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Upholstery – The Unsung Hero of the Dr. Vinyl Franchise System(You might want to add this to your Franchise’s Trades)

A few years ago our Franchise was “pushed” into the upholstery and wheel business by the relentless calls mostly from dealers and a handful of restaurants. My boss said he would take on one trade if I would take on the other. When I got the upholstery side of the deal I thought I had it made and would get very few calls. I thought this will not interfere, at all, with my interior work at my normal dealership stops. That relief didn’t last long. Restaurants started calling, slowly at first. It seemed I would get a call, service the account, and get a good grasp on their needs by repeated visits. It seemed I had just enough time at first to learn one restaurant’s needs before the next would call. As time progressed the calls increased. I was unsure how the word got out about our ability to do upholstery. I certainly wasn’t telling anyone and our Franchise never did any advertising, but the calls kept coming anyway. I suspected restaurant managers sharing their upholstery contacts with other restaurants or managers moving from one restaurant chain to another, but I was wrong. It was Dr. Vinyl Corporate! Those guys receive calls all the time and they were directing them to us if the work was anywhere near us. Those guys at corporate were not aware of my work avoidance tactics. We started working upholstery in our home town and it has grown to working in multiple states. I will have to admit as much as I fought the change, it is very profitable, not to mention convenient work. The cutting, the sewing, and the installing are mostly done inside regardless of weather. I know all you techs have to admit that sounds very comfortable to say the least. It is also very convenient. If it rains one morning, I can easily go to a restaurant before they open and recover some booths that I have sewn. When I am done or when they are ready to open to the public, I can head to my car lots if the rain has passed. If it continues raining, I can go back to the shop to sew the next job. There is very little interference with your car lot work. The car lots like for you to come during the daylight hours and the restaurants want you to come during the hours the are normally closed to the public. Some want you to work only from 8 to 11 am, others from 11pm to 11 am, while still others are open 24 hours a day and just ask you to avoid their busiest times of the day. This type of schedule has really helped me to make the most of my time. I can sew and install when it is convenient for me and continue working my car lots. Today, I am a little removed from the Interior side of Dr. Vinyl. I still work some car lots so that I can train new interior techs that my boss hires. However, I now have many restaurant accounts that I service. I have also trained several upholstery techs to handle the workload we have in our Franchise area. We now have 5 techs that work interiors and some form of upholstery as well. This can be a very profitable side of the business. This trade is one that seems to be dying out. Most of the upholsterers I know are older guys who are slowing retiring or at least getting out of the business. It seems like the perfect time for our Franchise, and possibly yours, to enter the trade and fill the void. Think about it.
I almost forgot the best part, the profitability side of the trade. To steal a line from the previous post by Buster Coppage, in the Upholstery business I say “It’s all about the Clevelands” because Grover Cleveland is the guy on the $1000 bills.