March has arrived and with it comes the annual household obligation known as “Spring cleaning.” It’s the time of year when we all spend the day opening the windows, airing out the house and cleaning everything from the toilet bowl to the corners of the baseboards. This is a necessary practice in your household both for your sanity and for cleanliness, as we tend to let things pile up over the winter.Your kitchen and bath or remodeling business is no different than your home. Chances are you have some spring cleaning to do. We are offering a three part series on how to clean up your dealership for Spring. Below are the first five tips for getting your business off to the right start before the warm weather arrives and the building season ramps up.
- Showroom – Are displays in need of replacement? How’s the paint and carpet? Inspect your showroom like it was a job – your customers do, and the condition tells them volumes about the quality of work you do.
- Restroom – Absolutely forgotten in many dealerships. Don’t spend a couple of hours working with a client who’s just about ready to write a $20K deposit check and send him to an unsightly restroom. We’ve heard stories about lost business due to bathrooms that looked like those at the Flying J truck stop and smelled like an old frat house.
- Door Samples – Take a full inventory, ensuring that you have an adequate supply of everything. Just as importantly, make sure they all look great. Would you buy a new car from a dealer who proudly displays a car in their showroom with cracked or chipped paint? Don’t assume your customers are any different.
- Your systems – This should happen every day, but now is a good time to test them out – before the summer building system gets into full swing. Use mystery shoppers (maybe friends) to test out your introductory sales processes – greeting, showroom, initial requirements, etc. Take the time to sit in on closing sales meetings, go with your staff on field measures and show up at job sites.
- Your technology – Our industry is mired in the dark ages. Paper litters dealerships throughout the country, with 1 inch think job files and cumbersome “systems” that make your employees enter the same information over and over. It’s no wonder 80% of all kitchen jobs go out wrong the first time. Spend some time with your employees working through their typical day and make sure you have given them the right tools to do their job efficiently.
Success is hard enough in the kitchen and bath industry without having clutter and unseen inefficiencies bringing you down. Get set up for success this year by keeping an eye on some of the more subtle, yet important aspects of running your business. Follow these tips to make sure you get this season off to the right start in both the front of the house and the back of the house. Stay tuned for parts two and three of this series!