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Author Topic: Just sent Marcie...a bunch of money...  (Read 3228 times)

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Offline deeker

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  • A small sawmill in utah.
Just sent Marcie...a bunch of money...
« on: April 26, 2010, 12:09:50 am »
For a band roller!!!!

Thinking of possibly starting a custom sharpening buisiness....aside from my milling.

What do you guys think???  I am in Utah, and could save time for those who send away to the east coast. 

Hope this post is okay. 

Kevin Davis
To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.  On an empty C-ration box.  Khe-Sahn 1968

Offline deeker

  • Full Member x2
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  • Posts: 113
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Salem, Utah
  • Gender: Male
  • A small sawmill in utah.
Re: Just sent Marcie...a bunch of money...
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 07:19:28 pm »
No thoughts????
To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know.  On an empty C-ration box.  Khe-Sahn 1968

Offline CooksSaw

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Re: Just sent Marcie...a bunch of money...
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 01:44:46 pm »
Kevin,

Sounds like a great idea to make extra money.

Here are a few tips that might be helpful:

1) Do some research to see who around you owns sawmills - Get an idea of what your potential market might be by asking neighbors, local farmers, visiting local wood craft shows and ask people if they have friends or family with a sawmill and then hand them some business cards. You will find word of mouth to be your greatest (and most cost efficient) source of advertisement. Seeing that you already mill you probably have a network of people who are potential customers.

2) Advertising:
Advertise in your surrounding service area - decide how far you're willing to travel (which will be a huge advantage over anyone who only deals with blades shipped to them) and advertise in those areas.
Local newspapers are a great way to start advertising your services.  You can do that rather economically in the classifieds section and in addition many newspapers will do a free article on new and unique businesses in the area. Don't hesitate to call the local television stations about your unique business and be willing to have them come out so you can demonstrate your machinery - this can lead to a short spot on the news or even better one of the early morning specialty shows in your area that might want to have you on for a few minutes.
What we have seen over the years is word of mouth will be your greatest means of advertising.  Once you get a job or two you will most likely find work coming to you.  The advantage to owning a thin kerf blade sharpening business is that there may not be (relative to your area) many people like yourself with a blade sharpening business so competition might be relatively low or non-existent for you.
You should also have business cards made and you can do this for less than $20 www.vistaprint.com and hand those out to friends and family.  Give it a short time and you may have more than you can get to.

3) Keep up with your expenses and so you can be competitive.  For example:
Choosing grind rock for your sharpener - Generic black wheels are a 'general purpose' rock with good wear life and they have the largest variety of grits and widths to choose from and are very similar to a grind rock that you would use with a hand held angle grinder.  Ceramic rocks are known for their long wear life and are superior to most other grind rocks in addition, they do not require as frequent shapings as other rocks, but people who are used to constantly shaping their standard rocks tend to overshape the ceramic rocks and that defeats the purpose for which the rock was designed - less shapings and longer life.  The best thing to do is to try different rocks till you get a feel for which rock is most cost efficient and the longest life.  Of course how fast your able to grind will need to factor in as well, a rock may be cheap but it may cause you to grind low as well.. 
Keep good records when you first start using each rock - how many blades you sharpened, how fast you were able to grind, how many shapings, etc.  Then you can crunch the numbers and figure out how much each rock cost you to run before it wears out.  This will be highly beneficial to you when you plan to sharpen blades for other people.  Even if you're able to offer your services for only $0.10 cheaper per blade, it may mentally make enough difference in the mind of your potential customers that they are willing to give you a try.  Having good records of your expenses will allow you to be highly price competitive.

4) Keep a competitive advantage over others who you might be competing against - you have already chosen one, which is the band roller. When someone brings you blades that they say won't saw and you give them back the same blade and it saws straight as an arrow, you will win customers.
Other things such as a pick up and delivery service go a long way in winning customers.  Just be sure you calculate that into your cost of doing business and make sure you charge enough.

I could go on, and on with more stuff, but hopefully that is enough to consider for now.

James
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