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-   -   My stringing business... Website progress. Comments? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=351379)

Bottle Rocket 10-03-2010 09:15 PM

My stringing business... Website progress. Comments?
 
What do you guys think so far?

http://hstrial-briansrackets.intuitw...com/index.html

Lot's more to come!

COPEY 10-03-2010 09:53 PM

Not a bad start, but I do have one observation.

This statement..."inexpensive racket stringing"...is a bit misleading, isn't it? It seems to beg the question, "compared to what?" For instance, Cyberflash is $7.50 a set, yet you advertise $25 to install it. Again, I'm not saying your prices are outrageous. My guess is you charge approx $15 for labor and you mark-up the string. My point is you might want to consider rephrasing the opening sentence under Servicing & Pricing.

armsty 10-03-2010 10:09 PM

About me shouldn't have a picture of Federer on it haha

Ash_Smith 10-04-2010 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COPEY (Post 5097027)

This statement..."inexpensive racket stringing"...is a bit misleading, isn't it? It seems to beg the question, "compared to what?"

Agree, what is it that makes you inexpensive - do you only string with cheap string? Are you not very good?!

I would suggest you look at some of your descriptions and phrasing - it comes across as a hobby rather than a business - if you want to sell your services you need to "sell" them, not give the impression that you're a college student who does this as a bit on the side - unless that is your aim.

Ash

Irvin 10-04-2010 04:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by armsty (Post 5097054)
About me shouldn't have a picture of Federer on it haha

I am sure he has paid for the rights to use Roger Federer's and Andre Agassi's pictures on his website. 'Bottle Rocket' you did pay for those picture rights didn't you? You have heard of copyright infringement, haven't you?

Just in case you are not aware, photographers pay for the rights to use pictures of famous people and sell those pictures to others that want to use those pictures in marketing. Now if you take a picture of Roger playing tennis and stick it on your desktop there is no problem. If you use that picture to market something it is a different story. Trust me, you do not want some lawyer sending you a letter explaining this to you.

You know there is a reason you put Andre and Roger's pictures on your web site instead of John Dough'$ picture. Be honest with your customers and just tell the facts man nothing else.

Irvin

mikeler 10-04-2010 04:51 AM

I think you are off to a good start, but the comments above all came to mind when I looked at your website. Good luck with your stringing and more importantly, your college degree. Engineers rule. :)

tennisace23 10-04-2010 05:06 AM

There was some study done once that the average person spends about 7 seconds per page on a new website. The point is, get your point across quickly. I wouldn't mention that you've been stringing/playing for 5 years--that's not that long. I think most of the information about you is entirely unnecessary and even a distraction. I'd rather know what kind of machine you are stringing on than what your college degree is in, your rating, or how often you play.

MAX PLY 10-04-2010 05:28 AM

I agree with the point on "inexpensive" above--I think you would be better off focusing on value and experience (although as to this latter point, 5 years doesn't seem that long). I think you should strongly consider getting a USRSA certification--otherwise you are just a guy who has been playing a lot less than me who thinks he knows how to string. Likewise, words like "fiddling" are not terribly persuasive to me in seeking a qualified stringer. If I am a college student looking to get my sticks done cheaply, maybe I use you--but if I really care, your site does not compel me to use you--sorry.

Irvin's point about the pictures is dead on--nothing can shut you down quicker and expose you to money damages like copyright infringment as well as using the images of pros without compensation. I would get those images off as soon as possible--seriously.

Radicalized 10-04-2010 01:01 PM

I would take your site down now and work on it. I've dealt with corporate communications, public relations, and marketing. I'm not a lawyer, but I've taken courses in communications law. Do what those above have suggested. If you want photos, buy stock or take your own.

While you sound like you are being honest, your "About Me" page (if anyone ever gets there) is not going to sell for you. So many more people on this board have more qualifications than you--and in its current form, anyone who knows anything about tennis would be able to guess that. It is not written to impress. If you are a 4.5 tournament player, say that. If you have experience stringing various racquets with a variety of string types and set-ups, say that--but on another page. Keep it simple.The page (I'm sorry) sounds like a bad resume.

With a background in engineering...
NTRP 4.5 player...
Short. Simple. Don't add things on the "About Me" page to try to sell. Leave that for the main or a FAQs page. The "About Me" page should include that info, as noted above, that will make people think, "I'm dealing with an intelligent person who actually knows the sport." This is after you've explained the benefits of quality racquet stringing and so forth on the appropriate pages. That's it.

And this, as noted by others, "specialize in inexpensive racket stringing" means what? That translates into, whether you think so or not, "cheap." You sell yourself as "quality" and start off being "inexpensive." Smart "consumers" wonder why things are cheap. If your market is the person who barely knows string can be changed and it comes in more than just white, maybe they won't care so much. However, if you're talking to the person who wants his "Big Banger" with some softer synthetic than he currently uses, and he feels like the ball is flying on him, you can bet he will wonder. And your prices aren't anything special to even bother saying "inexpensive." Maybe "reasonable." For Cyber Flash, that amounts to what, about $18 for the stringing if a person were to buy his own string? That is not unheard of elsewhere, and you are just entering the market. You can't fight a battle with competitors simply by deflating the market, if that were to become the case. You'll doom yourself soon enough.

And an above poster is correct: Look into certification. You'll see at least "USRSA" at stores that specialize, at least partly, in tennis. "Organized" credibility. Its value is more than the cost to do so.

max 10-04-2010 01:09 PM

Is this done with a template?

Radicalized 10-04-2010 01:14 PM

He might be using this: http://www.intuit.com/website-building-software/

Parker512 10-04-2010 01:48 PM

like the guy said above WARNING WARNING watch out for lawyers they'll try to make an easy buck like that any day.

Winky 10-04-2010 02:32 PM

I think you guys are being a little too rough on the guy. It's a racquet stringing business for chrissakes, not some big corporate web site. The fact that he has any sort of web presence at all is more than 90% of his competition.

stringwalla 10-04-2010 02:32 PM

wow, wilson syn-gut installed for $22.

You would need to drive to my house and string it on the spot for that $$$ mark-up. Just kidding-

I know shops can charge $20 labor, but they have overhead and only give the stringer about $10.

Getting certified will help your cause, but you need to drop you labor charge a bit-

Radicalized 10-04-2010 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winky (Post 5098460)
I think you guys are being a little too rough on the guy. It's a racquet stringing business for chrissakes, not some big corporate web site. The fact that he has any sort of web presence at all is more than 90% of his competition.


Poor presentation gets you nowhere. A bad site will kill you as quickly as bad word of mouth. The competition may not need a site or may be part of a chain, for example. If you are going to put yourself out there to the entire world, do it well. Write it well. Present yourself in the best manner possible. Get your points across quickly and effectively. In a business like this, you only have your knowledge, skill, and integrity. The site must reflect that clearly.

theace21 10-04-2010 06:23 PM

Your links on the contact page don't work. Good luck with your business.

dgdawg 10-05-2010 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stringwalla (Post 5098461)
wow, wilson syn-gut installed for $22.

You would need to drive to my house and string it on the spot for that $$$ mark-up. Just kidding-

I know shops can charge $20 labor, but they have overhead and only give the stringer about $10.

Getting certified will help your cause, but you need to drop you labor charge a bit-

This is what I charge. $20 labor and I don't mark up string.
My objective is not to compete with anyone. There's really no other professional stringers in my town. (I'm not including the local "box" sports stores).
I put my service on par with the pro shop 25 miles away. My objective is to offer "pro shop" quality service at a reasonable price. I also offer immediate turn around, at no additonal charge.
I charge $20 labor, whether I provide the string or not.
I'm USRSA Certified, use pro shop quality equipment (Star 5) and have probably 3k frames under my belt.
I inspect frames, clean them, tube or replace cracked grommets, etc......and rubber band a service tag to the handle showing date/frame/string/tension and my contact info.
I also keep a crap ton of over wraps on hand and replace them gratis, with any sign of ware.

Jeffy005 10-05-2010 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bottle Rocket (Post 5096981)
What do you guys think so far?

http://hstrial-briansrackets.intuitw...com/index.html

Lot's more to come!

KCMO ha? really... Well i live in KCMO and i have to drive all the way down to OLATHE just to get my racquet restring.... wahahah...

Your website looks really cool but those pricing are kinda outrageous....

You should also include LABOR PRICE on your site....

But hey man i would love to get my racquet restring by you, instead of driving all the way down to OLATHE.....

diredesire 10-06-2010 10:57 AM

Most of it's been covered, I'll just echo what I found to be important:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irvin (Post 5097325)
I am sure he has paid for the rights to use Roger Federer's and Andre Agassi's pictures on his website. 'Bottle Rocket' you did pay for those picture rights didn't you? You have heard of copyright infringement, haven't you?

Just in case you are not aware, photographers pay for the rights to use pictures of famous people and sell those pictures to others that want to use those pictures in marketing. Now if you take a picture of Roger playing tennis and stick it on your desktop there is no problem. If you use that picture to market something it is a different story. Trust me, you do not want some lawyer sending you a letter explaining this to you.

You shouldn't be using copyrighted images on your site. You can't (in this case) even use them while crediting the source/photographer. You're making money using these images, so you need to get them licensed. You can't use these under creative commons licensing, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAX PLY (Post 5097388)
I agree with the point on "inexpensive" above--I think you would be better off focusing on value and experience (although as to this latter point, 5 years doesn't seem that long). I think you should strongly consider getting a USRSA certification--otherwise you are just a guy who has been playing a lot less than me who thinks he knows how to string. Likewise, words like "fiddling" are not terribly persuasive to me in seeking a qualified stringer. If I am a college student looking to get my sticks done cheaply, maybe I use you--but if I really care, your site does not compel me to use you--sorry.

List your labor charge. Having two choices kind of sucks. If i were looking for a stringer, I'd like to know how much they charge if i bring my own strings. The certification suggestion is a good one if you are at all serious about making considerable money from this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Radicalized (Post 5098313)
While you sound like you are being honest, your "About Me" page (if anyone ever gets there) is not going to sell for you. So many more people on this board have more qualifications than you--and in its current form, anyone who knows anything about tennis would be able to guess that. It is not written to impress. If you are a 4.5 tournament player, say that. If you have experience stringing various racquets with a variety of string types and set-ups, say that--but on another page. Keep it simple.The page (I'm sorry) sounds like a bad resume.

With a background in engineering...
NTRP 4.5 player...
Short. Simple. Don't add things on the "About Me" page to try to sell. Leave that for the main or a FAQs page. The "About Me" page should include that info, as noted above, that will make people think, "I'm dealing with an intelligent person who actually knows the sport." This is after you've explained the benefits of quality racquet stringing and so forth on the appropriate pages. That's it.

And this, as noted by others, "specialize in inexpensive racket stringing" means what? That translates into, whether you think so or not, "cheap." You sell yourself as "quality" and start off being "inexpensive." Smart "consumers" wonder why things are cheap. If your market is the person who barely knows string can be changed and it comes in more than just white, maybe they won't care so much. However, if you're talking to the person who wants his "Big Banger" with some softer synthetic than he currently uses, and he feels like the ball is flying on him, you can bet he will wonder. And your prices aren't anything special to even bother saying "inexpensive." Maybe "reasonable." For Cyber Flash, that amounts to what, about $18 for the stringing if a person were to buy his own string? That is not unheard of elsewhere, and you are just entering the market. You can't fight a battle with competitors simply by deflating the market, if that were to become the case. You'll doom yourself soon enough.

With your qualifications, as mentioned above, your prices aren't actually that cheap. I've been stringing for ~10 years now, and I've got thousands, and thousands of racquets under my belt, but I charge ~$10 labor. Could I charge more? Yep. Should I charge more? Probably. However, I've never really marketed myself as someone who is trying to string racquets (aggressively). I'm an engineer as well, and that's my primary focus and source of income, and stringing has largely been leisure/hobby for me in the past. I've never bothered to get my MRT due to this fact. I move around a lot (due to not living near my school), so keeping a reliable customer base has never been worth the overhead for me. I also keep a much more comprehensive stock of string than 2 offerings, but at the same time, I STILL often don't have what people are looking for (Gamma Livewire, Wilson NXT, etc). The overhead of stocking really popular strings (and keeping several in stock) is a big difference between you and your pro shop competitors. They've sunk thousands and thousands of dollars having what people WANT. When someone comes to you looking for Prince synthetic gut with Duraflex, an you only stock extreme, they're compromising, and taking something they don't really want. How can you deal with this?

Quote:

Originally Posted by stringwalla (Post 5098461)
wow, wilson syn-gut installed for $22.

You would need to drive to my house and string it on the spot for that $$$ mark-up. Just kidding-

I know shops can charge $20 labor, but they have overhead and only give the stringer about $10.

Getting certified will help your cause, but you need to drop you labor charge a bit-

Sorry, but I agree. $15 for a non certified stringer with relatively limited experience and/or low frame count (what does 5 years of experience mean if you string 10 racquets a month? I might do that in <6 months... total!) is pretty good. Most stringers starting out at my college charge ~$10, first racquet free. It depends a lot on your competition, of course, but people will come back to me because I am able to turn the frame around quickly, provide a consistent, and predictable string bed, and I've strung for ~5 years for a DI college team. I can't really be THAT bad if I'm stringing for a top 25 school, right? ;)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeffy005 (Post 5099545)
You should also include LABOR PRICE on your site....

But hey man i would love to get my racquet restring by you, instead of driving all the way down to OLATHE.....

Yep, include labor price. I wouldn't be contacting you because I wouldn't want cyberflash or extreme. While Cyberflash is extremely popular among us tennis/string heads, ask any average tennis player, they've NEVER heard of it.



IMHO, in the "about me" section, it should be an "about the services," what you offer over someone else. You should also have an educational page, IMHO, as to why stringing is important, and how you address this. This can be eliminated, depending on your approach, but I think the about me page is largely irrelevant.

I'd also consider improving your stock.

Lakers4Life 10-06-2010 12:29 PM

I do agree using an image of Roger Federer is copyright infringement, but if the OP used a photo of a package of Wilson strings, with a photo of Fed on the packaging it would not.

As for price for stringing. It all depends on where you are located. Here in So Cal. the going labor rate for a Syn Gut String Job, is $10, but in the San Francisco Area it's closer to $20. I've heard in NYC is closer to $30 labor. I think the cost of labor should be what people are willing to pay for, reasonably. So if you are the only stringer for 50 miles around, you can justify $20 labor.

A majority of people looking for a stringer are recreational players. So it's a good idea to stock up on a couple reels of Syn Gut, like Gosen OGSM. I go through more reels of Gosen OGSM than any other reel of string I normally have.


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