Re: Poll: price vs. availability
I think you should be making a profit. I don't want to sound like I am telling you how to run your business but I have some ideas. If you are not making anything on your hard work then you should raise your prices. People will pay because your services and parts are worth more than you charge. We all want to see you around for a long time and come out with new parts (especially the complete billet engine). You mentioned you are working on the engine and it will be less than 200 dollars. I would pay 400 and I bet you would have a long line of buyers for a lot more than 200 bucks. You are selling yourself too short.
Another thing is I called and wanted to order two sprockets that would be custom one-offs. My idea was a sprocket that is machined to mount directly to my ISO 6 bolt brake disk hub. I wanted a 38T and a 54T. I was told by the lady on the phone you no longer do one offs. I was willing to pay 200 bucks for those two sprockets:-( Instead I ordered a top hat adapter and two sprockets from Andy for 130 bucks and now I am having to figure out a way to mount the sprocket to the top hat without hardware interfering with the spokes.
Once I worked with an old and wise promoter on promoting an event. The event was a documentary on Lyme disease to promote awareness to our community. I wasn't going to charge admission because I thought it would bring in more people if the flyers said "free". He told me no, you need to charge something so the public will ascribe value to it. He said, if it is free people are likely to think oh its free it probably isn't that good but if you charge say 10 bucks they are likely to think, oh wow this must be worth seeing! The same goes for your business. I think in your situation raising prices will ascribe more value and I am sure everyone here will agree that you deserve to be making a descent profit.
I hope this helps and good luck to you and your business.