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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all. I'm a home-based, not-full-time (yet) printer.

I have fairly regular quote requests coming in, and a large job has just presented itself for a company I've done work for before. It's a nightmare job and takes up several weeks of evenings and weekends to get it all done; but the money's good...

The question: what do I tell my other (new and repeat) customers while I'm working on this? I hate to turn business away, and send good customers elsewhere!

Too much work is a good problem to have, but it's a shame this big one comes up now while quotes seem to be rolling in fairly regularly...
 

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Bird in the hand.
I would do the job and let your other customers know that you definitely want to do their job and can book them in "X Date". As long as their job doesn't have a tight deadline, they should appreciate that you are in demand and do good work.
 

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Hey, all. I'm a home-based, not-full-time (yet) printer.

I have fairly regular quote requests coming in, and a large job has just presented itself for a company I've done work for before. It's a nightmare job and takes up several weeks of evenings and weekends to get it all done; but the money's good...

The question: what do I tell my other (new and repeat) customers while I'm working on this? I hate to turn business away, and send good customers elsewhere!

Too much work is a good problem to have, but it's a shame this big one comes up now while quotes seem to be rolling in fairly regularly...
Just be honest and tell them the soonest (realistic) date you can deliver their job. Let them decide whether they want to stay with you or not. Don't stress over it. It's just how it is and people will understand. It's much much better than trying to weasel extra jobs and making customers wait and fail to deliver on overly aggressive dates.

Those who want to stay with you will stay, those who are in a hurry may line up another printer, but may return.

You can always offer a discount or bonus (extra color, free delivery, free shirts...) on the next job to the clients you have dealt with already to make up for whatever inconvenience the extra wait causes.
 

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Have you thought about taking on some help? Since it's home based, might want to see if a relative, significant other, or a good friend's kid can help you out. If you need to be there for trust reasons, it'll at least free you up to begin working on the new stuff while they're rolling out the shirts for the old order. Doesn't hurt to plant a seed and have someone to call upon when the big jobs do roll in.

If you're turning away work and not making enough to justify expanding, how do you plan on making your business a success?
 

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Have you thought about taking on some help? Since it's home based, might want to see if a relative, significant other, or a good friend's kid can help you out. If you need to be there for trust reasons, it'll at least free you up to begin working on the new stuff while they're rolling out the shirts for the old order. Doesn't hurt to plant a seed and have someone to call upon when the big jobs do roll in.

If you're turning away work and not making enough to justify expanding, how do you plan on making your business a success?
Amen to that!
 

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I would either work crazy ridiculous hours to get it all done(done that many times) or outsource it and still make a little mark up rather than making nothing. Maybe go into another shop and try and build a relationship. They help you sometimes and you help them. Reduced rates for both. My advice as a growing business is to never turn down work unless you absolutely have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would either work crazy ridiculous hours to get it all done(done that many times) or outsource it and still make a little mark up rather than making nothing. Maybe go into another shop and try and build a relationship. They help you sometimes and you help them. Reduced rates for both. My advice as a growing business is to never turn down work unless you absolutely have to.
Thanks, Jeff! I've heard of this being done but never tried it myself. Any advice as to how to approach/word such a proposal?
 

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Hi Teezecroft ,
I'm over in the UK and man, I envy you. You have what I call "a good problem" . As a business kind of at the opposite spectrum of where you are (lobbying for business) may I ask , how did you promote yourself as a home based business to get to the enviable position you sit, where you're now inundated with work.??? appreciate some advise,

p/s I agree with the others who advised about linking/partnering up with another business, you wouldn't want to tarnish your reputation with your already established clients over a big job , which could always turn out to be a one off

best regards
 

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I would first just go into a local shop and introduce yourself. Some people are very open to link up and help each other and some just want to keep to themselves. Get a feel for how the owner is and go from there. I have a couple local shops who help me and I help them. As long as you're both gaining from the friendship it's a good thing. Be honest with them about what you need and why. Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Teezecroft ,
I'm over in the UK and man, I envy you. You have what I call "a good problem" . As a business kind of at the opposite spectrum of where you are (lobbying for business) may I ask , how did you promote yourself as a home based business to get to the enviable position you sit, where you're now inundated with work.??? appreciate some advise,

p/s I agree with the others who advised about linking/partnering up with another business, you wouldn't want to tarnish your reputation with your already established clients over a big job , which could always turn out to be a one off

best regards
Hi, Babs. All I can really say is that I'm a web developer by day, so I just beat most to the punch at climbing the google ranks.

Keep in mind though - being inundated happens very quickly when you only have evenings and weekends to work, and a wife you want to see once in a while! ;)
 

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It is best to find a good company you can outsource too. Depending on the quantity even larger runs of 250-500 units aren't as profitable for a small time printer to do. It is best to source the job, and focus on runs that you feel comfortable about. Also, taking into the fact that they could return later with a re-order which is even easier to source out.
 
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