Originally Posted by mr4speed
Well to be honest Ray what bothers me the most is I do see and hear what other shops are getting for paint jobs and we both know that all your labor is in the blocking and buffing. These "others" are clearly not spending much time on either. So where is all this labor being spent? Just can not see it, most of what I see around the new england area at shows quite a few will fall into this catagory. When you see nothing but ripples and cellulite they just are not getting what they are paying for. The vast majority of customers will baulk at the cost of a real nice paintjob, but will think nothing of dropping $40 to $50K doing their kittchens over. A couple contractors are in and out in a couple weeks if not sooner, you are not doing a full show quality paintjob in a couple of weeks. They just don't seem to agnolige what is involved to pull it off. A very big lack of education in this line of work, clearly.
I completely appreciate and understand what your saying and more importantly, what your going through. I've gone through it, dealing with the guys (as in my previous post that claim they have built cars and all they are is subcontractors). You, for the most part, have the wrong customer, I won't do work for them anymore. The build I'm on now will take me 18 months to 2 years to finish, (perhaps even longer depending, there have been issues I've already run into with suppliers and was expected)...I have a great customer, a true car guy that understands what it takes to build what he wants but doesn't have the ability to build it himself, he will help get me more of the customers I want. I feel I get paid well for what I do but, it did take many years of filtering out the customer that wants everything at a deal so you go broke and the customer that pays for quality. They are out there, a touch hard to find, and when you've got one, as long as your work holds up and you deliver, the others follow.
What I like a lot about what I do now, is the fact that I can work at my own pace, my deadlines are not carved in stone, (I am still told that I push myself to hard at times and then told that that's why they take their projects to me). You already have a following, one of your customer's posted and glowed about you...that's a fantastic start, leverage it if you can...be with that customer at car shows and meet the people that are prepared to pay...it called networking. I did it for years, I've lived in many cities in Canada and the build I'm on now is from over 1,700 mile away from a customer that I did work for many years ago...again, networking, your work is of top caliber, use what you've done and the people you've done it for.
Hope this helps and from a guy whose been there...I do completely understand. I'll give you 2 words that I've used in this post that I feel you should focus on leverage and networking.