View Full Version : Ideas Please

Zeev Goldin
11-28-2007, 4:01 PM
Hello my name is Zeev.

I am calling for help a little bit here.
I have an Epilog Mini for a year now I have been doing personalized gifts out of wood.For about a year now.And it was not a really good year.
So I am come to the Laser community with a cry of help and advice of what kind of market I should get in to in order to do well I know it all depends on youre skills etc.
But I have read about people getting bulk orders and wholesale orders.
Where do I go to get those deals done?How do I find them? Should I just email companies or go there by foot?
I heard of people engraving on 300 key chains, how do you get projects like that?
I know I am asking for secrets but maybe somebody would still offer me any kind of advice.ANYTHING would help thank you.
Zeev Goldin

Mike Null
11-28-2007, 5:48 PM

Where are you located and what kind of equipment do you have besides the laser if any?

What have you been doing to market your services?

Joe Pelonio
11-28-2007, 5:54 PM

Where are you located and what kind of equipment do you have besides the laser if any?

What have you been doing to market your services?
Besides your location, it would help to know how big your city is, what are some of the major businesses there and so on.

Most companies will ignore (or block) e-mailed advertising. A personal visit with samples or at least a personal letter with samples or photos of samples is much more business-like and will have better results.

Zeev Goldin
11-28-2007, 5:56 PM
I am located in Los Angeles CA.
I dont have any other equipment besides the blower and dust collector the one with the filter.
To market myself I had a store front in Wisconsin where I was targeting tourists. Now I have moved to LA and trying to set up the machine here in some way .
Besides that not too much exept flyers and business cards.
Any Ideas would be appriciated

Michael Kowalczyk
11-28-2007, 6:22 PM
LA is HUGE. Look in the phone books and see what others are doing and then what can you do that makes yours better.
Seeing is believing. make a bunch of samples and give them out. carry them with you everywhere and be prepared to answer questions if needed or gather contact info of who makes the decision to buy.

Make some real products and bring them to a retail outlet that fits your product and offer to leave it there for 2 weeks on a consignment type setup. If they sell you will have a new wholesale client, if not ask if they promoted it or had any questions, etc... There is an article coming up in the A & E magazine that will have more detail on this by Tom at Laser Buzz. I just put a small section of it in my own words.

You can get a free subscription (for 6 months) to A&E by going to their web site www.nbm.com (http://www.nbm.com/) and signing up for it.

Here's a link to Laser Buzz to get on his newsletter ifyou want some ideas.

Pictures are good but being able to touch is better IMHO. Once they get it in their hands you are 1/2 way there.

Define what market you want and focus on it and then build from that. Once you get the word out your customers will ask you if you can do this or that and it is always good to have samples of other things you do, whether in print form or actual samples to do the old "Show and Tell".
I kept a box in my car most of the time because you never know who you might meet or what door might be waiting to be knocked on. For instance if you go to a restaurant, talk to the manager and see if they do any promos for customers or incentives for staff. Tell them in a nut shell what you do and if you don't have something in your pocket, say you'll be right back and drop off a sample with a card. (Managers are busy so try to have one before you go in.) Ask them when would be a good time to get back with them (if now is not convenient) and make sure you get their card. The rest is up to you to close the deal.

Nancy Laird
11-28-2007, 7:03 PM
Zeev, one of the things that hubby and I happened upon is 1/32" Finland birch ply and we cut our business cards from that material. You can get 30 to a 12x24 sheet and they are inexpensive. Every time the subject of lasering comes up (and even times when it doesn't), we hand out a business card. The reaction and response is pretty interesting--people just haven't seen lasered wood business cards before.

There are a number of threads on here with suggestions for business ideas: start here:




I'm also sending you a PM

Nancy (23 days)

Zeev Goldin
11-29-2007, 2:34 AM
Thank you for the advises A lot of ideas thank you for the help.

Brian Robison
11-29-2007, 8:27 AM
Nancy, where are you getting your birch now days?

Sandra Force
11-29-2007, 7:18 PM

Honestly, I don't think that you can make a go of it with high volume/low end things like key chains and that type of thing. Look around and find things that you are capable of doing that are fairly simple with a higher return. Go to the larger specialty shops in the area and show them their business card done in wood, acrylic, appropriate medium. Check out the thread "My sincere appreciation". There are some nice promotion ideas there.

Mike Null
11-29-2007, 9:03 PM

My philosophy, which is not always like that of others, is that your product is service.

If you think you can market a product, some sort of widget, the question is what steps are you taking to market it? You need to take a hard look at the answer you give yourself and ask whether that effort will produce the desired results.

In almost every case, those who buy a laser with the intent of marketing a product fail. They fail because of unrealistic expectations with respect to the marketability of the product or they fail to recognize the fundamentals of marketing.

The success of all our businesses generally revolves around how much volume we can generate. A single product or even a small group of products rarely produces enough volume to succeed. You need to make a realistic evaluation of how much volume you need to do in order to succeed.

Once you have done that then the question is how to go about it.

For the most part, we who make our living with laser engraving machines do it by offering a service. In my case, I will engrave nearly anything that can be engraved with a laser. My marketing effort is confined to a web site. I have clients from coast to coast; most of whom I've never met.

I also cater to commercial clients as opposed to retail clients. Simple explanation---commercial clients keep coming back. Retail clients are not good repeat customers.

George Elston
11-30-2007, 6:59 PM
Here's one that is just off the laser. When I first was looking to buy a machine I thought there was a market for home built RC planes. Turns out there is but not locally, no one builds any more, they just buy them and fly them. BUT I stopped into a local hobby shop today to see if they had any wood and spied a laser cut stand to set model speed boats on. I asked the owner if there was a market for them and he said yes if he could get them. Turns out this ONE came with the boat that was sitting on it. When I got home I threw in some 1/4" birch ply (cheap but nice) and ran off a stand and took it back to the shop, with the shops logo on it and the words "Custom Stands to your specs". Don't know what will come of it but you always have to be looking for new outlets. Have attached file so you don't even have to do the drawing. Run off a half dozen and put them in a Hobby Shop on consignment. You need to add a thin cushion on neoprene (cut up an old mouse pad) on the top to set the boat on.
It's v8 so any body can open it.

Frank Corker
11-30-2007, 7:59 PM
George I hope something good turns up from that. Tell me, do you have a photo of one of your stands made up? I'm curious to see how it fits together without making it

George Elston
11-30-2007, 10:33 PM
When I uploaded the file I should have included a photo, but it's such a pain. The new Vista system does not support my old (2 yr) hardware, so I have to go to another computer transfer it to a memory stick and bring it back to this machine. But since you asked, and your right it does need a picture. Now you know where those thingies go.

Also since I went to all the trouble I include another idea, but it's for a limited clientèle. The card was special order for a contractor that does very high end cabinetry. They cost him about 6 bucks each. But he says when he meets with clients to give a quote, the only bidder left is him. They tell the other contractors that they've decided who will do the job. 6 bucks for a $35,000 dollar kitchen remodel job is not a bad investment. Now if I could just get him to order by the 100's rather than by the dozen. But he says he only needs 4 or 5 jobs a year, and it's like shooting ducks on a pond, 1 card = 1 job, so he has about 2 years worth. The hummingbird is inlaid red oak, and the card is mahogany. This one was a production proof with some cheaper wood I got to keep.

I hope something comes of the Hobby Shop thing also, but if not it only cost me a couple of bucks worth of wood and a half hour of time. And these people pay BIG Bucks for their toys, so $20-30 dollars for a custom stand is not a lot.

BTW I dug out a bag of key chains that had been around for years and did a bunch of self promos with some mirror scraps, and have been handing them out all over. You never know ;)

Da Geek

Gary Hair
12-01-2007, 12:16 AM
I am located in Los Angeles CA.
I dont have any other equipment besides the blower and dust collector the one with the filter.
To market myself I had a store front in Wisconsin where I was targeting tourists. Now I have moved to LA and trying to set up the machine here in some way .
Besides that not too much exept flyers and business cards.
Any Ideas would be appriciated

you - Knock knock

them - Who's there?

you - Zeev

them - Zeev who?

you - Zeev Goldin, and I wonder if you had a few minutes to tell me about your business. I specialize in helping businesses save money, promote themselves and let their customers know how much they appreciate them.

them - Really, how do you do that?

you - Do you have a few minutes to tell me about your business? I need to know a bit about you before we decide how I can help.

them - what are you trying to sell me?

you - nothing, I don't know anything about your business and what you might need. Once we figure out what you need then I can present options - no selling, you and I just figure out what I can do to help your business be (more profitable, better at marketing, better at customer recognition, etc). No pressure. If I can help you, great, if I can't help you then I'll leave you alone.

Learn what the company does and come up with some ideas suitable to their company. It could be promotional trinkets, custom designed and engraved, or branding their parts with a logo or marking with a part number, a multitude of things. You have to go in thinking you can help them with SOMETHING and you will find it. Don't try to sell them ANYTHING until you know they need it.


Frank Corker
12-01-2007, 5:28 AM

Thanks I was wondering where they fitted into all of that. I like the business card too, looks very good and you are right, customers for that fella would be impressed getting something like that from him. Keep going, you have good ideas.