my invisible text
Categories
  • TIMELINE

Festive blues and advice please

<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:20 pm

Festive blues and advice please

Hi All
Hope you had a good and restful festive break. The trouble is I did for the first time in years, and actually did no work between Christmas and New Year and used the down time to clarify my thoughts on when I would be calling it a day.

I've been doing this for 13 years now and find I no longer get the buzz I used to from the variety of work I do (signs, wide format, vehicles, garments stickers, etc). I am fed up with explaining to customers that might be able to get the job cheaper 'on the internet; but they wouldn't be getting one to one advice/consultation/artwork correction etc etc. I also find that shorter leadtimes create a work/life balance that is all wrong and something I have been trying to change for years without success (in fact its got worse!). The thought of doing away with the hours spent on admin, VAT returns, professional fees, unit rent etc is quite tempting.

So, I am seriously thinking of packing it in and taking early retirement by the Spring- but the question is do I sell everything or keep back a few items so I can do bits and pieces. My feeling is I want a clean break and if its all gone then I can't be tempted to still be in production.

If I do sell up where do you think would be good to advertise - has anybody got any good experience of selling wide format print and laminating kit in the UK. Its in very good condition and been looked after and only used by me from new so wouldn't want to undervalue it. Thinking that the smaller stuff, dye sub mug presses, heat press, etc would be flea bay (and dye sub forum) and possibly the embroidery kit as well.

Might cheer up tomorrow and think better of it but thought I'd post this and see if anyone else has suggestions as best way to exit if that's what I decide to do (local competition has latex and wide laminator so our big kit [Roland VS640 and Easymount 1600SH] wouldn't be of interest).

All the best for the coming year
Cheers
Hugh
<<

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 228

Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:22 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:32 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Hue
Possibly the time of the year, but if your heart is not in it, then a clean break for me, could you sell the business as a going concern. This is the one advantage of being your own boss, you can do what you like when you like.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:42 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Mike
Many thanks for your reply and comments. I think you're right that a clean break may be the bestdecision rather than keeping some kit back, think that doing that would lead me down the path of still being involved and regretting selling the bigger kit!

Have thought about trying to sell it as a going concern but we are in a rural part of the world so unless I can find someone who has the requisite knowledge and skills and enthusiasm then the opportunity is limited - might approach the other local company to see about selling the order book/customers though?

All the best
Hugh
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 3548

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:17 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:01 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Depending on your overheads, and your personal needs, could you keep it as more of a lifestyle business?

I hate doing t-shirts, and as such don't push it. Same with the cheapo brigade, I don't waste my time explaining or trying to compete. Cut out the stress, and focus on the jobs that pay, and you enjoy doing?

I've been in the office today, did the accounts,had one call about photocopying 50 pages, submitted a quote we got asked for over the break (that's been accepted), went and made a delivery, and I'm now sat a home :lol: :lol: personally I'd rather do this, than be doing work for next to nothing.
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi David
Many thanks for your reply and comments.

I think the lifestyle thing is what I am afraid of - i.e. where do you draw the line with work load etc, plus could reduce overheads at a stroke - unit costs, keeping media/kit heated etc etc!
I agree totally about weeding out profit jobs and I have done that increasingly over the years but do find that you get some jobs which are interesting to do but you know that the hourly overhead recovery rate would kill it so end up taking a hit on your own cost margin control. But I have learnt to say no a lot more of late!
T shirts etc I agree, we installed embroidery so that we could add a premium over printed garments and this has been good for a few years but again - losing the love for it!

And a belated well done on your copyright victory by the way - admired your tenacity and great result! Fought a protracted domain name issue years ago and I remember the hours involved in putting the documentation together to prove we were in the right - won in the end but a bruising experience!

All the best
Hugh
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8331

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:48 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

OK here is something you haven't mentioned Hugh :lol:
If you take Early Retirement what are you going to do with yourself having been used to spending so much of the time working??
Might sound like a great idea & actually feel great for a short period once you have sold everything & got out, but what do you do once the boredom sets in. If you have plans for what you will do once you retire can you (honestly) afford them?
Most things in life unfortunately cost money, Retirement can be a lot more expensive than a lot of people think especially if you take early retirement :lol: :lol: :lol:

As to your question though, I think personally if I had decided I had lost my enthusiasm for the job & wanted to get out of the industry then it would be a clean break unless I could find something completely different I could use certain bits of equipment for :lol: :lol:
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Martin
Many thanks for your wise words - part of the plan is to see more of my grandchildren who I don't want to miss growing up as you realise that time is flying by and if you can't get the life/work balance right then that is time you can never get back. Have a few ideas to keep me out of mischief but yes indeed, need to carefully cost out the options for early retirement to make sure it is affordable.
The more I think about it the more a clean break would seem to fit my needs - but hey, might open a cupboard tomorrow and find my mojo again! The trouble is it seems to be easier to stay working away on the hamster wheel than stop running and get off it and away from it. That's the problem with having had time to reflect over the break I guess!

All the best
Hugh
<<

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 536

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:22 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:28 am

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi looking at it from another angel. Have you thought about an apprentice? You could employ an aprentice very cheap labour and train them up. This in itself might give you a new enjoyment of the job , passing on your knowledge. As they improve and gain skills you could start to do the bits you still like and start taking half days and days off to spend more time with your family. That way you still have a toe in but can eventually leave the day to day running to another person. When you really have had enough the employee might like to buy you out over a period of time?
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Jean

Many thanks for your reply and comments which are much appreciated.
Many people have asked me over the years why I haven't taken on staff or taken on an apprentice - and the simple answer is I'd be rubbish at it! Two main problems, one the extra admin involved as i think there's too much time on admin as it is (my partner handles this side as well as some sales) but mainly the fact that I am a perfectionist and and would always be micromanaging someone else's work - and probably drive them up the wall as well. Its the old thing of its my name on it so it must be done to my standards. Its the same reason as to why we won't outsource work, part of our philosophy is all work is done in house and our customers understand and seem to appreciate that - we explain what we can and can't do and that has been ok. As a consultant advising me I would say this is totally wrong and I should have had an apprentice/staff and outsourced as well and not work all hours but hey - I'm (was!) happy as I am :)

All the best
Hugh
<<

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 13

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:54 pm





Post Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:02 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Sounds like you really need to book a holiday, get back and book another one straight away. Look forward to the time you'll be sharing all your experiences with those grandchildren and taking them under your wing. No need to retire just refocus a little maybe!
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:58 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Andy

Many thanks for your comments which are appreciated - you're right, decided I need to take a clearer look at life/work so have booked a break - first in a long, long time! Then can focus on making the right decision! :)
All the best
Hugh
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 11105

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2002 11:04 pm





Post Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:41 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Do you have space to work from home? If so - why not just scale it back and semi retire whilst still taking on the occasional commission that will supplement your income. Without all the overheads of a full time business you can afford to be much more picky in what type of work you agree to take on. That way you will only be doing the types of job that you enjoy whilst still getting paid. All the PITA jobs van be turned down without the same fear as you would have if working full time. This is how I am planning to retire - though that won't be for a few years yet...
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:26 am

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Phill

Many thanks for your input which is much appreciated.
I do have home space I could use and your suggestion of downsizing to work from home as 'semi' retired is one I'm wrestling with to be honest. I could sell the wide format kit (print/cut and laminator) and keep cut vinyl and garment, embroidery and dye sub work, but could end up just as busy? Who knows, where is that crystal ball when you need it! Have turned a few PITA jobs down today that I would normally say yes to, and feeling better already! :)

Going to take that booked break to give me clear space to sort out whether I downscale or say that's it, or as Peter Jones would say 'I'm Out'. :)
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8331

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:00 am

Re: Festive blues and advice please

I do have home space I could use and your suggestion of downsizing to work from home as 'semi' retired is one I'm wrestling with to be honest. I could sell the wide format kit (print/cut and laminator) and keep cut vinyl and garment, embroidery and dye sub work, but could end up just as busy? Who knows, where is that crystal ball when you need it!

Your missing one very important point that Phill made, without the overheads of running a unit you can pick & choose what work you do so as long as you are able to say NO or I can do that but not for 3 weeks then you can spend as much time as you want doing other things :lol: :lol:

One thing I have learnt in the last 6 years is that all those rush jobs that need to be done immediately can magically wait if the customer wants you to do the work :lol:

My circumstances are very different to most on here, I was medically discharged from the Royal Navy & receive a Service invaliding pension which is tax exempt, means it doesn't count as income so I can work & still get my full personal allowance. More importantly it puts me in a position where I am not 100% reliant on the Business to be able to live & pay the bills.
As well as a slight physical disability & also have CFS which means that I can only work part time but I am still in a position where I can pick & choose what I do. I don't haggle over price at all, give the customer a price which I know to be fair & reasonable & if they aren't happy with it then they can go elsewhere.
I don't have any customers that are only looking for the cheapest job they can get & they all know the position I am in with regards to my health & accept that is how things are :lol: Yes I have lost a lot of customers from the time I was working full time running myself into the ground but to be honest I am probably better off without them & still have enough to be able to keep working :lol: :lol:
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:40 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Martin

Many thanks for these wise words which are much appreciated - you are spot on with the 'say no' philosophy, when you look at the PITA jobs and look at time/cost/margin/stress ratio - you know you should have listened to that voice in your head telling you to say 'no'. And again have learnt that rush jobs can often lose their urgency if you explain you can't get to it for three weeks or so!
Losing unit overhead would make a big difference and know I would keep a core customer base so am going to let this all filter for a while and take that break. Sounds like you have got the work/life balance sorted despite issues which may have knocked other people back, which is a great place to be.
All the best
Hugh
<<

User avatar

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 90

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:58 pm

UPDATE: Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi All

Just to update this thread - I took that break and am really glad I did, it does help to get away from the day to day business and allows you to focus on big decision making......

.....Decision made! :smiles: I am quitting the unit and wide format work and semi-retiring and will just do 'part time' small signage and garment work for regular clients.

So am setting a date to be out and sold up of April/May. And if anyone is interested in immaculate kit (that has been cosseted more than my grandchildren):
Roland VS-640 print and cut 6 colour (CMYKLcLm) with Versaworks and Roland take up unit
Easymount 1600SH laminator with Easymount take up unit
Keencut Big Bench EB260 Big Bench (2.9 x 1.33m) with mdf 2 part top and cutting mat and base plate for:
Keencut Evolution 2 cutting rail system (2.6m cut length) (fits on Big Bench base plate)

then give me a call: #01588#513404# I'm currently taking photos of the equipment so I can prepare a sale list so can send these to any interested parties as well.

Looking forward to the future - thanks for all your input and advice! :smiles: :thumbsup:
All the best
Hugh
<<

User avatar

4 Star Contributor

Posts: 481

Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:30 pm





Post Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Hi Hugh , great to talk to you earlier, thank u for your time and good luck with the future, thanks again shawn
<<

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 18

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:00 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Having been in the sign trade from school and im now over 50 :sad:
Starting when there was not a plotter in sight and everything had to be painted and hand cut things have certainly changed.
I have had my ups and downs and made mistakes but you live and learn but I have never fell out of love with the trade
I just can't keep up with the many changes and the latest this and that.

But I just can't see myself retiring but I certainly have scaled down so I think you have made the right decision not to pack it in completely. Maybe you should keep hold of your gear for a while just in case, put it in safe storage. It would be expensive
to replace if you changed your mind.
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8331

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:24 am

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Thanks for updating the post Hugh, always nice to see how things have turned out when people ask questions. Be nice if you could add a progress report every now & again once you have made the move.
Start off as you mean to go on, set realistic time scales for jobs & stick to them, learn to say NO :lol: :lol:
I wouldn't be surprised if your love for the job/industry returned once you had less stress to deal with, not saying it can't still be stressful but personally I believe it is on a different level.
If you are only going to keep doing work for existing customers then keep an eye on the numbers, you lose customers over time through businesses changing hands, retirement or just shutting up shop for one reason or another. I didn't watch it closely enough & found myself with next to no customers (another business mistake by me :blushing: ). Happened over a long(ish) period of time so I didn't really notice it until it was a bit late.
If you are still going to look for work then try & encourage your existing customers to recommend you to other businesses they know or deal with :lol: :lol:

Oh & best of luck with it all :lol: :lol: :lol:
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 3548

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:17 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:17 pm

Re: Festive blues and advice please

Good luck Hugh.

I'm going through a blue spell at the moment.

Customers who vanish when you ask for a deposit.

Customers who drag out jobs for months on end.

A fleet customer who rings with another 5 vans to sign, when can we do it, start printing the graphics, to fit from Wednesday, to be told, they're changing the design... after doing 10+ vans already in the current livery :bangshead:

My patience and interest levels have plumited and I have no time for it, I do wonder why on earth we're bothering.

Return to General Sign Topics



Who is online

Registered users:
Codyholm

 

About
Contact
Board Rules
Membership
Terms & Conditions

 

Signapp - iPhone & iPad
Signapp - Android
Vehicle Wrap Training
Vinyl Application Training
Vehicle Wrap Accreditation
UK Sign Group
Site Membership
Advertising
Videos
ISA-UK

 

 

Who is Online

In total there are 282 users online ::
3 registered, 0 hidden and 279 guests
[based on past 5 minutes]

Most users ever online was
370 on Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:02 pm

Registered users:
Codyholm

Copyright © 2000 - 2019 Robert Lambie