I've read a lot of really great information on this forum for the small shop guy. I've also read some good tips on talking to other shops or builders to get business. I have thoughts/questions on this.
What would you, as a builder or cabinet shop owner, be looking for from a small, one-man shop that approached you for business? I'm guessing that proof of quality of work would be one thing and proof of reliability would be another.
I have a small shop, (cabinet saw, festool saw and sanders, bandsaw, jointer, planer, legacy mill, pocket hole machine) and build cabinets primarily and furniture occasionally. I'm part time now and looking to grow the business. Most of what I've done is word of mouth, but because I've been part time, I've not done much to create a backlog. I'm thinking of approaching builders/cabinet shop owners first - what do I say to you guys?
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor B:
I posted an ad in the services section of a local paper. I am also a part-timer for now and I have as much business as I can currently handle. If it works for you then you get to keep all the profits rather than some builder who will want you to build cabinets for nothing.
And all you need is a couple of these guys along with your walk in work to be backlogged. As far as advertising I have in the past sponsored the weather on the local radio for a few weeks in winter. Everyone listens for the weather in winter. It’s good to grow but careful what you ask for. As a one man operation two nice jobs is all you may need. And an ad in the service directory is also money well spent in the beginning.
Also I would like to see a sample of your work, a rough idea as to your price and any references as to your reliability. Then if someone were to drop out of my network, which they do, I would give you a chance. But you have to be persistent. Just because you call on a contractor one time doesn’t mean you will get his work. Ii takes time - some contractors will be jerks others will be nice but when they need someone they will try the person who has worked hard to get his work