The 7 Secrets to Operating a Successful Gunsmithing Business–Part 2

Gene Kelly head Shotby Gene Kelly, President of AGI

In the conclusion to this important article, AGI President Gene Kelly tells us his secrets for running a successful and profitable business. This is great information not only for those of you running a gunsmithing business, but any business at all. If you missed Part 1, click here to read the first three secrets.

Knowing how to rapidly do repairs & customizing work

I won’t spend a lot of time on this point as it is what the entire American Gunsmithing Course is all about. But in brief, you must be able to understand the firearms design, quickly analyze the problem and then make the proper repair. That’s what AGI’s Professional Design, Function and Repair Gunsmithing Course will teach you how to do. If you haven’t watched the Professional Course Introductory video lesson, then go to for complete details.

Understanding the Lifetime Value of a Customer

To acquire a new customer takes time and some expense. A satisfied existing customer will bring you business for many years and at very little cost in marketing. Again let’s do some simple math. Let’s say that a customer’s gunsmithing job is $100. He is happy with the work you did for him, but you only did that one job and you never see him again.

That customer was worth just $100 dollars to you. But most gun owners own a lot of guns, so what if you kept in contact with that same customer, and he did $100 worth of business with you twice a year for 20 years. The “lifetime” value of THAT customer would now be $4,000! Now what if you could increase the transaction size (dollar amount) of each job and do work for them more often? That same customer could now have a “lifetime value” of easily over $10,000. How many of those customers would you need to meet your financial goals?

BUT, you have to have a simple way to keep them coming back again and again spending more and more money. I will reveal how to do exactly that in the Business Success Tool Box Package which is available with the AGI Master Gunsmithing Course.

Extracting maximum benefits from the business, “Tax Free”!

Quite frankly I am like most everyone else and really hate to pay Taxes. But I do. However, first I take every legal deduction I can so that I pay less. You probably could too, by legally deducting many of the expenses that you are already spending your hard earned money on, such as your truck or car, phones, computers, guns, ammo, range fees and memberships, travel, meals, rent, tools and many other items, as long as they become legitimate business expenses. As a part-time or fulltime Gunsmith many of these items do become write-offs and business deductions. You will need to check with your personal tax advisor and everyone’s situation is different so this is NOT legal advice. But in an Audio interview with a CPA & Tax Specialist we reveal “Tax Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know.” Again, it is in our Business Package and education is the key.

Leveraging your time and resources

O.K. So how can you make more money per hour? Well, I have a number of proven answers to this question and I am only going to share a couple of them with you here. First of all you can charge “flat rate” per job and get faster at the work itself. (AGI developed an exclusive Gunsmith’s Flat Rate Manual showing you what to charge per type of job; it is included with the Master Gunsmithing Course.) Second you can batch your work, doing similar jobs at the same time, for example; bluing, trigger jobs, bedding, etc. You organize your time & tools and therefore get more done faster. Another biggie is knowing what jobs NOT to take. Trust me, knowing how to make this proper decision will keep you out of the poor house!

Other ways of increasing your income and leveraging your time are: You can have other gunsmiths work for you on a percentage basis, you can specialize in customizing certain types of guns, getting higher dollars for those projects, and you can implement simple processes that maximize your efficiency. Combine a dozen other methods and this can result in huge growth in income with more freedom if you want it to.

Hopefully this information was helpful to you and makes you realize there is more to being a successful gunsmith than just knowing how to turn a screwdriver. But it isn’t really all that complicated if you know what to do. I have so much more to share with you but there isn’t room for it all in this article, however it is available to you through the AGI Business Success Programs and the Business Coaching that I do.

There is a real need for qualified gunsmiths and I wish you the very best if you choose to get involved in this exciting profession.

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