"How do you then move somebody up the list who's paying more without moving one down?"You do ALL the "rush" work on an overtime basis.........that is.....evenings and weekends. The regular customers get done during work hours and no one will get moved down in order. If you don't have evenings and weekends to do that, something's wrong. That doesn't mean that you don't do rush work "during" those regular hours, it just means that you make up the time during the overtime(evenings and weekends) so that everything is done on schedule. The rush order pays for the overtime.
Sorry, but I'll put it plain and simple. If I'm getting $150 for antler mounts and I have 15 of them to do over the next few months and some guy comes in at 9:00AM on Monday morning with one and says 'I'll give you $300 if you can have it ready by tomorrow morning' I guarantee that it will be done by 12:00 noon and never even think about the other 15
Take the rest of the Monday off and go fishing sounds better to me
If you end up mounting it, why not get it all ready to mount up,have the ears ready to go....when he comes in the shop to watch and give advice, offer him up a beer and have someone from behind, crack him in the head with a piece of driftwood....He wakes up a while later, with a headache and a deer done to his specs..."yes...that's how you told me to do the ears right before you passed out and hit your head"......"want another beer ?".....