Remodeling/Home Show Luck
For those eZine readers whose
woodworking hobby is also a business, this conversation on whether
participating in local home and garden shows is worth it provides an
interesting perspective. It began with a query from a woodworker who
was weighing whether he would participate. - Editor
are trying to decide whether to get a booth at the local remodeling
and home shows this spring. Any thoughts? The booth is 10x10 and
$800. We would build a small mockup kitchen and island with some
upgrades to point out." - Jeremy
said yes -- but don't expect much. - Editor
company has had a varying degree of sales success. My boss
jumpstarted the business thanks to the home show, but after three to
four years, we got very few good leads. It is always good to keep
your name out there, but only trying it will confirm its usefulness
for you. I might add that you should try to distinguish yourself
somehow. That's tough since other great cabinet shops will be there
also." - Mike
did it about 6 years ago. Built an entertainment center just for the
show. Still have it. I got one good client out of it...whole house of
cabinetry, plus extras. But a lot of tire kickers and people with NO
money for custom work. Plus, it was 19 hours on my feet with no other
work going on. But you have to do it to see if it works." - Bill
said no -- other types of shows are a better option. - Editor
don't do well at traditional building business trade shows. I used
to. Attendance is down, and the people that still go are the ones
unable to look stuff up on the web. I do well at a trade show that is
also an arts festival." - Harold
and industry-oriented shows can be great for a good custom shop.
These shows are not open to the public, so it is only developers,
architects, designers, and the like. The lower end "home and
garden" type shows have always disappointed me. The vast
majority of the people I spoke with are middle-class homeowners with
unrefined tastes. Trying to sell them custom cabinetry is like trying
to explain why a $120 bottle of wine is better than a $40 bottle. In
the end they are sticker shocked. The guys who do well in those shows
are the cabinet refacing, floor refinishing, vinyl siding, roofing
and window replacement companies. Selling custom cabinetry at these
shows can feel like you are selling diamonds at a local arts and
craft show." - Michael S.
some said yes -- but you have to do it right. - Editor
it comes to home shows, the one way to look at it is this: would you
give someone $800 if they gave you a lead that turned into a sale? If
so, it's a no-brainer ... If you are going there to hand out
brochures and shake hands, it is a waste of time and money, [in my
humble opinion]... but, if you are there with specific goals in mind,
like qualifying prospects and scheduling appointments right there and
then, you are working the show." - Kap
have been doing three or four home shows a year for six or seven
years. We even do a few local county fairs a year. Our experience is
that it takes two to three years at the same show to get results.
People want to know you are here to stay and not gone tomorrow. We
do not give out freebies unless the person is serious. Even then it's
a simple alligator clip fridge magnet with our card or brochure in
it. Our experience is also that people are drawn to pictures way more
than actual display cabinets. Because of that, we now dedicate most
of our both to photos of finished jobs and only a couple of cabinets
that also double as our "podium" and a quality of
construction aid." - Gary
this participant in the discussion provided a list of helpful hints -
but did not provide his name. - Editor
few lessons about home and garden shows:
Don't just sit in your booth. At a maximum have a tall stool that you
put almost in the aisle and sit on as necessary when the aisle is
Only hand out marketing materials to people who come into your booth
Don't waste your money on freebies. You'll eat up your entire
marketing budget handing out freebies such as pens, bags, etc. Plus
everyone is doing it.
Try out different sales pitches on different folks...see which one or
two works. You will have to have a sales pitch for each type of
personality that comes into your booth.
Try to limit yourself to 10 minutes per person that comes into your
Track the literature that you do hand out.
Keep your booth as simple as possible. Don't overload a booth with
Don't waste your time on having displays, TVs, computer screens
playing a video. No one will stop and watch your video. Plus you have
that much less room to include a sales person or actual product and
it's a lot more stuff you have to carry in and out of the building.
Learn from the big boys. Go to a few home and garden shows and find
the companies that obviously have the marketing budget to attend
shows. Learn how they do it and try to replicate, albeit at a lower
cost." - "myself"
Love My SawStop Contractor Saw, But ... from
participating in this discussions shared a variety of their own
solutions to a dust buildup problem on the blade height adjustment
screw for the SawStop Contractor's Saw, while keeping in touch with
the company, which is also working on the problem. - Editor
love my SawStop Contractor's saw, but the vertical lead
screw for the blade height adjustment constantly jams with sawdust.
Seems like every other week or s,o I'm on my back under the saw with
a machinist's pick and wire tooth brush clearing out the lead screw
threads. Anyone else have this problem? It's my only irritation in an
otherwise great saw." - Richard S.
response to this question
you contacted them? [In my opinion], they have the ultimate customer
service, they may have a solution." - Kyle I.
original poster replied that he had, indeed, contacted the company. -
contacted [SawStop] customer service, and they are aware of the
problem but have not come up with a solution to it. Looks like I'll
have to think of something, myself. No
worries on that front. I'm an engineer, so I can pretty much screw up
anything by adding more features to it." - Richard S.
the meantime, other woodworkers presented their solutions. - Editor
have the Industrial SawStop so I can't see your exact issue, but
would the following idea work? Find an accordion plastic tube just
larger than the lead screw. Remove the screw, push this on, put the
screw back on. The plastic tube will expand and contract with the
movement of the unit on the thread and sawdust can't make contact
anymore." - Neil B.
have the SawStop Contractor (a bit tricked out) and have experienced
the same thing. I have mastered reaching up under there every four to
five weeks and sweeping out the sawdust in the small ledge before it
cakes hard. I lube with the Teflon® spray to resist adherence to the
threads. No big deal but a minor annoyance. I plan to enclose the
bottom and enhance the dust collection. I am hopeful that this will
help." - Shawn P.
you mount an air nozzle directed where you need it with a short hose
and a quick connect. Then once in a while hit it with a pop of air.
Dunno if it will work, but if it does it beats climbing under."
- Van H.
same saw, but after installing above saw dust collection and
modifying under the table dust collection I don't have a problem with
screw." - Eduard N.
also think the plastic bellows would solve the problem. But instead
of taking things apart to slip it over the shaft, why not slit it
lengthwise so that you can just clip it over the shaft? There also
are some spiral plastic 'tubes' used to contain electrical wires in
panels. You would install it by just winding it around the shaft."
- John T.
also never experienced this problem. However, I'm in the habit of
taking the table insert out, turning on the dust collector and aiming
my air hose into the guts of the saw to blow out anything in there."
- Mike Z.
those was a suggestion for the manufacturer. - Editor
small wire-bristle brushes could be fitted inside the Sawstop's
chassis to rake the threaded rod teeth as it enters the casting. One
on top, one on bottom. That's not too over-engineered is it?" -
the original poster shared a bit more info on his current system. -
brush out the threads about as often as I brush my dog's teeth. It's
nice reminder to clean the saw out when the dog has bad breath, too."
- Richard S.