So, This weekend is my second, of five, art shows this summer. My first show was a great success, I sold 40 pieces that night( last week) . However , as I rush to replenish my stock for the up coming shows, I'm feeling a little burned out. I started this for the love of the music, but got caught up in the demand. Do any of you CBG vets have any words of wisdom, so I don't completly burn out.
Doktor Mike Medicine Man.
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Feast or Famine...Congrats on your sales...sounds like to me you need an apprentice. If it is possible to continue the growth of your buisness, the increase in product should cover a conservative wage for your assistance. A Summer job for a handy teenager? Enjoy, Keni Lee
Without knowing how much you're selling them for, it sounds like maybe you've underestimated the cost of your labor in the equation. I've hit the burn-out stage before but I only build for myself (and the occasional gift) so it is usually just too much time looking at the same build. I put it aside and work on something else or pick a few tunes and remember why it is that I'm building THAT one that burned me out. I build them because I'm looking for some feature I can't find somewhere else. I know that doesn't really apply to the mass-production-burnout you're talking about. So, in closing, raising the price might mean that you sell fewer of them but then you're not playing catch-up and hopefully you'll be a bit happier about building them.
Ah, a sentiment I know well. We all start this for the love of it, but when your're forced into doing something even when you dont really feel like it - well, thats called a 'job' isnt it?
Sounds to me like there are a couple of fixes - firstly, I agree with the other Ben in that youre probably selling yourself short. If I sold 40 pieces in a week that would be approx £6,000 worth of kit at an average of £150 per git.... crikey! Many go out with cases though (+£50) or other extras, so it could well be more. If only...!
If you are already charging enough to cover you time and materials and a little profit, and you are clearing this sort of money, get some staff quickly, and ride the wave while you're on it. Its quite a short season if youre selling at fairs etc, so maybe you can cope with the all-nighters now and relax though the winter?
The other main issue here may be mechanisation - are you doing a lot of stuff by hand? Invest in some machinary to reduce your build times, and build in batches. Doing 20 necks at a time is depressing, but it cuts time hugely. Got a decent bandsaw, sander, thicknesser, pillar drill, bobbin sander, chop saw etc? Might be worth doing some sums and trawling the 'for sale' section in your local rag.
Personally I find that after an intense building session I dont even want to look at another CBG. Building to deadlines reduces creativity and takes all the enjoyment out of it, so Iv learnt to say no to some customers (particularly if they are in a hurry).
Just for the record, Iv built approx 300 gits in just under approx 3.5 years. I dont do fairs, just sell via my own website and word of mouth, and I find Im always 4 orders behind no matter how hard I try to catch up!
Doctor Mike, post some pic's ,like to see what tour building. people will have to wait to get their cbg. They went without one this long so dont let them rush you. remember .quality not quantity! Build some ,play some.take your time.
Pace yourself and keep the same working hours Monday through Friday. Keep aiming at completed units, not just necks or FBs.
Set goals of completing 10 a week (or 5) or whatever you can comfortably finish without stumbling over things.
Create ways to complete sets of items that will help accomplish your goals of completed instruments.
Let the machine pick up your phone calls during working hours. Keep visits from friends and buddies down to a minimum unless they want to donate their time.
Don't hire anybody and then support training them. You will get nothing done that way.
Get to bed early! Get up early! Eat breakfast. Stop at the same time or near it every working day!
Close the shop doors and have dinner with family and talk and think about other things other than CBG's!
At the end of the day thank the creator for the strength of body and mind for all you need to do!
Don't worry and don't fret, LOL! (there will be plenty of time to play later).
All good advice, only thing I could add from having my own woodworking shop is to streamline things as best you can, good tools were mentioned. So maybe some jigs to help. A well thought out jig will make accurate job every time and speed things up while making a better CBG. Theses things save on set up time and if you make 20 necks all at once with jigs you can cut down on time a lot. l Also maybe you can add in some small value added items, maybe people can come up with something. A CD of your music, guitar picks, slides how to instruction book....
These things can add up in sales not every body will buy a CBG but something lower priced and the ones that do buy will add in some extras giving you a higher take home pay.
Thanks for the great advice everyone. I guess I did'nt expect to sell so many my first show . Unfortunatly, btwn my full time job and family, I can only work btwn 11pm and 4am. I did sell at a lower price than normal at the show 2 weeks ago. Guess I wish I could do this and play full time again. Ah to be 20 again ( or even 30) lol ;)