What is reasonable?

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by miscreant, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. shapewright

    shapewright Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    USA California
    I agree, I too was a surfer first, shaper second and still learning more about business.
    But I have seen more than my share of bold faced lies and ponzi scheme builders relying on the next deposit to pay off the last blank and glass job.
    In my years at Channin’s I would see Tony remove all a shapers tools to his office until he had been paid up and customers arriving looking for Mr.xyz and “ is there anything of his here “ and leaving with unshaped blanks.
    A really popular fish shaper was at the top of this list.
    And the “sorry there was a fire at the glass shop and your blank was damaged, I’m shaping you a new one, “well can I see it”?, “ I broke it and threw it away”.
    The lies and inability to manage the money seem to be the biggest driving factor.
    DJR, DanSan, Driftwood and 1 other person like this.
  2. Driftwood

    Driftwood Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Jim, thanks for the tales from the inside. Always a pleasure to read, not too much to experience...
  3. Bruce Fowler

    Bruce Fowler Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2018
    I "hold myself accountable" these days............. different from when I was young & immortal chasing skirts & waves (not necessarily in that order) and getting to people's orders later than sooner.
    Part of my dedication to providing my customers a gold standard of service is to be truthful in dealings with customers. I say what i will do, then do what I say.

    If I don't, I penalize myself instead of making up bullshit excuses.

    How do I do that? I give the customer something extra for the extended wait. It might be a board bag, a free fin upgrade, a discount on shipping........ and when I look around, the time frame I held myself to is apparently perfectly acceptable or even fast compared to the "instagram rockstar shapers". Some of those kidz are rich to begin with, so there's little incentive to turn anything over. One owns a wine club, others have parents who own a consumer product monopolies, vast real estate holdings, on and on.

    Me? I got a mortgage and my banker won't accept surfboards in trade for my house payment.

    A LOT of my customers have gotten their boards in 1 to 3 weeks, and I explain to them that it is extremely difficult to make any money in the surfboard industry unless you observe a decent "TURN RATE". This means that from the time you collect the deposit (I require 50% b4 I p/u the planer) to the time the surfboard is done.

    You can make a good surfboard in a day if it is glassed w/UV resin. I did plenty of them for myself years b4 UV was around, but they weren't cured, & would dent easier. I would call them a "sketch" and just wanted to work out an idea or make something for the current swell hitting.

    Production is a different animal, and you rely on the assembly line (glass shop) you have at your disposal. Mine is Haakenson, the glasser that back in the day glassed 130 per week every week through Uncle Al's (Merrick) meteoric rise to fame & glory. Those days are gone, but the talent remains, and once I get an order shaped, boards FLY thru the shop.

    In the old days, BING was probably one of the best at the ultimate turnn rate: 4X turn meaning order in on Monday, out by Friday. That is HOW YOU MAKE MONEY in a slim margin business. The more you turn over in a month, the easier to pay RENT on the 1st.........

    A 3X turn is really good for a hungry, efficient glass shop. Every 10 days.
    A 2X turn is more the norm. Every 2 weeks. Reasonable with the wide use of UV resin.
    A 1X turn is a lot of shuffling of feet in my book...... nobody I know has THAT MUCH WORK considering that several well established glass shops shut down last year citing lack of work.

    Even C.I.'s domestic shop in Carp is currently downsizing by 50%.

    The "secret" to surviving or perhaps even having a successful surfboard business in this day & age is to offer your customers a QUALITY PRODUCT at a FAIR PRICE, and D-E-L-I-V-E-R.

    Customers provide you your paycheck, treat them like gold.

    Okay, sorry, another novel.......... you get my point.
    DanSan likes this.
  4. DanSan

    DanSan Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    USA California
    Wow..so much awesome input from everyone...no?

    I think to simplify..
    Start with
    ..honesty &
    Good communication ...
    every step of the way?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  5. michael

    michael Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    I’m surprised a Black thread got taken seriously. What do you have for us next pig man
    DanSan likes this.
  6. DanSan

    DanSan Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    USA California
    True that.
  7. shapewright

    shapewright Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    USA California
    I feel what I deliver is a really fair price, several young Gucci builders think I am way too cheap.
    I have to look at my customers, I would be hard pressed to scrape up the the price I ask and I look at my clients as people working for a living.
    Working Joe surfers put me where I am today, not Rodeo Dr. trust fund babies.
    When you start looking at your customers like piggy banks, that to me becomes the slippery slope to take the elitists attitude.
    On the opposite side of the sword is guys who try to beat you down to making nothing, try that at Albertsons, the liquor store, mechanic.
    Surf Supply has a price for every item that goes into building a surfboard, there are no Bro deals Bro!
    Why as builders should we eat poorer than the next guy.
    It seems to be the only business that we shouldn’t make any money.
    About 15%, when every sport item is a minimum of 40%.
    In the hippy years it was easy to flip a few pounds and no worry about the bills.
    I like going to sleep in my own bed, next to my wife, not Bubba
    waveslider, DJR, Artz and 4 others like this.
  8. Planktom

    Planktom Active Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Devon, UK
    Listened to a Matt Calvani interview a while back and both he and the interviewer were discussing the merits of effective delegation and teamwork. Having listened to a recent podcast with Bing himself, it seems that Matt has firmly grasped the baton from him in that respect.

    Not rocket science, but hard to do consistently, no matter which sector you work in. Without getting all management-speak about it, it's worth recognising that if there is more than person involved in the production of a good or delivery of a service, then there are multiple customers, who are all equally important as one another.
  9. miscreant

    miscreant Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2016
    Which is why an outfit like Pieter Surfboards shines.

    All done under Pieter and Kim’s roof, by Pieter and Kim.

    Somehow they build quality products at a reasonable price at a reasonable turnaround time (which includes shipping time).

    It seems like the less people the manufacturing process involves, the less opportunity there are for issues.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  10. Planktom

    Planktom Active Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Devon, UK
    Yep, less links in the chain and if scaling up is not on the agenda, then that's a great model.

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