Why we don't solicit shipped-in work?
Three basic reasons.
We have been in this building for nearly 38 years. Shipped-in work requires room for the empty shipping containers, for the work that's not been finished, and for the finished work that hasn't yet been paid for. If I were to shovel out all the stuff I really should not be keeping here there still wouldn't be room for the shipping/packing/waiting-to-get-paid work. And there's not much chance I'll move out of a building that's paid for. Taking out a mortgage to expand an electronic-service business probably wouldn't look like sound business judgement to the average mortgage banker.
The skills I need for this kind of work are obsolete. Anyone old enough to have those skills is either in the ground, in a care home, can't hold his hands steady or just can't see well enough any more.
Okay, so that's an exaggeration. But you get the picture. The hired help I can obtain is what determines the length of our work backlog. Good help is hard to find. And training new help from scratch would become my full-time job If I tried to expand.
But only if I could afford to. And that's where the rubber meets the road. Staying in business for this long requires some restraint in borrowing money for expansion. Soon as you do that, you have to make payments.
If your expansion was a good gamble, the money to make those payments comes in the door. But if it doesn't, you'll be closed before long. Banks are famous for having only so much patience.
I won't get started on the whole issue of what they call "open bank credit". But I consider it too risky.
The one thing I don't publicize is the work we do for other shops. There are fewer and fewer of them left. Biggest money-wasting headache from having repairs shipped to you is damage in transit. Most people have no idea how to protect electronic devices when they pack one up to ship. The labor to unpack, document the damage, and repack it for the shipper to pick up goes unpaid. Can't afford much of that. But a pro who knows how to pack a Pride is welcome to send one here for work. I should put up a post showing how to do it, probably. Naturally this is not something I publicize widely.
But there's the "bad news" angle to consider. The total cost to ship an item here, pay me to itemize the estimate, repack and ship it back because the estimated amount was declined can easily exceed a hundred bucks.
For just bad news. Admittedly, we itemize the bad news when an estimate is judged too high to be worth repairing by the customer.
But yeah, if I had mo' money and mo' space, I would still need more trained help to get it all done.
Not as easy as it sounds.