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CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 02:12 PM
So besides spending money on business cards & flyers. What are little things that we can give to our potential customers, that barely cost anything?

We can spend a fortune on pens & magnets, etc... But what about things that can make your company stand out & have the customer say, ".. Interesting!"

My sister has just started making her own soap, & I just had the luxury of testing it out. Very awesome stuff.

The soap is the size of an ice cube. It feels like Jello in your hand & you just lather it on & bingo, you got soap!

So I thought, hey that's pretty cool. Maybe if we get them in the right shape that reflects my business, I can offer them to potential customers.

All of my customers can be washing themselves in, "Breeze Soap", hahaha!

The best thing about this idea, is it's not expensive at all.

We all know how expensive it can get to draw in a customer. Give them something random, like home made soap, candles with your logo imprinted on them (easy to do), etc.

It sounds pretty silly, but I'm gonna do my research & see if my sister can make the soap more "solid", & have my logo engraved into them. Then I can package them! Simple Simple Simple!!!

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m25/mad_insane/BreezeSoap.jpg

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 02:56 PM
very cool. Yea all about being different. I like the soap idea cause people will not throw something out if they truly can use it. How much were you thinking per customer?

mark123
03-05-2010, 03:04 PM
"Here you go Mrs. Customer. It's soap."

"Are you saying I'm not clean? Do I smell? Do I amuse you?"

:p ;)

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 03:12 PM
lol

You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little ****ed up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to ****in' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 03:23 PM
Well my sister is working on this project now.

We haven't figured out how much it'll cost to make one thing of soap per potential customer. Though they will be given away for free.

She has a supplier who gives her the necessary materials for free (family member) in order to make the soap, so the balls pretty much in her court when it comes to pricing.

I'm waiting for my sister to show me a demo of the "Breeze" soap. Then I will be packaging it as it looks in the pic I showed earlier.

I can pick up those baggies at the dollar store, & just staple on my cardboard banner/message thing.

If it looks good, I'll take a picture of the real thing to show you guys.

Maybe she can run a little Ebay soap business for everyones marketing advantage.

Bingo or Nay? We'll find out soon!:D

http://www.glogster.com/media/1/2/82/61/2826192.jpg

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 03:30 PM
tell her i want mine to smell like grass so when they are washing themselves they are thinking of me the whole time

CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 03:45 PM
tell her i want mine to smell like grass so when they are washing themselves they are thinking of me the whole time


HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

A mix of pine, grass, & a pinch of dog poop.

picframer
03-05-2010, 03:46 PM
Prospects, maybe a magnet. Clients get one of two items, if it's a mowing/spraying contract then they get a slim line pen, excavation they get a Mont Blanc, all are engraved with our company name and I turn them in the shop using native woods in their natural color, clients go wild over these as the Mont Blanc's call sell for $80.00++ if made from Burls.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 03:50 PM
You make them? Beautiful

picframer
03-05-2010, 03:59 PM
You make them? Beautiful

Yes, I have been turning these since I was a kid, we sell around 600 of them a year, my son mainloy turns them for the ones we sell, I turn them for the business. We are in the process of rebuilding the website it's currently only has a fraction of what we make www.picframer.ca

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 04:02 PM
Thats cool. Is there a good site that explains the process?

picframer
03-05-2010, 04:08 PM
Thats cool. Is there a good site that explains the process?

I just checked You Tube and found this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgoahAIj7hk

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 04:18 PM
thats pretty cool I could see getting into that. Whats a decent lathe go for?

picframer
03-05-2010, 04:33 PM
thats pretty cool I could see getting into that. Whats a decent lathe go for?

To get set up to turn just pens you are looking at close to three grand, the lathe is honestly the cheapest part, it's the tools, sharpening syetem and the list goes on.

I bought my son this lathe when he was 12, he had sold over sixth grand in product before he turned 16 just from the lathe and only doing it a few hours a week but honestly I probably have twenty grand tied up in just Lathe tools.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 04:35 PM
so if i see someone letting one go for 1000 i should hop on it?

CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 04:43 PM
That looks very fun!

I remember making pen holders! Just used a few different wooden blocks, glued em' together... drilled a hole down the center.. lmao

That was like 8 years ago in high school or something, I got an 80' for effort!

My father used to carve pumpkins with a sawzall, not a bad idea for running a Halloween themed business.

picframer
03-05-2010, 05:17 PM
so if i see someone letting one go for 1000 i should hop on it?

Send me the brand and images, you can get a pretty good lath if you want to turn pens for about $500.00. I am also a technical recource on exotic woods and I write a few articles for WOOD Magazing, they are in Des Moines, 1.6 million subscribers, been doing that for about 15 years.

Lathe's are like anything, there are some brand names that are just junk, I did a training session a few years back and they had brought in 20 Delta mini lathe's, it was a dangerous disaster.

Jet makes about the best Mini Lath on the market, you can buy them from Woodcraft in the states.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 05:38 PM
saw a guy make a bowl the other day like how your cutting boards look. And it just looks relaxing to do it. And wood is just one of those things that doesnt go out of style with accessories. Like seriously im getting deep with it here, but its like in its own class. Like wood grain inside of a car. That will always be expensive and it is something that is hard to top.

picframer
03-05-2010, 06:23 PM
Very True, I can make a very good living just working in the shop, we only work with figured and exotic woods which the majority of woodworkers stay clear of, takes the best there is in tools and some of our woods run $90.00 a foot so you can't be making mistakes. It's a lot of fun, I am self tought and started at the age of 12. I used to travel around with WOOD giving talks and to woodworking clubs across North America but my travel days are over, just don't care for it that much unless it's the Mayan Rivera which my daughter and I travel to each March for 10 days and the West Coast of Costa Rica in the summer for a week to tour the amazon, I love wood and it's in my blood although excavation has somewhat taken over..........for now:)

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 06:38 PM
hmm thats amazing. how did you get into the excavation from working with wood?

picframer
03-05-2010, 07:21 PM
hmm thats amazing. how did you get into the excavation from working with wood?

I am semi retired, 8 years ago I took over a Security Company that a good lawyer friend owned, he gave me a good sized ownership and the plan was to grow and sell, we did monitoring of homes, business's, went from the smallest in North America to the second largest in 8 years. I got the company involved in GPS tracking, anything from vehicles to offenders on a conditional sentence, we grew to just over 450 employees from 6.

I resigned in January of last year, it's simply wasn't fun anymore, my son had been using some of my equipment in the summer of 2008 with three University friends doing small landscaping/mowing jobs.

Anyhow he said to me in January why don't we start a lawn care/landscaping business so we can work together when I am not in school so I did the research and started the company.

We had 12+ employees most of last summer and we offer just about any service a home owner could want.

My first run at lawn care was at the age of 13, I had three employees, starting and building companies is simply in my blood, I set the bar higher than what the trunk slammers can afford and stay under the radar of the big guys until I am established then I take off and take them on.

That is kind of the short and sweet of it, my background is Corporate Finance, I was the youngest Vice President of Canada's largest bank for 14 years, gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and skills doing that, refused a transfer in 1994 and took a package, worked with a Canadian company exploring for gold in west Africa for two years, raised 26 million for them and then left with a very good package as I hated the travel, especially when I had two young kids, built homes for two years and sold that business, worked in the shop for a year and did great, then I moved into the security company.

For now and probably until I am on the other side of the grass, I do woodworking in the winter months and landscaping/excavation/lawn care in the summer. We will probably run with 16 to 20 employees this summer as we added a lot of equipment late in the season, I will post pictures Monday as it's all being delivered.

We can now build Septic fields and rock retaining walls, very big money in these two areas, basically a grand a day plus per crew and I have the equipment to run three crews in this area alone. We continue to offer lawn care however it is a very small fraction dollar wise of what we do.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 07:43 PM
very very interesting. You could seriously write a book! Its inspiring. And on top of that you raised an Olympic competitor. The excavation always intimidated me when I thought about it, recommend any good resources for that stuff?

picframer
03-05-2010, 07:52 PM
very very interesting. You could seriously write a book! Its inspiring. And on top of that you raised an Olympic competitor. The excavation always intimidated me when I thought about it, recommend any good resources for that stuff?

No bud it's very easy, gosh my daughter who was 15 started running a backhoe on my tractor with only 20 min instruction, last summer she and her best friend were running our mid sized excavator on our property.

There is a lot of money in excavation, if you go right down the middle in size as most companies simply don't have them, their gear is either too big or too small. We started moving into the bigger gear late in the season due to demand, we now have three excavators and 7 tractors with loaders, three backhoe's, all serve a purpose.

The community college's around here have a winter course you can take but it's pretty simple to learn, what is harder is reading grades, I have trained 12 employees on excavators/loaders and backhoe's, generally speaking 3 hours and they are pretty good to go, the fine work simply takes practise.

I do all the commercial demo's for the local Deere dealership, I can show someone the basics in about 20 min and let them go, generally I am beside them giving pointers, it's a lot of fun.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 07:56 PM
yea the grading and code of things is what is intimadating. You just got more and more calls for big jobs like that and decided hey Im going all in...?

picframer
03-05-2010, 08:08 PM
yea the grading and code of things is what is intimadating. You just got more and more calls for big jobs like that and decided hey Im going all in...?

I wasn't sure how big I wanted to make the company as I wanted to have fun yet I find it hard saying no we can't do that. I am fortunate to have the capital to dump into this as it's wasn't a cheap year although the company will be debt free after this season which is pretty amazing.

I wanted to be able to build septic fields so I finished the course two weeks ago, that required a little bigger excavator, then so many people were asking us about rock walls, some of these walls fo for 20 grand plus and if you have the gear it's pretty simple, thus we bought a 60D excavator which is finally ready, deere sent the wrong thunb for it three times but it's down season so I didn't sweat it.

That gives us a mini, mid sized and 15 ton excavator, basically there isn't anything we can't offer, I bought the extended arm for the 60D so I can reach something like 22 feet which is great.

If you are every up this way on holidays or anyone here for that matter and want to hang out for a day, you are more than welcome to tag along.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 08:21 PM
very cool. I appreciate that and will hold you to it if the situation comes about lol.

CHEESE2009
03-05-2010, 08:55 PM
Picframer

I bet you could inspire the world with your life experiences.

And hey, maybe you should write a book?!:confused:

You've basically just tied with Arnold Schwarzenegger with that post you made.

Very good man! Very good!

SuperiorPower
03-06-2010, 12:43 AM
Wood working is something I always thought I would enjoy. My brother did some of that for a while and now is running his own construction company. And Andy, I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, you amaze me and inspire me to hang in there.

Also, what is it about these cheap lathes that make them dangerous and not worth owning? Is it the bearings? or is there a safety device that doesn't properly function? Some of these look like nothing more than a motor, the 2 centers and the frame holding it all.

What about Grizzly (http://grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?key=565000) lathes, are they any good? Dang it, something else that I would like to spend money on!! lol

picframer
03-06-2010, 03:19 AM
There were quite a few issues and I am told this is now fixed, keep in mind this was quite a few years ago, the tail stock was creeping fo the wood would fly out, the mandrel would not stay in the mortise and tennon of the head properly, I forget what other issues we had but it wasn't a fun experience.

Grizzly is not sold in Canada nor will they ship here so I honestly have no idea.

SuperiorPower
03-06-2010, 12:39 PM
Wow, thats crazy! I mean, do they really not try these machines out or what?!?!?! As far as Grizzly, they are china made so their quality may well be in question. I have seen some of their other products and all of them I have seen have the cheap appearance. I know I don't have the money so I may as well look the other way and forget wood working!!! lol

picframer
03-06-2010, 01:51 PM
Wow, thats crazy! I mean, do they really not try these machines out or what?!?!?! As far as Grizzly, they are china made so their quality may well be in question. I have seen some of their other products and all of them I have seen have the cheap appearance. I know I don't have the money so I may as well look the other way and forget wood working!!! lol

On the woodworking side there are only a couple of companies left that make things here in North America General which is made here in Canada and Oneway Lathe's, Delta, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Frued and the list goes on are all made off shore, I am sure they have some type of QC however my experience other than cars, when it comes out of Tawian or China, be very careful. I bought a Jimna wood chipper that is made in China, attaches to the PTO of the tractor, the flywheel flew apart last summer, scared the crap out of us, I got my money back and bought one that was more than 10 times as much, the Jimna had at least 10 what I consider critical bolts that were either missing or loose.

CHEESE2009
11-20-2012, 07:59 AM
Go buy a large box of oranges; everybody likes oranges!