An overview on a number of important considerations that will help ensure your business gains and retains customers while remaining profitable.
by Bill Smith
Let’s face it, we have an awful lot of competition for people that might buy the products and services we make available at our gunsmith shop. The best way to combat that competition and to establish job security is in the use of the talents that you have versus that of the competition. One has to keep in mind that all Yankees think they are the world’s best mechanics. If this were not so then people like the automotive parts houses, the building supply houses, and the publishers of the “how to do it” books and videos would all be out of business.
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The blue collar and even the white collar person that doesn’t want to pay the professional rates for an auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, or gunsmith are going to buy that “You Can Too!” book and watch that YouTube video and presume he (it always seems to be a he in this case) is ready to try with the competence of tradesman with years of experience. That’s the American Way, thankfully. It’s also the American Way to be able to freely practice your trade and this often makes for good business as the “natural mechanic” finally realizes he’s over his head and ends up calling the professional in to finish the job.
In some ways, guns are different than cars or plumbing The owner of a few firearms is entering a field that in spite of the “how to” market doesn’t carry him much beyond the disassembly of any given gun. Oh sure, he can get them apart, lose a detent baIl or spring, mess up some screws and such, but fixing them right is beyond his limited ability. And so, hat in one hand, the bag of parts arrives at your shop. The plaintive plea of to get the gun back together is the order of the day.
Sorting out this kind of thing is not what I like to think gunsmithing is all about, but it is a part of our lives. We do it and usually spot the trouble that could have been fixed easily if he had not tried playing gunsmith in the first place. Don’t laugh at him for this is what you are in business for. Besides, if he’s in your shop asking for help there is no need for a reminder. By reassembling the gun with a professional persona you do several good things.
Read more in the November 2022 issue.
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