If I Owned a Machine Shop

Machine shop owners often ask me what I would do if I were running a shop in America right now in order to grow sales, profits and mitigate my risk related to another downturn or losing a big customer:

Here are some of the strategies I would use.

  • I would work hard to create a niche and a reputation for something.  I’d ask my customers why they love my shop and what I’m better at than the other shops they use.  I would ask them “What type parts or work makes you think of us first?”
     
  • I would use the feedback to create my unique selling proposition (USP) and differentiate myself from the other shops. “We are the best at xxxxxx”  You can’t be a generalist and any significant profit
     
  • I would make sure all my employees and customers understand our USP and shout it from the rooftops.
     
  • I would make sure my website, business cards, t-shirts, brochures, etc. reinforce out USP
     
  • I would make sure I am at the top of all the major search engines when a buyer is searching for what I am good at (my USP key words)
     
  • I would make sure I get in the stream of RFQ flow for RFQs that match my USP.  No one can compete with me when I am doing what I am the best at doing.  I am competitive and still make a nice profit when I do what I do well.
     
  • I would make sure I am in listed in the internal databases that medium and large companies use when looking for suppliers that have my unique capabilities.
     
  • Once I acquired the customers who need the type parts I’m really good at making I would invest in building a relationship with them to get more and more parts to make for them.

Yes, MFG.com can help you execute on this strategy. 

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Comments

Its hard running a shop now. I know a guy who specializes in certain small parts, that all he does. Now he has about 20 employes and might even sell the business. I think specializing in something helps.

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