Yes, we’re in a down market. Intuitively it seems like a good idea to start slashing people and expenses to survive. Indeed that may be a necessary action, but owners need to avoid making an emotional decision and step back for a minute.
When many businesses opened their doors, they didn’t have a lot of capital. The business was started with a few credit cards and perhaps a small business loan. Then the construction boom happened and dealers, contractors and remodelers began to make money. Life was good. The boom ended and the money started dwindling. That understandably started a culture of slashing people and expenses.
If you’re still in business, it means you’ve weathered the brunt of the storm. This is likely the bottom of the downward trend. Focusing on the short term has gotten a lot of kitchen and bath businesses through the tough times and allowed them to survive to this point. Now it’s time to get away from the short-sighted vision and start thinking about the business like you did when you first started out.
Start taking some risks again like you did in the beginning. Open up your business and invest in the future. Perhaps your trucks are outdated and getting 7 miles to the gallon. Maybe your computers are ancient and could even be dragging down efficiency. If you haven’t already implemented an kitchen and bath industry specific software, now is the time to explore kitchen software like Equilibrium (formerly Aurora).
Interest rates are incredibly low and are meant to encourage small businesses to invest in the future. The government is offering tax breaks on everything from hiring new employees to increasing energy efficiency in your buildings. Take advantage of the programs that can jump-start your dealership. If you’re not prepared for the construction comeback that is bound to happen, you will get left in the dust by those who were willing to bet on such a resurgence.