It’s clear that the market has been affecting the kitchen cabinet industry. The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s (KCMA) trend of business reports painted a dismal picture, with 2009 taking the biggest hit of an annual decrease of cabinet sales of 28.3%. Although 2010 was a little bit better with an annual decrease of 4.1%, the situation is still less than ideal. In both 2009 and 2010, custom companies were hit the hardest, with sales down from the previous years 37.2% and 13.2% respectively.
Effect on Kitchen Cabinet Dealers
The building recession has sent large distributers prowling into small waters, taking jobs that once made up the smaller kitchen cabinet dealer’s playing field. Additionally, the market has blurred the lines between all kitchen cabinet dealers, suggesting a common customer. This results in more competition and subsequently, less work for all kitchen and bath professionals.
So Now What?
Between the recession and its effects, how do dealers stay afloat? How can you survive these tough times, particularly when competing against the big guys? Consider some of the following suggestions to keep you in business:
- Provide a Seamless Process: We’ve previously talked about the strength of using an industry specific software to quote, order, and schedule jobs. Doing so will allow for a seamless process, enabling you to pull up prices and adjust quotes on the spot.
- Stay on Top of Client Service: Although it might seem like an afterthought when the sale is complete, follow up with clients about their experience working with you. Asking your clients for feedback after the fact will allow you to constantly improve your customer service, which will increase your sales. You could even ask clients to rate your communication skills, dependability, and services; then ask them which areas could use improvement. Checking with former clients will also encourage them to refer you to friends and use you again in the future.
- Master the 4M Sales Process: The 4M Sales Process was designed to teach designers and kitchen cabinet dealers how to increase their sales through a number of processes. See below for more information.