Monday, July 29, 2013

Sustaining Your Business via Mail Order

If there's others of you out there struggling to make ends meet on the small business front, I hope this helps.

I've discovered you cannot sustain a small business off the shelves at the big box stores. There are a lot of consumable items I use in my shop, from flap discs on the angle grinder, to glue, to belts for the sander.

First, there's price ...

Angle grinder flap disc - $9.97 at Home Depot, $5.89 off of Amazon.

Sander belts - $5.95 at Home Depot, $2.89 per belt off of Amazon (in sets of 10)

This ultimately lowers my shop costs, which lets me lower the price on my knives, which in this economy ... moves more knives.

Second, there's availability. These are consumables I use for every knife. I go through them constantly. I know I'm going to need them so why not stock up? I keep an inventory of my consumables and whenever I get down to the last 2 of something, I place an order. In 3 days it'll show up in the mail. We pay extra for Amazon Prime, so I don't even have to worry about shipping costs. That sure beats the $4 in gas it takes me to go to town!

And finally, the big box stores only stock a few items at a time on the shelf. If I need drill bits, there's TWO of them on the shelf. If I need sander belts, there's 2 of them on the shelf. They don't order until they're out of a product, and it takes them two weeks to get in a shipment.

All in all, its just easier to run the business via mail than it is off the shelves of a big box store.


Gorges Smythe said...

I've never figured out how the little old hardware stores always had what I needed and plenty of them, but the big box stores have very few pieces or even nothing that I need. Maybe, like the now gone hardware stores, I'm just an anachronism.

OD from HT said...

It's a shame that that is the situation, but we have found the same here. We are only allotted so much money, we must be Good Stewards of what He has given us.

zoom said...

Hmmm almost a month with no posts.
Has this blog gone inactive?
Is Ernie alright?

Ernest said...

Sure, I'm good. :)

I've just made a semi-informal transition over to posting on my Possum Creek Knifeworks Facebook page and haven't really been bringing info back here to the blog.

It's difficult to update multiple social media and I tend to focus more on the one that sells knives for me. :)

I may return to more blog posting soon, but not sure.