Jim Belilove, owner of Creative Edge Master Shop, and I often talk about business; his is in a very precise business with no flexibility for error .Architectural water jet is a very detailed business; you are literally taking computer generated photos and turning them into magnificent stone art for the walls and floors. It takes lots of good ideas to make this work. He also has a 10-1 theory about how things work.
We were discussing how many ideas you need to have before you have a viable one. Jim’s 10-1 theory is very useful and can be helpful for all types of decision making including the design of architectural water jet projects.
“When I was teaching business in the University Of Maharishi School Of Management in Fairfield, Iowa , students would ask how they would determine how many projects would actually work. Just being enthusiastic about a project doesn’t actually make it happen. I figure that based on experience that 1 out of 10 work. Each project has to pass the ‘10’ test before it’s viable. Even then, things just happen that make you have to scrap it.”
How does it come to 1 out of 10? I asked.
“After years and years of ‘good ideas’ I realized that there are certain forces that erode and defeat our plans. There is always the demand for products and the cost of the idea which are an important part of everything we do. We must remember that only to the highest bidder will go the very highest cost.”
“At Creative Edge Master Shop, we get all types of projects that can be created through waterjet. We would love to take everything from conception to the prize of getting it paid for and completed, but there are a number of factors to consider. I created a checklist of these 10 factors. This is a way to get something done before you get in ‘too deep’ without a way out. (You don’t want to be committed and then find out the cost is too expensive for the customer.)”
Excitement and the ability to ‘think out of the box’ are essential but all most pass the ‘critical 10.’
- What will the project cost to build and what is the final cost to the customer? The price consists of many things below and must be included when quoting a customer. The project must be paid for before it’s delivered.
- Projects that often look the same are always different. Having done something similar once before doesn’t guarantee the present cost. Product prices and labor costs always change.
- Can you get the project competed in a timely manner? One that will help you bring it under or close to the cost you anticipate?
- Can I get all of the products I need in a timely manner? Is everything available?
- Can I get the project to the customer within their time frame? Is it realistic?
- Will the materials work together? Sometimes things occur which we haven’t anticipated, i.e. a reaction between the glue and setting materials.
- How flexible is the customer? Sometimes a customer is too difficult to work with and becomes a problem from the start. It’s better to walk away early.
- How will the project be shipped and who will be there to receive it? We’ve done this so many times that we are very cautious about this and how it’s done.
- Installation of the product. This is another critical factor. In fact it’s often important to get this information on the front end. These products must go to real artisans that understand what materials they are working with and do things by the book.
- Try and see things clearly. No matter how exciting we must try and see them clearly and not skip the crucial steps or think we can somehow make an excuse for one of them.
No matter what, we must continue to come up with ideas; it’s what gives the world its uniqueness. To connect with Jim Belilove at Creative Edge Master Shop: @ firstname.lastname@example.org, 641-472-8145 ext.101, CST.
Lisbeth is one of the original founders of Fabulous Floors Magazine and has been a business consultant in the industry for over 20 years. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.