More jobs than a one man band..... anyone else have this much on their task sheet.

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ThorpyFXThorpyFX Frets: 4152
edited June 21 in Made in the UK
I'll start this little piece by saying firstly I've put this in Guitar so people actually see it (rather than made in the UK-sorry @Roland ;;) and secondly .... I bloody love what I do for a living. However.... today has been a strange day and as such I found myself pondering the meaning of life.

In my last Job in the Army, I was very busy, I was responsible for the explosive safety of Europes biggest Explosives depot and these responsibilities included looking after large numbers of Soldiers, Officers and civilians. It was fantastic fun and made easier because I had a incredible team of staff that worked for me...

Fast forward to today. I realised that I am one of only 3 people in this company and that I have to be able to do pretty much everything. What does this mean? well in short I have to be able to do all of the following:

  • Circuit design (Core Business)
  • Pedal Building (Core Business)
  • Pedal Testing (Core Business)
  • Pedal wrapping (Core Business)
  • Shipping (Core Business)
  • Stock management (parts, components etc inc ordering, collecting and delivering) (Core Business)
  • Pedal artwork
  • Box artwork
  • Website design
  • Product Photography
  • Photo editing
  • Videography
  • Video Editing
  • Sound engineering
  • PA skills  (inc email, messaging, phone calls)
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Accounting (inc Taxes, Wages, Bills, Invoicing)
  • Helping industry friends.( Core Business) 

As I said above, I love my Job as a pedal designer/manufacturer but as a small business owner I do not have the luxury of being able to subcontract all of these tasks out like i was able to in my last job. So all of these things have to be done to the highest standards possible, and as such I have had to teach myself all of the skills that aren't marked as Core Business above.

I say this because ultimately I am no different to any of the small business on this forum, they all have had to do the same. In case anybody is wondering, some of these extra things are bloody hard, especially when you are a total NEWB (and this from someone who has a Masters Degree in rocket science) to the field.

Anyway, I guess my point is this, please try and appreciate some of the (smaller) companies and people in this industry if you can, we work hard at 20 different jobs just so we can give you guitar gear of one kind or another, Criticise if you think it necessary or constructive but bare in mind that is just one of the jobs the individuals have on their worksheets for that day and TBH we are unlikely to be amazing at them all.


Anyway, two of the jobs above were done at the end of this day. I'm getting better at photography and editing. still nowhere near @FelineGuitars and @RiftAmps but I'm happy with this:


https://i.imgur.com/ZjkxEui.jpg










Adrian Thorpe MBE | Owner of ThorpyFx Ltd | Email: thorpy@thorpyfx.com | Twitter: @ThorpyFx | Facebook: ThorpyFx Ltd | Website: www.thorpyfx.com
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  • stonevibestonevibe Frets: 2918
    You are a seriously skilled person, and it would appear also a very busy one as well. Your hard work is appreciated and you are getting rave reviews, so worth all that effort fella.

    Keep on doing what you do!
    How much does it weigh? & Does it play like butter?

    You can now read my insane guitar ramblings daily here http://www.gearnews.com
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  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5025
    Nice one @ThorpyFX ;

    As someone who is just starting out as small business owner building guitars, so much of this rings true and I appreciate there's a massive road ahead to get where i'd like to be and many other business skills I need to get my head around .....but, I absolutely LOVE it and I find myself itching to get into the workshop every morning to continue my passion! So it's even more important when someone posts a positive comment on a post or my build thread I have running currently as it really spurs me on and in my mind, validates what i'm doing. 

    It's also a big inspiration with guys like yourself, @RiftAmps, ;@lonestar etc, etc who are on the forum and knocking it out of the park for small businesses in the music instrument field, long may it continue!  
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  • SchnozzSchnozz Frets: 571
    I hereby fire you from marketing for typing there task sheet instead of their

    ...On a serious note this thread has prompted me to look through all your website's pedal videos (still going)

    It's my 30th this year and I intend to something British and from a small employer  =)
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5291
    You've missed some jobs of your glamourous list
    including toilet cleaner
    office cleaner
    chief cook and bottlewasher
    In a small enough business there are jobs you do that people just don't think about you having to do.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 483
    that list is par for the course for a small business owner, add a strong desire to things excellently and its a world of stress :)

    if your making a good profit, seeing growth, and managing not to totally lose your mind then its fair to say you are doing well.
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  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 483
    top drawer effects pedals as well, and a quite brilliant start Mr ThorpyFx, allyou need to add to the mix is a new born baby..........
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  • RabsRabs Frets: 952

    Yup.. One man business here..  And I live alone... And im looking after my sick parents... :(

    The list of stuff I have to do is endless.

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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 4915
    I currently hold down 3 very different jobs, only one of which is my own business. I have to fit my extras for company stuff in around my other two jobs. 

    I'm proud of what I do, but finding time to breath is tough! Sick days aren't an option, and for the forseeable, holidays that don't include at least one day of freelance work while I'm there are non existent. We camped for 4 nights over spring bank...but I spent 3 days doing archery instructing lol 

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3533
    Welcome to the world of having your own business...........it's not just SMALL business, even when you employ 100 people it's the same .......the buck stops with you.Same issues only bigger.......
    I instead of clicking the shutter you have to meet the photographer, agree the shoot details, agree the price, provide the props, choose the prints, pay the photographer etc etc
    The difference is the joy that you have the last word on everything........Your photos, your way, selected by you ,shot when and how you want and you set budget and timeline ..................it's not all bad !
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  • ThorpyFXThorpyFX Frets: 4152
    miserneil said:
    Nice one @ThorpyFX ;

    As someone who is just starting out as small business owner building guitars, so much of this rings true and I appreciate there's a massive road ahead to get where i'd like to be and many other business skills I need to get my head around .....but, I absolutely LOVE it and I find myself itching to get into the workshop every morning to continue my passion! So it's even more important when someone posts a positive comment on a post or my build thread I have running currently as it really spurs me on and in my mind, validates what i'm doing. 

    It's also a big inspiration with guys like yourself, @RiftAmps, ;@lonestar etc, etc who are on the forum and knocking it out of the park for small businesses in the music instrument field, long may it continue!  
    Yeah, absolutely know that feeling. I mean ultimately we are all human,we need validation as much as the next man/woman to ensure what we are doing isn't futile in our minds. BTW, I'm LOVING the forensic level of detail you are bringing to your builds... now if only you can put your hand to an SG Jr!! ;)
    Adrian Thorpe MBE | Owner of ThorpyFx Ltd | Email: thorpy@thorpyfx.com | Twitter: @ThorpyFx | Facebook: ThorpyFx Ltd | Website: www.thorpyfx.com
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  • lonestarlonestar Frets: 1839
    edited June 21
    Every word @ThorpyFX has said is absolutely correct. And learning to do all of these new jobs hasn’t been particularly easy. Well, some of them aren’t exactly hard but try getting it all into a “working day”.

    My day starts at 5am. It’s all about coffee, wet sanding and listening to some tunes. Once the kids are out to school I’ll hit the workshop and prep/finish some stuff or head to the spray booth. When spraying I tend to get set up for at least a few hours work. Although the wet sanding before hand can take a few hours alone.

    On a day like today I prepped stock to spray which took 3 hours then spent another 4 hours spraying. I came back to the house, made dinner and started wet sanding again. I finished up around 9 tonight. 

    During today, in between spraying, I answered numerous emails, took another few deposits, ordered some stock and got an invoice ready. I even made time to take my daughter to the hospital for an appointment she had. 

    So, where’s my problem? I didn’t get enough done. Simple as that. I could still be working now tbh but I can’t focus anymore. Tomorrow will be the same. It’ll be another 7 day week for me. Now i didn’t do any social media posts today because I had a good run yesterday but tomorrow I’ll squeeze something in on instagram.

    I love what I do as well. And making sure I was virtually debt free before taking this full time means I have a little less to worry about by the time my direct debits start leaving the account. 

    But the bottom line is I work 80+ hours a week and all I take is enough to cover my outgoings. I pay myself about 40-45% of what I was getting paid in my last job and I’m working double the hours (at least). 

    On the radar is an updated website with my own stamp on it, new merchandise and some new tools... hopefully. 

    Its alwaya good to like/love your job. But it’s a real test of character to have to work 2-3 times harder and as much for less than half the money you’re used to.
    Owner of SC Relics Guitars 
    www.screlics.co.uk • www.facebook.com/screlics 
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 1323
    Sounds like a tonne of hard work and motivation to boot for you guys! 

    Kudos to you all. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5025
    edited June 21
    ThorpyFX said:
    miserneil said:
    Nice one @ThorpyFX ;;

    As someone who is just starting out as small business owner building guitars, so much of this rings true and I appreciate there's a massive road ahead to get where i'd like to be and many other business skills I need to get my head around .....but, I absolutely LOVE it and I find myself itching to get into the workshop every morning to continue my passion! So it's even more important when someone posts a positive comment on a post or my build thread I have running currently as it really spurs me on and in my mind, validates what i'm doing. 

    It's also a big inspiration with guys like yourself, @RiftAmps, ;;@lonestar etc, etc who are on the forum and knocking it out of the park for small businesses in the music instrument field, long may it continue!  
    Yeah, absolutely know that feeling. I mean ultimately we are all human,we need validation as much as the next man/woman to ensure what we are doing isn't futile in our minds. BTW, I'm LOVING the forensic level of detail you are bringing to your builds... now if only you can put your hand to an SG Jr!!
    Appreciate that mate, thanks! Regarding the SG Junior, it’s certainly not out of the question.....order and you shall receive my good fellow! ;-) 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 585
    Not guitar based, but i have run my own business for nearly 10 years. It is the best way to work, nobody would ever pay me enough to go back to working for someone and I wouldn't enjoy it. 

    Every now and then things get on top of me and I get pulled in 16 different directions at once.

    However, a nice glass of chilled Chardonnay while I listen to a friend talk about the shit they have to deal with in their company always puts it in perspective.


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  • m_cm_c Frets: 368
    Running your own business does mean you have to do lots of different things, but it's usually far more rewarding than being employed.

    However I still work full time, but I do a mix of repairs, run a couple CNC machines producing a couple basic mountain bike tools, and also time sporting events.

    The past month has been absolutely crazy, despite trying my best to plan ahead.
    I had 6 events to time over the past month, and I had been working on getting stock levels up, while avoiding any major/time consuming repair jobs, as I wanted to make sure I had some time to recover/relax.

    But orders for bike bits rocketed, and my neighbours tractor decided to start pouring oil out due to the gearbox trying to self destruct, so the quiet times I had planned didn't pan out, so in the past month I only got 1 day with nothing to do. I'd spent the past week looking forward to being on late shift this week so I could at least catch up on some sleep.

    Now I'm trying to get the final parts chased up so I can get the tractor finished before I'm of on holiday in a weeks a time, as my neighbour is desperate for it back. Plus I need to find some time to get stock levels back up before I go on holiday, and I'm of timing all this weekend again.


    I'm just looking forward to being on holiday, and thinking about what new toys I can buy.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3098
    A masters in rocket science? Pah, it's not brain surgery though is it?

    Joking aside it's very grounding for people to read this sort of thing, it gives those little metal boxes we step on a lot more meaning when you understand how it got there. Good on you Sir

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 409
    Serious advice from someone 20 years in (and currently jaded as hell - not with the concept, just current personal situation): grab a copy of "The e-myth revisited" and absorb it. Most importantly work out whether you want to be an entrepreneur/empire builder, or an artisan/craftsman and start now to set your goals and structures to suit.

    Also, work out which bits you can hand-off to others, albeit paying for a service. It might cost a few quid, but if it gives you the time to do the stuff that makes the money, it's money well spent.

    And good luck - when it's going well, it's great. When it all gets on top of you, make sure you have good friends around. Sitting crying at your desk once every few years is normal ; just not too often ;)
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 4422
    And all the paid holiday leave - sick leave - Statutory Maternity Pay (and I'm sure both you and Mrs T maximized that recently !!!!!!!) - Pension contributions etc - days of in lieu after working the weeknd at shows etc  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I've been working now for 40 years full time - Most of that for myself, give or take 5 years at Academy of Sound - I don't really know any other way - Probably unemployable if I applied for a job - I love

    My God son is 18 and just left school after A levels - After an apprenticeship in local government in accounts - I fear the thought of 50 years sat in such an office, with a bland suite, getting old and bored would drive me mad

    I guess I'm lucky - I certainly don't know anything else

    Well done @ThorpyFX - and of course all the many other FB members in a similar situation, be it in the music trade or other
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  • NeilNeil Frets: 2295
    Being a small business owner is hard but being stuck in a dead end job and being told what to do is harder I would imagine.

    Rejoice in your freedom. 
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  • RiftAmpsRiftAmps Frets: 1229
    ThorpyFX said:

    Anyway, I guess my point is this, please try and appreciate some of the (smaller) companies and people in this industry if you can, we work hard at 20 different jobs just so we can give you guitar gear of one kind or another, Criticise if you think it necessary or constructive but bare in mind that is just one of the jobs the individuals have on their worksheets for that day and TBH we are unlikely to be amazing at them all.
    This.

    People on the internet are very quick to criticise things that they don't like, often confusing a subjective with an objective opinion.

    FOR EXAMPLE: I'm not a fan of Cunetto Stratocasters, I just don't like them, never have. I can't give you a defined reason for it other than "I just don't get on with them". That is my subjective opinion.

    This has no relation to the quality of the guitars themselves, which are incredibly well-made pieces of gear deserving of the reputation that they have. This is my objective opinion.

    Question: Does my subjective opinion give me the right to attack Vince Cunetto on the internet? I don't think it does. Just because I don't get on with his guitars doesn't give me the right to forum-bash him.

    Rift Amplification
    Handwired Guitar Amplifiers
    Brackley, Northamptonshire
    www.riftamps.co.uk
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  • lonestarlonestar Frets: 1839
    Well said @RiftAmps ;
    Owner of SC Relics Guitars 
    www.screlics.co.uk • www.facebook.com/screlics 
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8871
    @ThorpyFX you take a very sanguine approach to your fiscal obligations. When I worked for myself I used to say that as well as working for me I was also an unpaid tax collector. I guess that while I was reasonably good at the things you'd describe as "core business" I was crap at marketing and the like which could explain why I have reverted to being someone else's employee. I wish you well at juggling all those different jobs.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 4422
    @ThorpyFX you take a very sanguine approach to your fiscal obligations. When I worked for myself I used to say that as well as working for me I was also an unpaid tax collector. I guess that while I was reasonably good at the things you'd describe as "core business" I was crap at marketing and the like which could explain why I have reverted to being someone else's employee. I wish you well at juggling all those different jobs.
    I forgot that part of the unpaid collector of tax, mainly via VAT
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 13540

    My God son is 18 and just left school after A levels - After an apprenticeship in local government in accounts - I fear the thought of 50 years sat in such an office, with a bland suite, getting old and bored would drive me mad

    I'd feel the same way about that job, but equally I "know" I don't want to be a one-man-band.

    There was something I read years ago that's stuck with me - slightly mangled, it says that a company is an abstraction layer that enables each person to do the thing they're good at (and, slightly idealistically, enjoys doing).

    So for me the upside of working for someone else is that I can get on with designing, "selling" (in the softest sense) and occasionally commissioning stuff. I don't have to even think about accounts, leasing a building, refilling the photocopier, paying the bills and so on. There are even people to answer the phone so that the calls that get through to me are actually worth taking.

    That said I do completely understand the urge to do as much as possible oneself just so that you know it's done right.
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • hasslehamhassleham Frets: 252
    I am an excellent pedal tester. Just let me know if you need a hand :lol: 
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  • JasonJason Frets: 321
    lonestar said:
     

    Its alwaya good to like/love your job. But it’s a real test of character to have to work 2-3 times harder and as much for less than half the money you’re used to.
    Took me seven years to get back to what I earned as an employee, even that meant having to do two shows and lecturing all day on Mondays.

    Its so worth it tho' I just can't imagine working for anyone else ever again
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  • customkitscustomkits Frets: 663
    As someone who went full time in march i can honestly say it's been bloody hard going getting the workshop sorted which still needs more work before i can really get going and on top of that I'm moving in a few weeks 

    So it's 7 days a week right now but i can't see myself working for anyone, i couldn't care less about a crap job and I'm not in it for the money either 

    The satisfaction i get from making something that someone likes playing is so inspiring and keeps me going, i was going to stop a couple of years ago but a pro player friend persuaded me to keep going and I'm glad i did now


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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 4422
    live to work or work to live - a fine balance in many instances - I think in any job, if you enjoy it then remember you are in a good position, as many aren't as fortunate as yourself
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  • martinwmartinw Frets: 1893
    I can only agree with all that's been said.
    To be successful as a small business you need to be reasonably good at all of the jobs on the list, and I think that's why I'm still here after 10 years, when other amp builders have come and gone. 
    The other requirement, for me at least, is not to want to make much money! In that regard I'm lucky in that, not being the main breadwinner, I find it easier, now, to achieve a work/life balance. That didn't happen overnight though. I feel sorry for those who have to work long hours to pay bills. It becomes a very close call at that point whether you'd be happier in a 'proper' job.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1929
    Moved to Made in the UK. I’ve also removed several off-topic comments.
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