KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Master Cabinetworks, Inc.Woohoo! If I were in good enough shape, I'd be doing cartwheels right now.

I've posted (here, here, here, and here, if not even more places) about my household morphing into one supported by two full-time freelancers; I've been freelancing for 13 years, and my husband Ed just started doing so in late October after he was laid off. You've read my tales of all that's required to incorporate a business in New York State, of getting a business loan, of our adjusting to being around each other most of 24 hours a day, and our learning to juggle who's handling which parenting and household duties and when. Well, now all that hard work has paid off: Ed's cabinetmaking business has just landed its first contract for a big project!

Yeah, he's done a few very small projects since October, but those won't keep his business bank account full enough. As his bookkeeper and as our family bookkeeper, I've been sweating bullets day and night because we've just about used up the business loan by buying equipment, paying licensing fees, and paying for several insurance policies, and we still must pay 100% of our health-insurance policy premiums, pay our accountant's monthly retainer, and pay monthly insurance-policy premiums (liability, workers' comp, disability for Ed). I've been nearly our sole financial support since October, and just a couple of weeks ago, he took a part-time night job doing driving and delivery for a grocery-delivery service; he needs days free for marketing, estimating, and doing any small cabinetmaking projects that he can garner.

He's been doing loads of cold calls and calls to potential clients that he knew through his former employer. He's sent out mailings and business cards; he's handed out Master Cabinetworks coffee mugs. We've put together several project estimates and are waiting, for all but the one I'm writing about, to hear whether he will be awarded the contracts. The estimates range from $8,000 (the one that's just been accepted) for multiple cabinets in one room to nearly $100,000 for cabinetry in multiple rooms in a mansion. Oh—when he picks up the down payment of 50% of the total job cost tomorrow, he'll be taking measurements so that he can bid on another project from the same contractor. Another woohoo or three!

I can breathe now, at least long enough to say this: If you're a freelancer, keep up the marketing, no matter how scary things look, and get damn good at estimating project fees for the potential clients who come your way. It's exhausting, time-consuming work, but if you're good at what you do, it will eventually pay off, even in an economic recession.

And I know our webmaster* will be ticked at my saying this, but I'm so happy that I don't care: Please go look at Ed's business web site, which is under construction. The placeholder page is here. The work in progress can be accessed here; note that the text on all pages is mostly just a placeholder—fake Latin—for copy I'll be supplying later. Be sure to check out the Projects page. (If you like the work you see there, just wait. Those are photos of work he did 10 or more years ago; the delicious newer stuff will eventually be shown there too.) Compare the marketing strategies used for structuring his web site versus those used for mine. If you target them, they will come. ;-)

*I say our because she redid my site several years ago and is doing Ed's too.


Stephanie E. said...

Woo-hoo indeed! You are marketing mavens (in addition to obviously being damn good at your jobs).

Imperatrix said...

Yahoo! I'm so glad the start of 2008 is so wonderful!

Unknown said...

So glad things are moving ahead!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! I love, love, love his logo and I'm so happy to hear that the bids are rolling in. :)

What terrific news!!!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thank you, my friends. You make me smile.

Ed's business taking off means that after I meet an end-of-month deadline for one of my clients, I'll have time to get back to speed walking each morning. Can't wait to feel more energetic again!

Krisan Matthews said...

What great news! Congrats :)

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thanks, Krisan. If you check back here and see my reply, please give me a holler at editor @ kokedit dot com.

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