by Mike Kirkhart
I am going to paint this dolphin referencing the photos included in this article. Many dolphins, both cows and bulls, have these colors and it is the most common and expected colors desired by clients. This is a green and yellow gold coloration with lots of blue spots and markings. I’ve caught many bulls that display a tremendous blue on their dorsals and backs, but let’s stick with these photo references to show the mainstay version that satisfy 99 percent of my customers. I always ask what colors they remember the most or ask for any photos that they might have to help them choose. When we do a pair of them (cow and bull), I like to paint them different, as they all can be. I typically paint a bull with more blue and a cow with more green. These are fish with glowing neon colors, so I might as well paint them as the beautiful creatures they are. I will use Lifetone paints on this fish.
Editors Note: Mike sent along this outstanding reference photography by Pat Ford, a professional photographer living in Miami, Florida. You can visit his site at patfordphotos.com.
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by John Jennings
Who hasn’t thought about raising prices and wondered how that would affect your overall revenue? If I raise my prices will I lose all my clients? There are many reasons a taxidermist may consider raising prices. Maybe your costs have changed, or your quality has increased. Or maybe you are just getting too busy and want to limit the number of clients you have. Regardless of the reason, you need to be able to explain your decision to your clients so they understand.
Emotional pricing is the number one reason for small business failure, and fear is the biggest emotion in your studio. Before making any fear-based decisions, you need to make sure your house is in order. Analyzing your revenue, costs, and prices should be an ongoing process, not an annual event. How often do you review your books? Do you know what your overhead rate is? This will fluctuate over time. Do you know what your profit margin is? What is your second largest expense (salary is usually the first)? Do you give discounts? How much have you given away?
There are good discounts and bad discounts. Eliminate all sources of bad discounts before raising prices.
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