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Artisan businesses


Guest Farnsbarns
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Guest Farnsbarns

I've been thinking a lot about artisan businesses recently. I know a few of you have such careers. There appears to me to be general trend that a few artisans, at the top of their field, earn good money but most seem to do it for the love and for the sake of doing what they love.

 

For those of you who do please let me know your thoughts. I don't want to know what you earn, of course, just whether you feel what you do is worth more, even if you're happy and surviving. Or perhaps you feel you earn well. Perhaps you earn well per hour but can't get enough hours to earn 'a lot'.

 

Just interested in general really.

Edited by Farnsbarns
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Guest Farnsbarns

Farnswood Guitars?

 

Nope. Steep learning curve. I'm good at woodwork but I'd have to reckon on 5 years practise before I could charge for my work.

 

Possibly amps, but actually probably not. I could try to make a living at bonsai. Many have tried, a few have succeeded, some are rolling in it.

 

Just interested really.

Edited by Farnsbarns
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I REALLY want to start building amps.Just don't have enough cash to get started.I have two of my own, both scratch builds and everyone that plays through them is impressed. Maybe I will start doing a few whilst working. I will need to find a cheap workshop though.

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I think you know me well enough by now to know my views?

I get paid to do what I love to do - which is to take lovely snaps of lovely things.

 

I don't earn that much, I suppose, but I'm fortunate in that I love to do my work.

I don't say that to brag at all but, seriously, how many folks can say they love going to / doing their work?

 

Freelance can be very scary, though, and there is no real safety-net when work / clients dry up...

 

We must meet up for a few beers and chat about the pro's and con's.

Perhaps latter half of next week sometime?

 

Pip.

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I was a self-employed guitar teacher for 10+ years.

It was good and bad; seasonal, there are no holidays or sick days if you are self-employed.

Whatever you do, keep paying your N.I. stamp.

But I think you have already done a bit of guitar teaching? Suspect you might not have the patience....!

One of the best tips I had when starting is make 'em come to you, not the other way round - if possible, depends on what you do.

 

Good luck anyway.

Edited by jdgm
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Do they even have porn in the tiny island nation of London?

 

"I say...oh dear..."

"Oh yes my love...me as well..."

"Oh"

"Oh"

"Well darling...I believe I'm about to achieve..."

"Oh yes my pet...I as well..."

"Oh dear..."

"Indeed..."

 

rct

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...I'm good at woodwork but I'd have to reckon on 5 years practise before I could charge for my work. Possibly amps, but actually probably not...
I'm thinking more along the lines of working for a small, artisan business...

OK. Serious now?

 

Are you thinking of joining an already established Artisan company or going out on your own?

Working for yourself is VERY different from being employed as I'm sure you know but unless you have 'been there' it might not be quite what you imagine. There is absolutely NO job security. It can take a decade or more to build up a reasonable client base and there's always the chance that you could lose them all through no fault of your own. I speak from personal experience...

 

You will have to ask some hard questions of yourself;

How are you going to find clients?

How are you going to keep them?

How often will these clients require your services?

How much will they be prepared to pay for your services?

How much money do you need to earn to have a decent life?

How much competition in your chosen field is there?

How does what you offer differ from what they can offer?

 

If you have a product which clients will need and are prepared to buy then you can make a decent fist of things. Once you get a start then you can build on that start to expand.

 

Speak soon?

 

Pip.

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Are you thinking of joining an already established Artisan company or going out on your own?

 

He said working for a small business....but then unless you have capital invested in it, that's more like drawing a salary, so maybe the question is about the viability of working for one?

Bit confusing though as he also talked about doing it for the love of it and whether you earn a living, so I'm not entirely sure - certainly 2 different scenarios.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Farnsbarns

OK. Today's the day. I found something with a small creative company, albeit rather a 'modern' outfit. Moreso than I realised at first.

 

I have a meeting with a company who do prototyping and proof of concept work for others. A lot of it is software as it happens. Neural network machine learning and AI but then, often they fully prototype things to a presentation stage for their customers to put in front of investors so there's lots of physical engineering happening as well.

 

I've kind of already got an offer. Today is about hammering out detail. The only reason I won't walk away employed is if I feel I can't market their business effectively.

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Alongside my normal work as a self employed management consultant (shameless plug if anyone needs work for their business' done), I run a small cufflink workshop where I use materials such as glass, marble, stone, wood etc. It's not yet large enough to do on its own but it at the very least provides me with something to do. Creating custom orders if my favourite part.

 

I'm glad to hear that its all starting to fall into place with this for you. Marketing is a difficult one, as pip has said, it takes years to build a solid client base but its certainly easier these days to do things through networking platforms like linkedin etc

 

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Edited by krock
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You'll get something good going Farns!

 

About sideline businesses in general -

 

It's always easier to get started in another business when your old one is still going good. I've done my own thing since '93 and I always kept my main business going while I got something else going. And don't abandon your main line of work. That's what my mom told me to do and that's probably the only thing she ever said that I listened to. Like, I'm an engineer and the stuff I'm good at revolves around engineering.

 

The other thing is to realize is this. If what you want in life is to indulge yourself with stuff all the time you're probably not ever going to be able to have your own business. In order to be able to roll with the punches, you just have to be frugal. The amp business I have makes almost nothing except string money. There's no way we would be any good if we had to make a living at it. Now we're kind of one of the best around and not making money IS part of the successful recipe.

 

Like I tell my partner, just wait till I get on Social Security. Then we're really going to be able to lose money! [thumbup]

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