Expanding Markets: The Trip to Florida

     Growing a small business in an age defined by unstable markets and a generation described as "careless" and "indifferent" towards the countries economy can be difficult. It often means that you will take jobs you might other wise not, just to make your monthly payments. However, you can not let economic criticisms and predictions dictate your planning, business plans or investments. Rather, take the opportunity to adapt and expand into markets you might not be as familiar or comfortable with- especially if others in your industry have already given up on them. 

    For us this means branching out from our typical client base in Nashville, TN. When approached by business owners on Amelia Island, Florida, we jumped on the opportunity to work with them. Rather than turning down the job due to obvious risks: the upfront costs of shipping, an install 10 hours away from the shop, never meeting the clients in person etc., we looked at the job as an opportunity to actively advertise our products and expand our reach in a new market. The Risk: losing money on a slew of negative factors. The reward: becoming a National furniture company while gaining new contacts and potential buyers in the state of Florida. 

    And, the install was one of the funnest we've done to date. Absolutely no hiccups, hitches or delays. The clients at Amelia Island Coffee Company were a blast to work with and we were fortunate enough to tie in some time at the beach while we weren't working. The short of it: if business gets slow in one market, take the down time to research and explore opportunities in others!


Weekend collecting wood

It's part of a small business owners responsibility to continuously reinvest in your future. However, the term reinvestment doesn't always have to come in the form of money. For woodworkers and fabricators the world over, we often face unique challenges regarding our materials.  Resources come and go, prices are always fluctuating and availability of some of your favorites are hit or miss. Simply put, everything we have is finite; wood doesn't last forever and steel will eventually rust. It is also part of our responsibility to grow responsibly, both environmentally and ethically. So when you come across a bounty of mediums you work with often, you better set aside your plans and get to collecting. 

    This past weekend in Nashville a local wood shop closed their doors and had a rather large rack of various wood up for grabs. The deal was whoever takes it must take it all, including the 20+ ft. tall pallet racks it was stored on. With only two days to secure the find, we got busy. With the help of some friends and colleagues we were able to completely salvage the above goods. The Score: several hundred board feet of Sassafras, mahogany, oak, heart pine, tongue and groove pine flooring, oak flooring, and poplar. If something great comes your way be sure to make yourself available. Get busy, be gracious, and go build!

A very special thanks to the guys at Steric Design and Rien Long for the help. Check them out below!