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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Business

jefe46
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State of Jefferson

Dec 28th, 2017 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a spin off of the Musician's Friend thread....
Anyone can sell a guitar or a Ford or a Toaster.. what differentiates one business establishment from another is "service".

I consider "service" as part of the "value" package.
And for that very reason I do business with very few shops/retailers. Among them Toyota and the local dealer, one gift shop, two grocery stores, one butcher, one tire store (Les Schwab.. as Costco sucks for service) , one kitchen shop a very few restaurants etc.

In my little biz, no one needs what I sell; that is hurdle one. Secondly there are far cheaper alternatives to what I make, notably from China.

Currently I am backed up by at least a year, able to take only a few custom orders which I enjoy most. Unfortunately I keep getting orders and so my retirement now consists of me down to 50-60 hrs work weeks down from 80 hrs.

I am not in the "fast" and cheap business, I am in the best that can be done business.
But the main reason I am so busy is not solely because of the product.. it is customer service.

I do what I say I will do when I say I will do it. I exceed expectations. Even with custom orders, I offer a 100% guaranteed money back if not 100% satisfied.. they pay return shipping, I suck up the out going. I will refund money of make another to meet their expectation.

I return e-mails within hours, I return calls.. I send photos of the work in progress. I accept input.. though we usually do things my way : ) As this is my gig and if I do it another way, it is someone else's, not mine so why did you contact me.

My work is now in over 20 countries to include auto museums and private collections. I am working on a piece for a repeat client in Belgium, 15 pieces that will go to Australia (15 already there) 20 pieces for a 20,000 sq ft man cave in Florida, 15 pieces for a collector in Maryland/NY/Florida.etc.. I just sent 6 pieces to S Diego and three to Irvine and ...I also have my auto work in only one shop that is taxing my ability to produce.. well, I am at it non stop.. all this while doing non auto work for a shop in Carmel/Capitola Ca and this is interfering with my time table in getting out of Dopeville. But business is important.. so looking for a balance.

I know very skilled people who have a hard time... in my opinion the reason is too much BS not enough listening, and follow up, and respect for the customer. Too much look at me.

It's customer service.. not selling one's self or self absorbed BS (I let the work stand on its own merit. )

I don't advertise, though a magazine just did a little blurb on my work and I am once again overwhelmed by the response. I have a very limited web site with no selling information other than info to contact me.

Please don't take this is being immodest (though I do not believe in modesty false or otherwise)

I cannot see doing business any other way than to do the absolute best you can and appreciate the business and offer folks true "value" for their buck..
Not unlike the FDP.


I do maintain a couple policies.
One is the AxxHxxx Clause and the other:

Do to the increasing number of complaints about our free service, there will be no more free service.

If you find this thread, or post, offensive or self serving (not my intent) ..feel free to move on or delete.

It was simply to illustrate that with modest skill and attention to, and respect for, the most valuable asset a business can have, the customer, you can be successful. In my case, in spite of myself.










Grey Goose
Contributing Member
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USA/MN

What?
Dec 28th, 2017 01:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Glad things are going well, sorry to hear about your busy retirement.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Dec 28th, 2017 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

*due



littleuch
Contributing Member
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******

Florida

Dec 28th, 2017 01:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In many (most) aspects of customer service & products, mediocrity has become an acceptable factor. It's a quantifiable metric. They'll provide 2.5 out of 5 star work and, amazingly, con a great many people to rate them a 5. I think this is all a product of "us" not building things anymore and too many customers (bloating world pop).

Personally, these things can really get under my skin, but at the end of the day I rather have an aortic dissection from shagging the ol' lady than being outraged at someone's shortcomings. It takes an effort, admittedly.

NoSoapRadio
Contributing Member
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Dec 28th, 2017 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Jefe,

As a recipient of some of your work, I can concur that your product certainly exceeded my expectations. Your communication and service was first rate.

Add to that your generosity to benefit the FDP.

I am proud to own one of your pieces.

If you weren't so damned busy, I'd ask you to make me something else in a heartbeat.


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 28th, 2017 02:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Success or failure is part of the equation--for countless reasons. Many good companies succeed and many fail. Many bad companies fail and many succeed.

Being passionate about one's work is no guarantee of success. Passion helps, but success is dependent on plenty more factors than a "we care" attitude.

Creating and maintaining a demand in a market is very hard work. And there is always someone willing to do it better/faster/cheaper than you. The sad truth is there are far more small businesses failures than successful ones.

It ain't easy. There was a time I was interested in getting into a small restaurant/bar business. I did a bunch of research and discovered a restaurant/bar requires virtually all the attention of the proprietor in order to be successful.

I don't define myself by my job or how $$ successful I am. I have too many hobbies I'd have to completely drop in order to strengthen my chances of success in the restaurant business.

My job creates the income necessary to enable my *real* life, which is what happens when I'm not at work.

jefe46
Contributing Member
**********
****

State of Jefferson

Dec 28th, 2017 04:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Paramount is the quality of the product...but if you muck that up with substandard customer service.. it will catch up to you.

PS it also helps to have a business management experience.

And.. I do not compromise. There is the right way and every other way.

And:

Always room for improvement:

(This message was last edited by jefe46 at 06:53 PM, Dec 28th, 2017)

JAFO
Contributing Member
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Hemet, SoCal

I detect the El Supremo
Dec 28th, 2017 07:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's not personal, Sonny, it's business.

jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Dec 28th, 2017 07:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

And that is what I said to 15 morons at Citi Bank.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Dec 29th, 2017 07:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My job creates the income necessary to enable my *real* life, which is what happens when I'm not at work."

This^

My job is all about service. And it is full of old-fashioned, timeless values. I dig it.

jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Dec 29th, 2017 07:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Agreed. Life is more than work. Though, creating something from raw materials is part of my life.

I don't have "hobbies". The word hobby conjures up filling idle time which I do not have. I have passionate interests for which I make time.


(This message was last edited by jefe46 at 09:24 AM, Dec 29th, 2017)

jefe46
Contributing Member
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****

State of Jefferson

Dec 29th, 2017 07:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"If you weren't so damned busy, I'd ask you to make me something else in a heartbeat."


NSR... I'd make time.




NoSoapRadio
Contributing Member
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Mass., Amerika

CO2 ... is there anything it can't do?
Dec 29th, 2017 09:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^^ Thanks Jefe -- I'll send you an email.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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******

Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 29th, 2017 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

BAM!

FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Business




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