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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2937
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Welcome to the Business Discussion Reply with quote

This forum is for tradespeople and contractors who want to discuss business topics. It began with historic window specialists, but now includes all of the building trades.

To get started take a look at the other discussions by clicking "Business Side" above.

Or, jump right in by clicking on "post reply" above and introduce yourself and your business. Here are some questions to guide you:


How did you get started?

Who are your customers?

How many jobs do you work on at a time?

How did you learn about business?

How did you learn about your trade?

How do you communicate with your customers? (verbal & handshake, formal written contracts, drawings?)

Do you have a system for tracking time and materials?

How many people work in your business? Is it true that more people means less risk and greater chance your business will come through in a pinch?

What are your rates, how do you estimate and charge for your work?

What is your overall strategy? (are you simply providing employment for yourself, or are you building a business you could someday sell?)

Looking forward to learning more about business,

--John Leeke


Background on this Forum:

Dixon Kerr, historic window specialist in Richmond, VA, recently talked with me about the business side of operating a small-shop window company. He would like to talk with others in the same business. I'm in business myself (one-person micro business) and frequently talk with other window specialists about business, so I know the need.

Dixon suggests:

"We would offer a 'meeting' for small shop window restoration specialists, a discussion of ... business ideas. Maybe we could ask for idea outlines, in advance of the discussions, of what people would like to talk about. My wish list would start like this:

What are some numbers other people are seeing - numbers are the lifeblood
of any business, no matter how much we hate to gather them.

--> how many complete widows per week are considered "average" per shop employee,

--> prices charged per window

--> hours per window to complete."

"That's my idea- if any of them are discussed, it would be extremely helpful. Do you think people will be open to this private info? We are spread out geographically where we could not be competitive. This might be a good group to start that could "Meet" every other month or so. Thank you so much for considering it."

Dixon wonders, "Do you think people will be open to sharing this private info? What if we are spread out geographically where we could not be competitive? This might be a good group to start that could "meet" every other month or so. Thank you so much for considering it."

I think this is a great idea, but some have said, "I don't have time for meetings." So, I've set up this special area here at the Historic HomeWorks website discussion Forum. Participants could visit the Forum anytime, without have to schedule a meeting.

Feel free to post any questions or comments on business topics.

Privacy:
This Forum is open to public view, and any registered forum user can post. Keep in mind that others who you do not yet know may be reading it. If you have business secrets that you do not want others to know, do not bring them up here.

If you would like to discuss the technical hands-on how-to side of window work you may want to do that in the Windows Forum:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=16

If you're not sure how to jump into the discussion, try this:

Click on reply below and introduce yourself and your window business. Here are some questions to guide you.

How would you profile your window business:

How did you get started?

Who are your customers?

How may jobs do you work on at a time?

How did you learn about business?

How did you learn about working on windows?

How do you communicate with your customers? (verbal & handshake, formal written contracts, drawings?)

Do you have a system for documenting window conditions & treatments?

How many people work in your business? Is it true that more people means less risk and greater chance your business will come through in a pinch?

What are your rates, how do you estimate and charge for your work?

What is your overall strategy? (are you simply providing employment for yourself, or are you building a business you could someday sell?)

Some window specialists I know are already spinning off side businesses owned and operated by others, and one I know is even preparing to franchise his business model. Is that you?

So, what's the profile of your business?

If you just want to see what's going on, click here to see business topics already under discussion:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2937
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. I'm John Leeke, from Portland, Maine.

I've been running my one-person micro-business since 1970, operating first as an independent carpenter, then as a small-time contractor, always specializing in work on older and historic buildings.

You can learn more about my work at my website: www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

John
by hammer and hand great works do stand

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2937
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's hear what you're up to.
_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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