Monday, December 31, 2007


Jim Sharp is NOT a political site, it's a small business site!! So please don't think I'm promoting a particular candidate in this post! That's not my intent!! What I will be doing, from time-to-time during 2008, is dropping links on Jim Sharp that deal with issues that should concern any small business person!

This one is about Tax Reform. At the end of his post, Jeff said, " fuel an entrepreneurial economy we need to not only simplify the system, but also cut the tax rates." I agree, I'm just not sure if a national sales tax is the way to do it! Read the article over and then start researching other candidates positions on the issues of taxes and how they relate to small business and our economy!

Friday, December 28, 2007


I just got a call from Andrew Wolff. He asked me to let all of you know that he is in the process of redesigning the Barber, Beauty and Grooming Shears section of the Wolff Website.

Things may get a little squerrilly for a while, so please be patient. He is working on loading all the Kenchii and 44/20 Shears onto the site, and this will take some time. A few weeks he thinks.

If you have any questions or suggestions for Andrew, you can reach him by e-mail at


Would you agree that looking professional is important? I hope everyone is saying yes!! And a nice logo can help with that professional image!

Most sharpeners market on a shoestring budget! That's why I thought you might be interested in this cool Logo Design Site I found! Ad Agencies charge a bundle to design logos, and graphic designers, while more reasonably priced, are still outside the budget range for many!

Logo Creator lets you design your own logo for as little as $39.00. You can do it right on their site and then you can download it in EPS and JPEG formats. (EPS works best for cards and shirts, JPEG for websites and documents).

Hop over and take a look! You may find a design that interests you!

The Google Logo pictured above is one of the most recognized logos in the world!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It never ceases to amaze me what small business people will do to promote their businesses! Take this years "Shopdropping" craze for example! What is shopdropping? Let me explain...

Shopdropping, also known as reverse shoplifting, is the practice of dropping products or business ads in high traffic retail spots. Three examples of this would be:

1. A personal trainer dropping cards in a weight loss magazine.

2. A local musician dropping free promotional CDs on the racks at Starbucks.

3. An author dropping self-published books on book store shelves.

These may seem like clever ideas, but this practice can get dangerous. If you read through this article, you'll see that some people even go as far as creating mock products to put on store shelves! The man that makes that action figures worries me a little!!!!!

Now it may be tempting to stick your cards in a few beauty magazines around town, and it may even work to your advantage from time-to-time! But PLEASE look at other marketing opportunities! There are plenty!! If you need some ideas, click over to this post for a great book on marketing or click on the marketing link in the categories section on the right hand side of this blog.

Shopdropping is a devious way to market, and deviousness DOES NOT inspire trust! One of the best pieces of advice I've received from one of my sharpener friends is, "The most importing thing in this business is getting your customers to trust you. The second most important thing is keeping that trust!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I'm back and I'm off and running! I had a great Christmas and hope you did too!

I've had one disappointment since I've been back though! I've hit a brick wall concerning the show in Atlanta. Both hotel are way overpriced on their room rentals! I'm still in negotiations with one, but I may have to pursue some other options. My plan for now is to keep it in Atlanta, but if this falls completely apart, Charlotte NC may be another option.

Sorry about this! I said in my December 18th post that I was hoping to have a date for the next show right after Christmas, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen! I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 21, 2007


The end of my time off is just around the corner and I've had a blast with my kids! It's nice to just take a few days to spend with my family without "plans"! (I usually need another vacation when I'm done with "plans"!)

When my wife and I got up this morning, we jumped online to catch up on the news and ran across this article. I thought it summed up the spirit of Christmas, so I'm sharing it with you.

Most likely, this will be my last post until after Christmas Day. Thanks for reading my blog, it's hard for me to believe that the hit count is almost up to 23000! Enjoy your time with your friends and family!!

Merry Christmas!!!

PS - The little ones in the picture above are my daughter Mia and my youngest son Aidan. Their older brother Ian designed Santa's beard. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Now don't panic!!!! They aren't closing for good, just for the holidays!

Kenchii will be closed starting this Saturday through the News Years Day. They will reopen on January 2nd.

The photo included in this post is complements of my visit while checking out hotels in Atlanta for the Wolff/Huff Show. I think Andrew looks pretty slick in his new hat!:)

It looks like I found a good hotel! I'm just waiting on a proposal from them. I should have a date after Christmas.

Remember! I'm on vacation this week, so that's why my posts have been more infrequent.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Tomorrow I head down to Atlanta, GA for the day! I'm going to check out hotels for the next Wolff/Huff Show!

Since I haven't even found a hotel yet, I obviously don't have any exact dates yet. My plan is to try to schedule this one sometime in March. As soon as I have a date, I post it here on Jim Sharp.

I seriously doubt I will find the time to post tomorrow, so I'll shoot you a message next week. Next weeks post may be a little slim too though, I'm take a few days off before Christmas! :)

Photo complements of

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I met a friend of mine for lunch yesterday. Every time we get together we have at least one conversation about the sharpening business. The conversation lead to me saying, "I love my job! I can't think of anything more satisfying than helping sharpeners get started in the business! In my opinion, sharpening is one of the best professions in the world!" (Click here to see some of the teaching and training I do.)

Well that got me to thinking, what are some of the things that make the sharpening business great? Here are are few of my answers:

1. Freedom!
The sharpening business provides more flexibility than any other business I know!

2. Set Your Own Schedule!
This falls right in line with freedom and flexibility! While we're somewhat constrained by the time of day our customers are open (if we're mobile or pick-up/drop-off), you can still pick the number of days you wish to work each week or month.

3. Very Hunter-Gatherer!
This is both the scary and exciting thing about the sharpening business! You never know what you'll make from day-to-day!

4. Multiple Prospects!
There are all kinds of places you focus on in the sharpening business! Here's a short list! Beauty Salons, Groomers, Barbers, Fabric Shops, Upholsterers, Autobody Trim Shops, Window Coverings Mfg., Boat Cover Mfg., Awning Mfg, Schools and more. In fact, I have a list of 140 places you can go to sharpen just shears alone! E-mail me and I'll send you a PDF copy of the list!

5. Multiple Ways to Make Income!
You can just sharpen! You can sharpen and sell shears and/or clipper blades! You can do both of these and sell other sundries that apply to your target customers! That's the beauty of the sharpening business! There are all kinds of opportunities right in front of you!

6. Multiple Ways to Run Your Business!
You can go mobile and bring your service right to your customers door! You can pick-up and drop-off! You can start a mail-order business! There are all kinds of ways to set up your sharpening business!

I don't want to over-do this! There are many more reason why I love the sharpening business, but I also want to hear from you! Add to this list in the comments section below! It's easy! Just click on comments and type your reply in the box on the right. If you don't have a Google Account, just choose either "Nickname" or "Anonymous" to post your reply.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I started my day quickly reading over my favorite blogs. One that caught my eye was about why people hate money. It was an OK post, but what I didn't like about it was it implied, to some degree, that money can make us happy; which simply is not true. In Jon's defense, he plans to follow up this post with another one that will clarify some things. I look forward to reading it! But I don't want to belabor the point about money! I'll let you read the post and form your own opinion about the subject. But this post did get me thinking about making money, so I decided to talk about business creativity again.

Another post I read today spoke of a book I think I may purchase. It's titled BMOC and is written by Warren Meyer. It is is a fictional book that contains a number of interesting business ideas, including an outlandish one called fountain coin harvesting. Warren put an in excerpt of it in his blog, Coyote Blog. Read it, it's pretty cool! Now would this really work? I don't know, but it is a creative idea that takes advantage of opportunities that are often right in front of us.

Many people focus on their circumstances, like in the first post I mentioned. But you can see by this fictional example, that with a little creative thought, you can find money all around you!

Now how does this translate into something useful to sharpeners? If our focus is on our circumstances...

"You feel trapped by your financial circumstances - Your life [stinks], but you can’t figure a way out of it. You’re trapped by your finances."

"You feel guilty about your income - You’re a smart person, and you should really be earning more than you are..."

...we'll lose heart! But if we focus on the opportunities right in front of us, we'll have a better chance of improving those circumstances! Especially if you look at those opportunities with a creative mindset!

Not creative? Want to learn to be? Try one of my favorite books about Business creativity, ThinkerToys. I wrote about this book in a post back in September. It is excellent! And it will help you train your mind to work out problems you encounter in business, instead of viewing them as obstacles! I can't say it's a fun book to read (it kind of reads like a text book), but the information is well worth the time investment of reading it!

Now I know I've gone from money to creativity, and the two may seem worlds apart sometimes! But what I'm trying to get at is if you're not satisfied with the circumstances you find yourself in, there are plenty of opportunities to change that! Look for needs that you can meet for your customers that others don't see! Look for ways to market your business that's unique and sets you apart!

Most people just flounder around doing the same thing day after day. If you do this, will your circumstances change? NO WAY!!! With the new year coming up, make it a point to make a goal to invest in some Creativity Training!

Monday, December 10, 2007


As you know, we've been selling off our line of Ookami® Beauty Shears. We are now sold out on many of the models! Here is a run down of what we have left in stock:

Ookami® 300 Series
303 - 25
310 - 22
320 - 16

Ookami® 400 Series
403 - 9
404 - 40
422x - 10
425 - 3
426 - 32
427L - 55

All other 300 and 400 models are discontinued. The 300 series shears listed above are 40% off the wholesale price and the 400 series shears are 50% off the wholesale price. If you go online, and you don't have an online account with Wolff, you'll see the full retail price. Call for wholesale pricing or if you have any questions. The number is 1-800-888-3832.

We will start ordering the Wolff® 200 Series Beauty Shears in multiple lengths after the first of the year.

Don't forget! Wolff also sells the Kenchii® Line of Shears and we now carry the 44/20® Line as well. Look for more in the future!!!


Seth Godin wrote an excellent post on his blog yesterday! It is a MUST SEE for all sharpeners! I tell all my students that sharpening is sales! More often than not, you're selling yourself or tools that will make your customers life easier!

The hard part about this is to keep on keeping on (as we say in the south)! Getting told no, over and over, can wear on you. Seth makes a good point about this and challenges us to keep going back for more!

Read this post over and let me know what you think in my comments section.

Friday, December 7, 2007


You'll notice that in the post Mobile Sharpening, Barry Chapman left a comment talking about his wide-body ambulance. I called him the other day and got his permission to put some pictures of his ambulance on Jim Sharp.

I interviewed Barry a few years ago in On The Edge about his rig and the article was very well received! You can tell he put a lot of time and thought into this unit! It is one of the finest I've seen! Thanks for letting me share Barry!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


OK! Maybe this post is silly, maybe even a little dumb! But because I live in South Carolina, after being raised in Rhode Island, pronunciation is a subject I have to deal with every day!

Because I grew up in Rhode Island, people are always telling me I don't know how to talk (pronounced "tawk" in my language). This has been a challenge for me, since most of what I do is dealing with the public. I especially struggle with my accent when I speak! That's why, when I found this website, I had to laugh and pass it on to all of you!

While I got a kick out of this, there is some value in it! If you do speak publicly like I do, and many sharpeners do at industry schools, this site is a good place to hear how you SHOULD be pronouncing different words. Maybe not your everyday words, but how about words like "molybdenum", a metal mixed with stainless that helps overcome brittleness? Or how about two other good words like "vanadium" which improves hardenability and texture, and "manganese" which increases durability in stainless?

While you might not use a site like this every day, save it in your favorites so you can learn how to pronounce those tough words too!

Image: desireedelgado

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


One things about the sharpening business, if you're good at what you do it can explode!!!! Has your sharpening business become more than you thought it would be? If not now, it is likely it will in the future!

Here is a great post by Jeff Cornwall. It gives some solid advice about remembering why you got into business in the first place and that there's more to life than just work! Sharpening can become consuming if you let it! DON'T!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007


Many sharpeners are, or are thinking about, mobile sharpening! For the scissors, clipper blade and knife side of the sharpening industry, it is a GREAT way to go! But that also means buying a vehicle!

Are you thinking about buying a van or other vehicle to set up your shop in? There are many places to go, but two of my favorites are Government Fleet Vehicle Auctions and a great website that promotes used ambulances that are for sale.

The best place to find information on US Fleet Vehicles Auctions is GSA Fleet Vehicle Sales. They are a division of the federal government that offers quality U.S. Government owned cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans to the public at a reasonable price. Click on the calendar tab at the top of their site to find an auction near you.

The other site is The name tells it all. They are a good place to start if you're looking for a used ambulance and you're not comfortable going the eBay route.

There are no guarantees you'll end up with a good vehicle when you buy used, but at least it is understood that most fire departments and government divisions maintain their vehicles. There is NOT a huge savings if you buy a vehicle from either of these options (although you can find some great deals), but both are a good place to start looking. Click on the comment link below if you have other suggestions about good places to look for a mobile sharpening vehicle.

If you're in the market for any of the Wolff  sharpening machines, be sure to give me a call before you buy. I know all the best places to buy at the best price! Call 864-381-8697 or email me at

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