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Poll for full-timers

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Ozwalt, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Immediately spend it on the supplies to complete their specific mount.

    13.5%
  2. Set it aside in a savings account or CD to spend it on their specific mount at some point in the fut

    11.5%
  3. Deposit into my general account to spend it on what supplies I need for the mounts I'm getting ready

    71.2%
  4. I don't accept down-payments.

    3.8%
  1. Ozwalt

    Ozwalt New Member

    111
    0
    I'm way far behind on work, like many of us. The poor economy has screwed up my cashflow -- customers haven't made payments like they promised, people are extremely slow to pick up completed mounts, and my credit line disappeared when the banks freaked out, so I can't buy supplies when I want and need them. But, the customers who did what they were supposed to (i.e. paying their bill down) are swept up into the waiting game as well, because so many others are struggling. I'm surprised how many of them thought I'd buy the form and supplies to mount their specific deer (or whatever) with their personal down-payment, even though it would mean that I'd have to have an extra few hundred square feet just to store everything. So, I thought I'd ask how everyone else deals with their customers' down-payments.
     
  2. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    2,632
    1
    Deposits are pooled up and materials are paid for in CASH! So yes, that's what the deposits are for. The customer's materials. Save up and order in quantity and save!
    Being behind the eight ball with materials is not a good place to be.
     

  3. Ozwalt

    Ozwalt New Member

    111
    0
    I guess I should clarify the question. I also do my best to spend down-payments on supplies and materials, but is Bob's down-payment spent on the materials for Bob's specific mount, or is it spent on the supplies and materials you need at that time? Because if you're buying Bob's specific supplies, where are you storing the 100 deer forms you bought with the deposits from deer season? And how would you keep track of where everyone's stuff is?
     
  4. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    2,632
    1
    Yes, you need to know how much it costs you to mount the given specimen. Bob gets a work order. The form number for his job is written on the work order. Once the forms arrive look at Bob's work order. See what form number you ordered and find that form. When that form is found write Bob's name on it. Then you can hang it on the wall or keep them in the boxes. My shop 1200 sq ft so there's room to hang them up. Everybody's situation is different but either way I'd encourage you to set funds aside for materials.
     
  5. You need to know how to run a successful biz and cash flow is a huge part of that. It does not make sense to use Bob's deposit to buy Bob's form now (and find a place to store it) when you are not going to be mounting it for 6-12 months. The deposit money should be going into either a specific account you have set up for supplies or your general account and pay for supplies as needed. This is how taxidermists get into money trouble. They use today's deposits to pay for yesterday's bills. Then when they decide to quit taxidermy, they have a years worth of work in the freezer, but no deposit money to buy supplies ot finish it.

    Bruce
     
  6. shammy

    shammy New Member

    1,021
    0
    I don't get the amount of animals you are talking about. But I use what I get as a down payment to get supplies for whatever you are working on. that's the only way you are going to get your money flow straightened out. Sounds like your headed in the wrong direction. Get some things mounted up. Get payed Then use that money for the next batch of supplies and forms. Follow Justin P @ Bucknut advice.
     
  7. Ozwalt

    Ozwalt New Member

    111
    0
    Definitely appreciate the feedback, but I'm not looking for advice, just some information on what everyone else does. I've been in business for a good long time, so I know what's going on and how to fix it, even though it's going to be a slow painful fix. My big mistake was not requiring a down-payment. Had no worries about cashflow at the time. I'd get stuff done, get paid, buy more supplies, everything was cool. But when the economy dropped, those mounts weren't getting picked up, and I had no down-payment money in them. It was all my cash hanging on the wall, and the customers had no investment in it, making it easier for them to abandon stuff. By the time I realized what was happening, I was in a deep deep hole that I'm now digging out of. Now days I won't start a mount without a 50% down-payment, but I've still got a stack of people on the list who haven't paid anything. Live and learn, I guess.
     
  8. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    2,632
    1
    I offer a small discount to my clients when the pay in full at the time they bring in the work. This works great. Give me fire power for negotiating supplier pricing and peace of mind. Othewise all mounts require deposits.
     
  9. If your pricing is right , ie. you are charging enough for your work, your 50% deposit will always be more than the cost of materials. Take the cost of materials from each deposit for each specific job and use this money for supplies only. The rest and balance due payments when work is completed goes in the general fund which pays everything else including you.
     
  10. That is a huge mistake if you are doing this full time. When I did this for a hobby and had a good full time job, the taxidermy money didn't matter and I didn't require a deposit. When I lost my day job and started doing this full time I started to take deposits. If someone shows up with no deposit I will still accept the fish write out a receipt with a note on it telling them they have a certain amount (depends on my back log, usually 60-90 days) of time to get me a 50% deposit or they can come back and pick up there frozen fish. I have only had one customer never send the deposit. I will not start something with no deposit. I'm not spending my money on their fish.
     
  11. Southland Taxidermy

    Southland Taxidermy Join your State and National Taxidermy Association

    I take money from deposits to cover the supplies and the rest helps on the bills due or whatever. I also have a file for deposit pending work and they dont get supplies purchased, if they cant bring a deposit they wont pick up the finished work in most cases.
     
  12. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I have a seperate checking account just for supply and tannery. I deposit "deposit" money in it and deposit "balance" money in my regular account. That works best for me.
     
  13. Ozwalt

    Ozwalt New Member

    111
    0
    Yep! At the time, I had a really nice credit line that I could use to absorb shortfalls during slow seasons, and always managed to pay it off from deer season receipts and also turkey season & spring fishing income. Two years of record spring flooding + the bank canceling the account when the economy freaked them out all added to suddenly broke customers, and now I'm wishing for those down-payments. Perfect storm. Lesson learned.
     
  14. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Depending upon,...........

    Not a full timer, but........

    Depending upon what type a business a person operates, a general rule is to have 20% of your assets be in the form of cash flow.

    A deposit should be taken before work is started. Don't be afraid to be firm on this.

    And if one is sending their hides/capes out to the tannery, ordering the materials after the hides come back from the tannery is smart and as others have stated, the forms won't take up a lot of space. And doesn't tie up the cash flow.

    But in todays economy your money (checking account, savings account, CDs, bonds, etc.) ain't making squat........but it is better than forms laying on the floor for a few months. :)

    Too many small businesses (not just taxidermists) live from paycheck to paycheck. They bounce checks all the time and they kite checks all the time. It all comes down to talented people in their own field being clueless on how to run a business. Throw away your credit cards!

    :)

    ps. Also if you aren't getting your work out within a year and are back logged, then you need to raise your prices. You have too many customers and not enough money coming in. The optimum scenario is to price your work where you only get what you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. Taxidermists that are bragging that they are back logged and have multiple freezers full of work and their customers are waiting more than a year to get their mounts back is poor business. You can raise your prices, take in a little less work (actually have a couple of weeks off before the next season starts) and MAKE MORE MONEY!

    Kerby...
     
  15. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    3,042
    21
    I desposit ALL taxidermy money in a separate checking account that I use to buy my supplies from. That includes pick up money. So there is always a cash flow into the account. Way more than if I just put "deposits" in there. The accounting is kept separately so I can always look and see what's "mine" and what's "deposit" BUT if I have a small shortfall either direction I can usually cover it easily that way.

    However many times I have went to the State Show and bought all my DEER forms for the year to get that discount. They just lay in the corner until I need them.
     
  16. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    State shows......

    Jim made a good point, State shows are a great place to pick up supplies at a cheaper rate and no shipping........and if they have a form/supply auction, then even better deals can be made. Especially with shipping costs these days.

    :)

    Kerby...