tlzimmerman

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tlzimmerman last won the day on October 14 2011

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About tlzimmerman

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  • Birthday 01/10/1986

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    Hays, KS
  1. Repectfully requesting some guidance

    No...Thats on the list when i get some time to do multiple color tutorials, time has been tight lately though because my first kiddo should be here any day.....so you can imagine. I am working at my real job today trying to get ahead so I can take some time off. To answer though, no you shouldn't have to do that each time, a couple things to watch for. 1. Don't import an svg into flexi.....it doesn't support that type, the only reason I save it as an svg is so I can edit it again in inkscape because once its exported as an eps inkscape will not edit it anymore. 2. Make sure all the raster images you traced and such are removed from the document before you save. Everything should be a vector when you save, grab the node edit tool and click on everything, make sure the nodes show up. Also zoom way out, sometimes you leave something off screen when you work and that can cause your problems. My flexi won't import things unless its all vector. 3. Keep the file names short, my flexi won't open anything over like 8-10 characters in the file name....and I have no idea why. Not sure if this is across the board or if its just me on that one though. Good luck, keep working, looks like you are getting somewhere!
  2. My family dose not like the "sound of money!" When im cutting late at night LOL mine either, but I just tell them if they would come help....it wouldn't take as long.... ZING!
  3. 100 small decals

    And I thank you for your viewpoints as well, I enjoy conversations with differing viewpoints where things don't get personal or nasty. Viewpoints like yours can make me look at my models sometimes as well and wondering if I shouldn't charge more.....like I said its a fine line to walk, for all of us.
  4. Repectfully requesting some guidance

    On how to vectorize, here is a thread with several videos I have done showing you how to create a vector file(eps) from a raster(jpeg, png, gif..etc). They all use inkscape, which is free. Its another program that does the same thing as illustrator, I have both and prefer inkscape actually for vinyl work. Even if you don't use inkscape watching the one about path, strokes, and fills, will help you understand the difference between a vector file and a raster file. http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php/topic,27470.0.html I would keep the cutter you have, it will work just fine for getting started. Then if you want to contour cut in the future you can cross that bridge when you get there. Flexi is great software......you'll get it figured out! I also second the advice, go grab any .eps file from the graphics sharing thread, import it and make that cutter go, it will get you inspired!
  5. 100 small decals

    Hey, I completely understand where you are coming from as well and respect it, and alot of people misunderstand me when it comes to pricing philosophies. I understand overhead, and I understand that you have to cover your overhead, and make a good profit. Don't get me wrong, thats what we are all out here to do, but I see a profit in that job priced where I priced it, I will make $35 an hour on that job (estimate, if I could knock it out in an hour, heck thats closer to $50 an hour), my average is somewhere around $60-75 per hour, which after taxes and expenses leaves me with take home around $25-30 per hour or so, which to me is good money for the work I do. Sure some jobs come in lower (like this one), but this customer is going to walk out of my door thinking he got a square, or even a good deal, customers who leave my door going "dang that was expensive, but this is really nice stuff!" Don't come back as often in my experience, or give as glowing of referrals. The problem I have is just because I have good prices, doesn't meant that I use lesser materials or have inferior service, to assume that or make that correlation is just fundamentally wrong. Sure an outsider comparing the two will think "how is he so much cheaper?" Thats where my reputation for good communication, fast service, good prices, and a quality product come in. Most of my customers were referred by someone who is very happy with the final product. You ask me why i would want to be the guy who cuts corners for price....but I'm not that guy, far from it actually. I am the guy who does quality work at good prices......and I am the guy who consistantly has customers who say "man XXX company down the street did these for me last year, and they were 3x as expensive and I like the ones you made better...thanks!". I do want to be that guy, and it makes me proud to be that guy. I also counter with being higher than the other guys can give customers the perception that he is high priced, and too proud, and doesn't want to work as hard for his money..etc etc. It goes both ways. As far as eroding the industry......I am not in this for the betterment of the industry as a whole, nor do I want to make it easy for the guy down the street to compete with me. I am in this for myself, and to make money.....if the other guys have a hard time competing, or I put sign shops out of business or hurt their bottom line.....then I am being a successful businessman. There may be a time that I am so busy that I can't keep up any more and actually get more than 5 hours of sleep in a night....when I hit that point I will look at my prices again, and probably think about raising them, maybe you are at that point, but I'm not yet. I am trying to walk the line to grow my business as fast as I can, while still making money, and I am doing pretty good at that so far. You say "I would rather do one $300 job than four $75 jobs to make the same profit. Leaves me with way more time to do more of those $300 jobs in that day and/or spend time with my wife and kids more. Does that make sense?" And I don't disagree with that, its a good philosophy, but I am willing to do that $300 job your doing for $200....and my 3 other $75 jobs as well making a solid profit on all of them, and I am willing to do it because I know it competes with you as my competitor. Sure I worked harder maybe for the same money, but that doesn't bother me I guess. All I can say is its working for me, my business is growing, and I'm making money....for anyone who is reading this.....both ways can work, there is not one of us who is right or wrong in this discussion, find what works best for you and your market, and go with it.
  6. punch text into object

    Put the text on whatever it is you are punching out of, make sure the text is a path (choose path union to do this). Highlight both, choose path, difference.
  7. 100 small decals

    I'm not undercutting myself IMO, I am undercutting the sign shops in town that overcharge. Thats probably around $35 an hour after expenses from what I figure doing them at .75 ea. Sure thats not getting rich, but its work, and the fact of the matter is the guy I did them for for .75 would be much happier than the person you did them for for $2 each....word of mouth and return customers are my bread and butter, and they don't brag about you unless they feel like you do good work at a good price, thats what I strive to offer. There is a fine line between underpricing, overpricing, and hitting it perfect, and .75 ea might be a little on the low side, maybe $1 ea might be closer to perfect, but I just don't feel like the work I do is so special as to require $50-$100 an hour for my labor for every job, some I can make that, others I can't, especially these small jobs where guys are looking for quantity discounts. At the end of a day, charge a price that makes you money and keeps you busy, that may be different for me than it is for many others. I would take my $75, and knock it out in an hour and a half, deliver to the customer with a handshake and a couple business cards, and wait for the next set of referrals to come from him. You can also bet the next time he needs anything done, this job or another, he comes straight to me. If I charge $2 ea, he probably pays it, but he might also do some shopping around next time he needs something done, and who knows that might be a $2000 dollar job. Referrals and return customers keep my business going, not an extra $50 for every job I do by raising prices. Please keep in mind this is only one guys opinion, there are lots of ways to run a successful sign business.
  8. kimmy from Cali

    Or it gives me the benefit of having to stay up all night after I finish work at my real job, heehee, but yeah at least I'm cumfy.
  9. Vinyl lifting off duriong cutting

    How big is the letters that are lifting, and what type of font. I have a feeling you are trying to cut something very small?
  10. 100 small decals

    My quote was for a non friend customer. If it was a friend that wanted a deal I would make them weed them, but I would cut them for a good price! LOL
  11. kimmy from Cali

    Welcome from the middle of freaking nowhere Kansas . And people wonder why all my business is mail order .
  12. Pretty sweet looking. If you don't mind me asking, who and how is someone going to cut the mirror for the inside, I am not that great with glasswork but I assume you are doing it somehow? Would love to see how you cut curved glass to fit like that.
  13. Cover over the ridge with vinyl or app tape, the ridge on a refine is the front ruler...hate that thing and peeled it off right away, couldn't stand the vinyl snagging on it every time forwards and backwards.
  14. Good type of vinyl for PRINTING decals??

    If its a roll printer, I would look into sihl vinyl, they make inkjet printable. MacTac also makes rolls of it. If you are looking for sheets, look into papillo. Those are the ones I have seen used on here.
  15. I've been doing it about a year and a half. Always remember for the refine, if you get one with issues, you have to pay to ship it back to USC for service/return, weigh that in your decision when you buy, thats a chance you always have to consider when dealing with these machines. I think the vast majority of users are happy though. I notice they don't have the 24" refine on the website right now, wonder if they are out or something....I think they sell a ton of them.