I wonder if the underlying problem behind all this is being too ‘busy’. Doing jobs that don’t matter, taking on more work than they can handle.
I just finished reading Oversubscribed a couple weeks back and that talks about how many business owners try and cater to everybody and end up overwhelmed.
I’m not sure if that’s exactly what’s going on here, but if these businesses upped their prices a bit and just had super awesome communication as a result of more time per customer, they’d surely win.
Focus on less customers at a higher rate and make their experience great. If only your woodworkers/gym owners/designers did that, it would be a win-win all round.