Thread: Weird stringer
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:23 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Lakers4Life View Post
They are not as good quality as the Xcelite (light blue handled) set I got from Fry's. You almost have to pick through the packages to find a good set, I've found the grindings to be different on all of the sets. I don't use the cutters as much, as I use other cutters instead, like:
Yeah, for the price they're very adequate and I think they make sense in our line of work. I actually had to return my first set and I opened up at least 4 trying to get one that was aligned. Ironically, some cutters are actually designed with offset blades to increase tool life...

How to make a business proposal 101:

Normally I wouldn't really take the time to do this, but it sounds like you are lacking the experience and insight to make a solid proposal. I'm going to give you a few resources, and I'll leave it up to you to actually do the leg work.
  • Google "Proposal Template." Read guides and/or how-tos on creating REAL business proposals. I highly recommend not to make yours as 'serious' as a genuine business proposal, but definitely know the basic sections, and what NEEDS to be in a proposal. Tailor your draft as such. You already indicated the management is laid back and/or not thinking on that level, so write for your audience.
  • Determine what you want to offer (I would also recommend itemizing). This isn't just services. If you want to do sleeves, customization, full racquet service, you need to also consider looking into certifications. That is a discrete selling point that can be referenced. Find anecdotal evidence of what a CRT or MRT sticker in the window is worth (spoiler alert, it's not worth ANYTHING for many operations).
  • Determine the cost. If you have a convenient itemized list, this should be easy. I'd also look into separating the lists -- for instance...
    A) Services - Tool cost
    B) String offerings - itemized breakdown with total
    C) Customization -
    D) Services - Labor cost
  • Make sure your goals are clear -- what is it that your'e actually trying to achieve?
  • How are you going to measure if anything actually improved? What's the time line?
  • How fast do you expect returns on your investments? How long until you fully pay off the money you invested?
  • Training and overhead costs - lets say it becomes a store standard policy to offer the new services. Your older stringer buddy ain't (yet) on board. Who's going to train him? How long will it take to have this offered as an official service? He's a road block if he doesn't get on board, too...
  • What are the risks? What happens if no one gives two craps about this?
  • Customer surveys and demand

As you can see, your work is cut out for you when you do something like this from the low guy on the totem pole. If you go above the head of your coworker, chances are he's going to get SUPER angry. This isn't wrong of him, either. You need to make him a stakeholder, even if it means that he gets credit for the project. If he feels more invested in this undertaking, chances are that much better it will succeed. Just note that from a business standpoint, this is definitely a long shot since the benefits don't generally outweigh the costs here. If you have any more specific questions please list your concerns here. I've got some work to get back to, and I think this is an OK start...

Edit 2: Lets say in a year or two you actually decide you don't want to do stringing as a 'job' or a 'career.' Documenting stuff like this and actually making a hard business proposal is a HUGE item on your resume -- particularly when you have no previous experience in the industry you are looking to break into. This is something to talk about on an interview if it comes up! I'll additionally note that DATA IS KEY. You can make the proposal... what if it gets accepted? You STILL haven't done your job until you can prove your changes made an impact. Track things and bring it up with management in 6 months -- Hey look -- our service requests have increased by X% over the last 6 months! Take surveys, are people aware there are new services being offered? Are they satisfied? etc.

In all reality, though, this is a very low value add for most any initial cost -- just my two cents in the big picture.
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Last edited by diredesire; 02-21-2013 at 08:45 AM.
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