We seem to tick over out of these periods with vehicles and shops.
We have a good reputation for quality and price and our competitors have had to up their game advertising wise since we arrived.

I understand what your saying turnover-profit wise, i do keep an eye on myself to make sure im not a busy fool and lifestyle-work balance is great. Maybe a little too great :). Atm i feel like im short of making a decent self employed living although financially there are no worries because im sensible, it needs to be hitting slightly better numbers.

So plan wise to increase work throughout the year is merely hoping the quality of work and good reputation continues to spread and bring people through the door. Last year was the first time we did any advertising, as you know its hard to tell if this really pays off.
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David Hammond

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:23 am

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Recurring work is quite difficult to come across.

We have a two nice customers, who have a large fleet of vans each, it keeps us busy and it's nice repetitive work. The trouble being the leases are 3+ years, so a long cycle back to the start again.

We have much higher return customers with the print customers, although the margins are lower than vans & signage.

I know some companies who work in very niche markets, they do well financially, their work life balance though isn't as flexible, as they're often the only person who can get things done. :lol:

We too are going to have to start being a little more pro-active in our advertising. Something we're not that great at for ourselves.
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Jamie Hunt

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Hi Martyn can we establish first what machinery you have regarding, plotters printers heat presses etc, it may be a case you aren’t advertising enough or ringing local football clubs to see if they need kits doing is it heat press stuff your into , why not get into big corporate companies like supermarkets get onto there suppliers list , once your on you’ll get lots of big branding for there corporate clothing etc, our main work is vehicle signage , sign Fascias and our very main one is shop fitting graphics for a company that deal with big blue chip companies to fit all there shops , so its like a chain reaction if they keep busy we keep busy so to speak, so take the plunge get on the phone and start promoting your business, you dont have to put it in papers etc, join clubs where major companies get involved, Gym, Golf etc do some Networking. Goodluck
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Martyn Heath

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:49 pm

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Jamie Hunt wrote:Hi Martyn can we establish first what machinery you have regarding, plotters printers heat presses etc, it may be a case you aren’t advertising enough or ringing local football clubs to see if they need kits doing is it heat press stuff your into , why not get into big corporate companies like supermarkets get onto there suppliers list , once your on you’ll get lots of big branding for there corporate clothing etc, our main work is vehicle signage , sign Fascias and our very main one is shop fitting graphics for a company that deal with big blue chip companies to fit all there shops , so its like a chain reaction if they keep busy we keep busy so to speak, so take the plunge get on the phone and start promoting your business, you dont have to put it in papers etc, join clubs where major companies get involved, Gym, Golf etc do some Networking. Goodluck



Hi jamie, we have a ce6000 plotter, tshirt press, hat press, mug press, a4 sublimation printer, mutoh 1614 solvent and laminator. All machinery is owned no debt. We only purchased the mutoh printer in the autumn and have yet to put much mileage on it.
We have sent out many emails to football clubs etc offering our services, even with free samples but havnt had much of a return rate even tho offering free shipping on large orders. Teams seem to use local companies because its less hassle just like our teams use us.
T shirts and merchandise isnt our main thing, its just worked out that way with our customer base. Moneys money at the end of the day but after 3 months of pressing 5 days a week my attitude is a little different. :lol:
Networking is something i have always considered, coffee mornings and special handshake clubs but never got myself out there.
Our best advertising has been word of mouth and having an article in the paper about us when we started up. Last year we paid for a large sign in the main towns sports hall where all the clubs play which has captured some attention.
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Jamie Hunt

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:57 pm

End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Ok i see you have a Mutoh printer do you print banners, i find giving away FREE banners or discounted banners helps as i put my advert at the end of the banner Quite big , loads of people see it and it helps with advertising as other customers what signs or banners doing , i actually got rid of my heat press as I found it wasn’t earning enough and it wasn’t the right market for me, i now concentrate on bigger stuff like vans & signage etc as theres more money in it
Saying that you say you do Mugs and caps have you tried giving your potential new customer a Free mug or hat it could give you a step in the door
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Chris Wilson

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Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:30 pm

Re: End of the financial year here in finland, am i on the right track?

Social media is our strength. Facebook is good to teach now people but it is a slow burner. It’s not a instant reward and you do need to promote your posts. It does bring in the few that want one or two t-shirts. But I would need several hands to count the many that have come back with bigger jobs, or there boss has been on the phone with big big jobs. Customer service is key though as it’s an easy platform for people to tell you your crap if you don’t deliver on time. It’s also very good for good feedback though which helps with new customers.
Instagram has been good for us to show case products and for customers to follow the progress of day to day work. A lot of our customers have also said thank you for posting there stuff, they feel we have gone the extra mile to promote them further.

The odd ‘offer’ on these pages helps to I find.

Recently started using adwords. Also good. Very easy to get to busy with it though so need to hit the pause button from time to time.

Hoping social is the same over there of course.

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