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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 09-22-2011 05:07 PM 1373 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1505 days


09-22-2011 05:07 PM

Years ago I did a time study of my business, keeping a log of every quarter hour and how it was spent. I discovered two important things: First, I was getting 6 or less hours a day hands-on. Good to know. Second, people were coming into the shop and parking themselves on a work table as if it were grandpa’s workshop, and sucking minutes from my productivity.

My solution was to build a front counter and a gate, which actually rolled on barn door track. It kept people out.

What this led to—and here’s the promotion idea—was taking my pile of photos of my work out of the drawer and putting them in an album. I built a nice little three-piece book stand and left the photo book, open, there on the counter. When someone came in, it was easy to say, “I’ll be right with you” and inevitably they would start leafing through the book. As I approached them, often their first words would be a comment on one of the pictures.

Bingo. We’re engaged in talking about my work, and I didn’t start the conversation.

I’d like to hear your add-on ideas to this vignette.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"


8 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15696 posts in 2873 days


#1 posted 09-22-2011 05:13 PM

I kind of do the reverse of that where I work (which has nothing to do with woodworking).

My office is filled with my photos and woodworking projects. When people come in to talk to me about some unpleasant work issue, their attention is immediately diverted. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, they even forget why they came to see me in the first place. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1348 days


#2 posted 09-22-2011 05:42 PM

^I use Charlie’s method. “Hey, did you finish the report on…hey, what is that mallet for?” If I was smart, I’d have some other stuff OUTSIDE my office, so I could say, “let me show you…”, thus getting them OUT of my office;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2303 days


#3 posted 09-22-2011 05:53 PM

hmm, some great ideas here including the OP ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1815 days


#4 posted 09-22-2011 06:06 PM

That’s a great idea Lee. Somehow that rings a bell though. Have you mentioned this before?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

202 posts in 1322 days


#5 posted 09-22-2011 06:51 PM

It is a good idea and I’m happy that it works for you.
I have seen the photo book approach at other businesses
and it is fairly common at crafts shows, especially woodworkers.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

704 posts in 1156 days


#6 posted 09-23-2011 04:14 AM

Lee,

I think the mark of a truely good idea is that the same idea can be used in many ways to effectively get the desired outcome. Yours qualifies as a truely good idea.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1505 days


#7 posted 09-23-2011 04:53 AM

Rance, it is entirely possible I have floated this boat before. My apologies for the redundancy.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1169 days


#8 posted 09-23-2011 09:18 PM

Boy, do I need to do that! People have learned my hours, and since I am not yet full time, it seems like every time I’m in the shop, there is somebody stopping by, asking questions, just wanting to talk, you know the drill. I’m putting a book out to start with, and posting a few pictures of my products on the walls of the shop to keep their minds occupied while I at least try to finish what I am doing!!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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