Author Topic: advertising/new business  (Read 3010 times)

Carpenter84

advertising/new business
« on: February 26, 2021, 08:28:31 PM »
Those who are in business, how do you advertise? How do you drum up business? I know we're in the slowest time of year - in a very troubling year in our generation, but I really need to drum up some work. I have a few ads on Kijiji (craigslist), but it doesn't bring much. I've tried cold calling the local business and machine shops with zero bites... I know once you're established it's much easier to call on previous customers for upcoming work, but until you create that rolodex to call on, it's extremely difficult to build a name... 
Shawn

4GSR

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 09:06:55 PM »
Get set up on Linkedin.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/

Then start out posting feeds for open shop time. 

It'll be slow start.

jpigg55

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 11:21:06 PM »
Shawn, is this something you want to build into a full time job or just part time ?
Are you wanting to keep doing ďOne OffĒ jobs or mass reproductions ?
IMHO, the answer to these questions along with the capabilities of the equipment you have (or plan on acquiring) can have an impact on where and how you would advertise your services.

Kijiji/Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace are the cheapest and easiest places to advertise general machining services.
For more specialized work, consider advertising with local car clubs, engine shops, and possibly ATV shops. These may yield jobs like engine block boring, custom repair or add-ons, specialized reproduction parts.
Local boat shops might yield similar jobs for custom parts and/or engine work.
Not sure about what gunsmithing laws are like in Canada, but advertising in local gun shop might be an option if thatís something you want to get into.
Sometimes mid-size and larger machine shops will outsource one-off or small run jobs. Might try contacting any in your area to see if you can offer your services.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612

PJB

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 11:22:35 PM »
Look into signing up as a supplier for online job shop auction sites like 3D hubs, xometry, etc.?
1991 Bridgeport Series I 2J-VS  9"x48"
1979 Clausing Colchester Bantam Mk2 11"x30"
1972 Harig Super 612
2015 Tormach PCNC-1100 Mill

"They wants what you gots!"

RayH

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2021, 12:32:03 AM »
Look into signing up as a supplier for online job shop auction sites like 3D hubs, xometry, etc.?

Shawn,

Before you go that route, lay a palm on a hot stove.
Both will be educational experiences.

My advice is to keep your advertising as local as possible. Eyeball-to-eyeball with your customers, if possible.
Ray

chips and more

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2021, 07:17:32 AM »
If you do good work at a fair price, your customers will do the advertising for you. In a very short time you will have more work than you can handle.

Carpenter84

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 07:52:20 AM »
What if I like placing my palm on hot stoves....?
I hear cooked palm hearts are pretty tasty  :93:


Good word of mouth is important. I do my best to do good work and be fair, but itís been a very slow start. Now weíre in the slowest time of the year and I have the biggest bills. Not smart business, but hey, no one said I was smart.

Do people actually use linked in?

Iíve considered local advertising, signs, just to get some attention. Iím well aware (from past experiences) signage almost never winds up fruitful. But I really donít know how to let people and industry know Iím here.
The good business I have had are all from out of town companies, oddly enough. From major cities where youíd think there was an abundance of machine shops.

I have tried canvassing local shops for sub work which resulted in one reply of ďwe will keep you on fileĒ.

Iíll look into the online job shop auction sites, but I wonder if thatíll just be an undercut free for all?

What Iím sure would be most effective is to figure out a niche. Develop a product that is desirable and focus on that... except, what?!
Shawn

jpigg55

Re: advertising/new business
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 10:25:29 AM »
What Iím sure would be most effective is to figure out a niche. Develop a product that is desirable and focus on that... except, what?!
I'd recommend that you start searching for "Open Source" products that have forums, one example is FarmBot: https://forum.farmbot.org/
If you watch their videos, you can see a lot of the components are made from plastic via 3D printing.
I've considered the idea of making and supplying these components in metal, but that would be down the road as I'm not currently set up to do it.
On the PRO side:
1. the 3D CAD drawings already exist and available on their website for free download.
2. reading your other project threads, I believe you have the mind and ability to possibly improve the currently available tools/attachments and/or design your own.
3. the market already exists.

On the CON side:
1. not having one yourself makes it nearly impossible to test the products unless you can find someone in your area that has one.
2. you might have to deal with international shipping.
3. you're on the hook for the cost of the prototype with no guarantee of any sales.

FarmBot is just one example. You can search for others in fields like Prepper forums, homestead forums, model building forums, or any other niche market.
It takes time and effort, but I've seen questions for products in these type forums with responses stating that basically they don't exist. This tells me there's a market for some of this stuff if someone can make and market it at a reasonable price.

I know you've eluded to learning and getting into CNC. IMO, keep going with this as it will save you a lot of time and material if/when you need to mass produce pieces/products. Along those lines, you might consider getting a 3D printer. This would greatly help in your CAD learning process, allow you to "Print" design prototypes at a reduced cost, and allow you to make your own "Plastic" parts, if needed.
SB 9A, Clausing 8520, Sanford MG 612