We have been busy this week tying up loose ends. We still had a little backlog in the shop- a dining room table to refinish, 2 antique rockers, a couple of nightstands, and a few other pieces. We have not taken on any more work- no appointments, nothing, just work on these jobs and discuss the future.
One thing that is dawning on me is that I will get my hobby back! The whole reason I went pro is because I love woodworking. Man, that is a quick way to kill your hobby. Instead of working on a project on my timeline, being pro puts you on your customer’s timeline, and that one is always shorter.
The job search is going very well. I have a couple of interviews coming up with some very nice companies in the area. All the old Quality Engineering stuff is still in my head, as is the old Process Engineering stuff. I can easily wear both hats. Tommy (my son and partner) has put in for a nice job at a local church camp. If you’re the praying type, a couple on our behalf would be appreciated.
We have had a lot of good conversations about the business- what went wrong, what we should have done differently, will we ever try again. A lot of what went wrong was just the economic downturn. Folks started hanging on to their money. We kept spending more and more on advertising and marketing- at one point we were spending nearly $2,000 a month. In good times, that should have brought in $20,000/month worth of business. Instead, we were doing a fraction of that.
What would I do differently? Start on the side, working nights and weekends. No franchise. Build a good website and use Adwords to pull traffic to it. Work the commercial market- residential sucks, plain and simple. Network locally and on-line. I got a lot of traffic from social networking sites.
Will I ever try again? Maybe…
-- The days are long and the years are short...