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Sharpening as a business

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  • #56065
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 170

    I personally just created a Google Business page and began getting hits immediately, they bugged the heck out of me for months wanting me to enhance it and spend money but I just kept ignoring them and the calls finally ceased. But my advice is to not bite off more than you can chew probably for the first year. Get really good at, for example, kitchen knives. Then create your business but only provide a service for those and nothing else. Then, in the meantime, be working at becoming proficient on, for example, pocket and sheath knives. I remember a couple of years ago, I was having my bathroom shower and floor re-tiled and asked the workers if they would bring in their folders or sheath knives so I could practice on them. They were thrilled and I did a pretty good job on them which built my confidence and soon after that, I began advertising it.

    Your main objective should be providing quality service and not damage the product. Once the damage is done, it might not be able to be repaired and here you are, paying for a new knife instead of making money.

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    #56066
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 2421

    Your main objective should be providing quality service and not damage the product. Once the damage is done, it might not be able to be repaired and here you are, paying for a new knife instead of making money.

    IMO: For me, there would be no “and not damage” in the equation!  If there was any chance I lacked the skill, ability or confidence to sharpen any knives presented to me well, without inflicting damage to them, I’d stay out of the sharpening business, just then.  I’d keep practicing with family, friends and neighbors. Gratis.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #56067
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 170

    You know I said that because it happened to me, right? Taught me to use a lot of masking tape. Lesson learned.

    #56140
    Richard
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 170

    Another point I wanted to make is that people don’t understand our craft and I’ll give you an example of what happened today. I get up this morning and some guy who I didn’t know had e-mailed me last night saying that he needed three kitchen knives he wanted sharpened so right away I’m in the dark regarding what kind of knife it is and how much blade am I looking at not to mention any damage to it. I requested a picture of the knives and pretty much immediately he responds. There are what appears to be two 10″ chef’s knives and one 8″ Sandoku. So I told him to let me know if he wanted to bring them to me or meet me somewhere today since I was headed out anyway. He wants to know how much I would charge and I said $45 for all three which I think is reasonable for the amount of time I was going to put into it but you know what? He never responded which surprised me because really, his only option is to send them back to the factory since I’m pretty much the only game in town.

    So I’m not sure if people think that I’ve got a belt grinder where I can just knock these knives out in a matter of minutes and I’m making a killing at $15/knife for what. That’s the thing about e-mail and text, you can’t really discuss the conditions with the worst case scenario probably being the most expensive. I had a guy give me a chef’s knife about a year ago and had a huge chip in it which I explained right up front that to remove that chip and basically grind it completely out resulting in a new knife would be fairly expensive.

    Then you have the trolls, those are weirdos who will arrange to drop off their knives and never show up. And I had a guy who said he had 125 knives to be sharpened but wanted me to create some sort of method so he could charge them on a credit card.

    So this being my very first business venture has been interesting, that’s for sure. You never know the intent of the person on the other end of the phone line LOL

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