Posts tagged #How to Expand Our Business

2013: Breaking it Down and Building it Back Up

Happy New Year to all! I was originally going to write a post looking back at 2012 and all that has happened over the year. However, after thinking on it for a few minutes I realized that looking back wasn't something that would benefit our company at this point. The end of the year brought our biggest change--financing and purchasing a new CNC plasma table--since the business began in 1989. Not much is going to trump that for us.

The weekend after the machine was delivered my father and I were text-ing back and forth about needed tasks to get things moving. He ended the conversation with "Start of a new era" and he is absolutely correct. We are starting from a whole new position, not to say we will forget anything that has gotten us to this point, but we are turning the corner and making a new path.

My father and I had stagnated up until a few months ago and honestly we are looking forward to what will be, rather than what has been, helping to focus on growth. I understand learning from history and all that jazz, but this company needs to focus on gaining positive momentum over the next few years. We are breaking it down and building it back up.

I expect 2013 to be one of our best due to our recent changes in procedure and mindset. The biggest is being mindful of not stagnating and searching for business rather than sitting back, waiting for things to come to us. We need to concentrate on being proactive, creating proper boundaries that will benefit us as a growing company.

Our company needs to take that fearful step forward and let the past fade, letting those new positive changes filter in.

Have a great 2013!


The Right Time For a New Equipment Investment

I am happy to say that after years of financial stagnation, we are finally taking steps toward growth with our first major equipment investment in years. Business has increased to a point where this decision makes sense, but that is not the reason we are taking on the risk of a major investment. The company has been mulled in a soup of non-growth for many years and it was time to start taking advantage of sexy interest rates and tax breaks to help the business move forward. Currently we are in the process of purchasing a new table plasma cutting system for our little sheet metal fabrication job shop. This would be our biggest equipment investment in many years. However, it would increase our production greatly and make it possible to search out bigger projects in the residential HVAC sheet metal fabrication markets locally. Seeing as our shop doesn't weld and has never owned a handheld plasma cutting machine, we are a bit green when it comes to dealing with consumables and pneumatic tools. The learning process will be educational, very interesting and eventually profitable.

Having the ability to decrease cut time and waste will make fabricating fittings like cold air boots, trunk duct reducers and custom transitions far easier and profitable for our micro-business. After hemming and hawing for a few months we finally took the leap and started heavily researching our new equipment investment.

I, as a business owner, want to create jobs in my community, but in order to make this happen the machinery needed to come first. I need to know I can bring in new business in order to keep a new employee working. The company is not in a position to do this just yet. Increasing productivity first was the most economical way for the company to reach some short and long term goals.

The quoting process is near completion and financing is on the horizon. Best case scenario would be  a initial equipment investment in our new plasma cutting table within a month or so, hopefully having everything installed by the end of the year. Hoping my optimism continues through the process.

Fingers X'd


Not Letting Anxiety Dictate How to Expand Our Business

Since the beginning of the year I have dredged my brain for answers to the question, how to expand our business. The process has been rocky at times, my therapist helping with the majority of those situations, distraction taking care of the balance. However, I have found that being positive and stopping my obsession with perfect timing has made the job much easier to deal with. Our company is small. If you have read any of this blog in the past, you know this. I have wrestled, through the years, with ideas of how to expand our business, making our minuscule sheet metal fabrication shop bigger. Able to handle larger residential and light commercial projects, but keeping the integrity and intimacy of the shop my father and I currently run. There are plenty of union commercial shops in this area to take the much larger commercial work that I, as a company owner, never wanted in the first place. However, being able to fabricate a larger and quality capacity for our target market is an advantage I would love to have.

When the housing markets shit the bed I learned more in those few years about myself and our business than ever before. Depression from personal and business issues led me and my anxiety to seeking therapy, understanding what I needed in my life to thrive. Since then I have made a concerted effort to be positive, especially in my home life as a whole. Any issues in your personal life will fracture any motivation you may have to make your business a success. I realized this after 34 years on earth and 15 years in business, but it's never too late. There is plenty of time to create a successful business, on the back of what already exists. Something my father and I can be proud of.

The question of how to expand our business looks different to me now than it did a few short years ago. Things are clearer and I know that I must have goals, making strides to build on the foundation my father and I have already built, no matter how small. Keeping our already solid customer base is key, but technology and organization must be something we focus on to satisfy an old and new, growing customer base.

I have been researching and reaching out to find information on the best way we can accomplish our new found goals. Something I never did when I was struggling with ideas on how to expand our business, finding it easier to stay hidden inside an already comfortable cocoon of anxiety and fear. Not anymore.

Don't let the fear of success drain the opportunities that may await.

When I sat in my office, thoughts circling with ideas of how to expand our business, I left every night frustrated and fearful of the next step. K & E Sheet Metal is not a successful business on paper at this point. We are a good business, working hard everyday to produce quality sheet metal fabrication and customers happy with their new furnace or air conditioning installation. We have a lot to learn, which is tough to say for a functioning business of 23 years and counting.

Finding our niche and focusing on goals is what needs to be thought about before leaving the shop each day. Answering that question of how to expand our business and becoming the company we wanted years ago, but never had the courage to pursue is the road we need to follow. There will be tight bumpy corners along the way, but positive thoughts, hard work and focus will make the trip a little easier to navigate.