Art, thanks for the heads up. I had previously used an older version but
not been impressed ... it wasn't a drop-in and it didn't import very
well. I'll give this a try.
There's a new laptop in my not-too-distant future. Might as well get one
BTW ... bad link ... try this:
Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and
unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when
I've found gnucash to be a useful (albeit less friendly) alternative to
Quicken. It is double-entry tho, which may seem odd to Joe Random Quicken user.
Quicken may also work under Crossover and/or wine.
The Woodcraft store in Latham, NY only lasted a few years before folding...
The owner's cited being required to stock large quantities of slow moving
merchandise, carving chisels and hardware in particular, and that tied up
their cash. Another problem was that the slick, high profile location was
expensive. They bled cash until they couldn't bleed any more...
For me personally, their product mix didn't offer much of interest for a
walk in store--Woodworkers Warehouse was far more interesting. ;~)
Additionally, the things that did appeal to me tended to be very pricy
compared to other retailers prices. As a specialty mail order catalog
business Woodcraft looks just dandy but even in an area as big as
Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY the store wasn't viable. It should be noted that
there are woodworkers in the area too... my woodworkers club alone has about
1,000 members and most of them are in that area of NY.
I'd due a LOT of due diligence before plunking down the bucks...
Well, I was at both stores, and the Woodcraft store was 100 times
better than WoodWorker's Warehouse. I spend a lot of time and money at
Woodcraft, and every time I pass the empty store I get an empty
feeling in my gut.
Although - I was getting annoyed at some of Woodcraft's practices:
They would give you a 10% off coupon (on your birthday) but
you couldn't combine that with any other sale they offered. I
tried to mazimize my purchase value, but the best I could do
was get 10%.
They would have a sale each month, but often the retail price
of the sale item was raised right before the sale, so the
savings was imaginary. I shopped around a lot, and often the
Woodcraft sale price was higher than the normal price at
Some of the sale items were great, but they started importing
new items for the sole purpose of offering an item at a low
cost. Some of those items were equal to (or lower than) the
quality that Harbor Freight.
In this Albany/Schenectady/Troy area there are a lot of places when
the rental property owners think they have a goldmine. I've seen
entire strip malls remain empty for years because they insist on high
rental prices, and small stores that try to survive keep failing.
I didn't know about those requirements for keeping carving chisels
etc. displayed. But that helps explain the problem. I always wondered
about the huge displays, and all that wasted space.
It's a shame that Woodcraft was so restrictive in their policies.
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
On Sun, 03 Dec 2006 12:43:14 +0000, Bruce Barnett wrote:
The bothersome thing in those big displays is that there's usually a gap
or two where something was sold and not replaced. And that gap is
usually where whatever I need today would lie. On the other hand they
have a pallet full of their $20 clamp sets. But not a $69.99 Nova
Precision Midi in sight.
On Sun, 3 Dec 2006 12:43:14 +0000 (UTC), Bruce Barnett
Kind of interesting. It looks like (based on this and the comments
regarding having 3 years worth of living expenses and then plan on a
"nominal salary") someone has figured out how to have employees that
furnish their own money for company expenses. Not a bad deal (for the
franchising party, not the franchisee). Unless something has been omitted
in all of the information, this sounds like a very one-sided deal with lots
of downside risk and very little, if any, upside advantages.
The OP may be better off putting together his own "mom & pop" style
woodworking shop. If he picks the right location and product mix, he has a
good chance of doing well.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
I'm down in Ulster county (work in Schenectady) and the Kingston
Woodworker's Warehouse was one of the best stores in the whole chain... they
actually made money in that store and the manager, Phil, was good about
getting things for me and making sure I got the best deal on things. I
regularly ran into the owners of local cabinet shops and contracting outfits
in the store because the store had the tools and supplies to keep those
businesses moving. The hobbyists benefited from the commercial business as
the store was well stocked with items that sold...
The Albany Woodcraft's business, on the other hand, struck me as doing
almost pure hobbyist business. While there is nothing wrong with hobbyists
how many sanders are they going to wear out in a lifetime? One small
commercial shop I know well of goes through a couple sanders per year,
looses and replaces dozens of screw drivers per year on job sites, and the
list of constant purchase items goes on...
Also, from what I'd heard the Albany WW was not of the same caliber as the
Kingston store which could explain our varying experiences with them. I
think that was due to the options available to contractors and cabinet shops
as well as management differences.
I'm familiar with that mind-set... don't understand it but I suppose
corporate owners might have a portfolio of properties and not really know
what a particular location is realistically capable of generating. I recall
looking at an appraisal of a water driven grist mill property that was on
the market for $1 million. I thought they were nuts as this place was on a
dead end road in rural upstate NY and they were using the properties in
Merchant's Square in Colonial Williamsburg, VA as comps! CW was doing about
a million visitors per year, plus the College of William & Mary being across
the street, and other historic sites in the area to draw people to the
stores... If the Grist Mill was capable of pulling in 5,000 people per year
I'd be shocked. BTW, that property didn't sell for the million. The son took
it over and sold it some years later for, as I recall, $350,000. ;~)
Woodcraft is kind of like Subway sandwich shops... the company makes money
on everything but the owners of the franchises are often making trivial
wages for themselves. Some year ago there was a Wall St Journal article on
Subway that laid out how most of the franchises did poorly for the owners
but if they owned a bunch of them it was possible to make decent money.
About the same time the local paper interviewed the owner of the local
Subway and he figured he was making about minimum wage after all was said
John Grossbohlin wrote:
> I'm down in Ulster county (work in Schenectady) and the Kingston
> Woodworker's Warehouse was one of the best stores in the whole chain...
Since you work in Schenectady, does that mean you also have the monogram
tattooed on each cheek?
On 1 Dec 2006 09:54:42 -0800, "Never Enough Money"
Without an excellent location you may be in serious trouble starting a
store. Plus, you will work 60+ hours a week. I'd definitely shop
more at the nearest Woodcraft store if it wasn't so far away. I buy
90% of my needs online, except for wood which I get free or make a
purchase twice a year. Gasoline costs are just too high to drive my
truck long distances and I don't expect that to change much.
I spent over 20 years in retail, owning a bicycle store. AFter my
experience, I want to comment on two different points of view.
First, many people have pointed out the pitfalls of owning your own
store. Those pitfalls are real, not imagined. There are long hours, no
job security. The income stream is questionable and unknowable in
advance. Getting good employees is difficult (I had 11). Dealing with
bookkeeping issues,regulations, marketing decisions, banking options are
all difficult and each contains its own learning curve, As the owner of
a small business, it strongly behooves you to, if not master, then at
least have decent skills in all of those areas. It's the ultimate
"jack-of-all-trades" job -- owning a small business.
You need your eyes wide open regarding the downside of business
ownership. The downside buries more business entrepreneurs than enables
On the upside however, business ownership is a complete rush. You are
master of your small universe. If you prove to have the entrepreneurial
skillsets necessary to succeed, then ownership is wonderful. If your
product is right, your location is right, you know and understand your
product, demonstrate good interpersonal customer skills, you can do very
well. Most don't. Some do. It's not easy, but you only live once and I
think people should follow their dreams if the opportunity presents
itself. This could be yours.
I sold my store when I was 44 years old and am glad I did. I was tired
of retail, and frankly wanted to spend all of my time with my son (then
7 yrs old) and in the shop making furniture.
Good luck with your decision.
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