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31Arts

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I have been thinking about hiring someone for casting production of mugs, plates, etc. I simply do not know the most effective way to go about this. Adds? Networking through friends? Events? Is it more effective to buy ready made bisque plates, mugs, etc. Glaze and resell?  My main objective is to expand, and create another source of income. 

I am currently in the process of testing some molds , and exploring the process of making some molds. Ideally I would like to temporarily partner up with someone who is interested in pottery production. Then split up and head separate ways. 

 I have pushed myself to work longer hours and it clearly affects my productivity. So, i have hit a wall. I have hired people for small jobs, but never a part time, or full time employee. 

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I am a full time  self employed artist with a pretty basic and growing knowledge of business.  I specialize in making small gong fu teapots. Website link is for reference, not advertising. (www.tsutsumiteapots.com) My main market is online. 99% of my work is sold via Instagram.

 I look forward to increasing my knowledge and becoming a part of this community.

Thank you 

Art

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My thought as I used to long ago have slip casting business on the side was this person does not need many skills if you are going to train them. If you need a skilled casting person that will raise the bar very high.

Anyone can be thought mold making and casting/pouring.No special skill needed.We hired from a group of friends but an ad would work and then you interview them for the best pick. Finding good people is hard

I'm on a hiring committee(all board members) just now finding a Fair director to run our local show-3 of us worked up our questions and will talk story with applicants next week.

The skill part is picking the right person

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When I try to look up TSUTSUMI.I get it as a surname and literally gift giving, I am curious what the backstory is? Are you throwing these now? Is demand out pacing what you can throw, trim and glaze? 

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On 10/22/2018 at 8:27 AM, Stephen said:

When I try to look up TSUTSUMI.I get it as a surname and literally gift giving, I am curious what the backstory is? Are you throwing these now? Is demand out pacing what you can throw, trim and glaze? 

Look up tsutsumiyaki. http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/japanese-crafts/?act=detail&id=255&p=4&c=31

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Be extremely cautious about running an ad.  My brother and I have had well over 2000 employees over different businesses and have NEVER run an ad.    In some states, ads can bring up legal issues and bring in totally undesirables.   I would have to say don't do it.   I think just ask around is better.

You will make a lower percentage of the selling price with an employee.   Be sure you gauge production ratios starting day one.     They have to produce a certain amount or you will not make more money or could actually lose money.   I had an employee tell me that if they were producing $300 a day (in glazing), I was still making plenty of money.   They figured that at  paying them $10/hour for 8 hours , I was clearing $220.  What a dumb @%&*.  Needless to say, I got rid of them as quick as I found a "good " reason.  Just say you were paying that for production as well and I figure in materials & electric costs at 25% ($75), the numbers would fall out as 80 + 80 + 75 would equal to a miserable gross margin of $65.    You still have to sell it.    $8.25 in cc fees.   You're got store or booth costs as well.   Plus I did all the loading/unloading & getting to sales area.  NO.  I am not doing all this work to make less than $50 and some slug making $80 just to glaze the product.    Know your production numbers up front.  Remember that you will be the one picking up the work or paying someone else to slide the product to the final sale.

I've found this ^ to be the biggest issue in pottery production employees.   I've had some that would literally put out 3 to 4X more than others.   That said, I have some GREAT employees right now.   They are top notch and feel they are well compensated.  I never had to worry about this in my mall stores .. they just needed to look good, show up, be nice to customers and not steal. 

I've never had much success hiring people that "needed" a job.  Hiring full time employees that were unemployed has never worked for me.  Especially right now with unemployment being at a low, anyone that is capable of holding a job, has one.  Part times have been one of my most successful hires.    I had a school teacher that worked for me for 15 years in another business ... it was a great deal for me, and suited them well too.   I would start with a part time.   Someone that wants a 2nd job or someone that doesn't "have to work" but wants a little extra money and something to do.  (college students, bank tellers, school teachers, retirees and people that don't have to work) Giving employees flexibility of working hours, time off, etc.  goes a long way in attracting and keeping  good hires.

In all the employees I've had, I've only lost one that I really didn't want to see go.   It was really early in my retail career and I just didn't have a benefit package to offer.   I've had some turn over but I'm usually glad to see them leave (hate to say that). 

Hiring someone that wants to make their own "stuff" has NEVER worked for me.  100% of them have used my time and resources to do it.   Always resulting in the quickest termination I can justify.  I couldn't see  this situation working for me " temporarily partner up with someone who is interested in pottery production. Then split up and head separate ways. "   I did have someone that made mugs for me, which I purchased at a set price.  This worked great but they moved 1000 miles away to go back to school.

Another thing, anyone I have hired that I didn't really know or do a back ground check on,  has RARELY worked out.   I have one person working for me now that I have know for like literally 50 years (and I'm 61 lol).  I didn't do a back ground check but of course, I knew their personal back ground and community reputation.    Three years ago, I hired someone on impulse, that seemed polished and had good community relations.  Didn't check them out, but IF I had, I would NOT have hired and let them go quickly.  You would not believe how many back ground checks have NOT been favorable.   Either you know the person really well, or check.

Some states have really strict laws on hiring.  Mississippi is "Hire at Will"  (and "Fire at Whim" might be added to that).   At one time I hired in Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee and made sure I reviewed laws in those states.  So review the laws in your state.

Edited by DirtRoads

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I will certainly agree that fully understanding the labour code in your area is important as a business owner. Not everyone is a good fit for every job, and knowing when and how to end a working relationship legally protects both you and your employee. Setting out clear expectations for employees and offering training to get them to that point is part and parcel of being a boss. 

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