These days it seems like there is a “How-To” book, “Tips and Tricks” collection, or “[Fill in the Blank] for Dummies” book for just about everything under the sun. In our effort to save you some reading time, and help ensure that you can focus on the critical elements of your business, we’ve put together our own list of tips for new cabinet dealers. And even if you have been in the business a while, we think it might still be a good read.
1. Wanna run a cabinet dealership? You should probably try to build a space shuttle instead.
Space shuttles seem to have a lot fewer moving parts than a cabinet dealership. This may seem a little peculiar to a new cabinet dealer. What could possibly be so difficult about hanging a bunch of rectangular shapes on a straight wall? For starters, the wall is never straight. And then there are the seemingly infinite combinations with virtually every cabinet – door styles, wood species, finish options, hinging, and so much more combine to take a single product and turn it into virtually hundreds of products. Add in the matter of customer tastes and preferences, something at least the shuttle doesn’t have, and you have a seemingly unmanageable project. Take the time to learn all of the nuances of brands you carry, including areas where that product excels as well as limitations where a particular line might not be a good fit.
2. Truly understand the business before you get started.
We have all been taught that if we put our mind to something, we can achieve it. And you can, but you should invest the time to gain valuable on the job experience before you jump into the cabinet dealer business. If you have industry experience, learn the business side of a dealership; if you have been successful in other businesses, take some time to learn kitchen design and installation. This will give you a 360 degree view of what being a cabinet dealer means.
3. Details are the difference between making money and losing money.
As a cabinet dealer, you need to live and breathe by the details. In a kitchen with moving parts, hundreds of measurements and multiple people involved in the process, details can slide through the cracks. Unfortunately, in the cabinet industry, small mistakes can cost big money. All too often, profitable projects turn into losers before the first cabinet is delivered or installed.
4. The cabinet industry is a shockingly competitive business.
With few barriers to entry, the cabinet industry can be a very compelling business for entrepreneurs. But the same reasons you like the idea, and the ease with which you can open a dealership, apply to others as well. Develop a sound business plan that clearly defines your points of differentiation – what products or services will set you apart from your competitors. And then make sure you will have the systems and people in place to make your plan a reality.
Stay tuned for part two on the top 8 tips for new dealers!