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Good morning! I work for a big box store as a designer. I love my job, and my co-workers. I am extremely grateful to my managers and to my company who give me the opportunity to help customers live in a dream (or at least improved kitchen). Having said that, big box stores are beholden to their shareholders, not necessarily the front line. As I weigh my future one thought is to go private. How does one create accounts with cabinet manufactures so you have something to sell? Thanks for any advice on this or related topics.
In my experience, the bigger issue is finding people to sell to, not having products to sell. Another is the start-up capital. Trust me, been there, done that. A co-worker and I jumped (sinking) ship from the same kitchen retailer in 2005 and started our own thing. We were blessed to have some good relationships with vendors, so we had products to sell fairly quickly. We were also able to bring a couple builders and remodelers with us as well. But, as 2007 approached and those customers slowed down, we started to struggle.
Anyway, I don't mean to be a wet blanket. There are plenty of fine cabinet lines out there that prefer to sell to "mom and pop" type businesses. Just make sure you know what you are getting into...
PS-Consider posing this question in the Facebook Group also for different perspectives...
I had my own Kitchen (franchise) business for 7 years and built it up to the point where we were turning over 6-8 times per month what we started with.
However, after the GFC, sales started to go south and this, coupled with ever increasing unrealistic expectations from clients, made me decide to give up. In Western Australia, the GFC didn't start hitting home until about 2010 and I quit that business in 2012. I am now employed providing IT support to the parent company of the franchise and am happy with a lower income and pretty much zero stress as well as fixed hours.
Unless you are EXTREMELY confident of your sales capability and have extensive contingency plans, I would be very cautious. Running your own business entails long hours, much stress and can easily crack a marriage apart. I had previous experience of being a director and managing director and with this experience, knew when it was time to call it a day. Without that experience, I would have probably tried to continue trading until I lost everything.
I'm not saying this will happen with you but be aware of your own limitations. If you have a family, you will have to be extremely disciplined if you do not want them to be hurt - long hours become a way of life.
Also, do not try to expand too quickly - staff costs are usually the highest expenditure of a business and dealing with staff can also be very stressful. Many new businesses fail from what I call 'the death of a thousand cuts' where you haven't accounted for EVERY expense that can befall a startup - little things like monthly fees for website hosting, paper use, coffee, printer inks and so on. Planning and budgeting is a critical factor. Luckily, when I bought into the franchise, I had full transparency on the accounts.
When it comes to advertising, you would be surprised what works and what doesn't. At the time, I used to find that a small 2 inch square advert in the 'classified' section of the newspaper brought in a lot more business than a half page full colour advert. Weekend supplements brought in some good business as did some adverts in specialised magazines (we were near a farming area). By far, the best sources of business were word of mouth from happy clients and drive-by - we were on a major route to a small city with tens of thousands of cars passing the showroom every day.
Hope this helps - happy to answer any questions you may have.
If you want to create an account on big box than go to sign up option provided. Enter the number or required information that forum ask you onscreen. Follow instructions and create your account.
"Creating accounts" with cabinet manufacturers to sell their products means becoming a 'dealer' for their brand. Most cabinet manufacturers require you to have a showroom to display their product, before they will make you a 'dealer'. To ask to 'become a dealer', go to the website for the product line you wish to carry. On the website, you will see a link that literally says 'become a dealer'. Follow the link and complete the information required. A rep from the company will then contact you about the requirements & process to become one of their dealers. In addition to needing a showroom space, something else to keep in mind is that your area may already be saturated with dealers for a particular brand. Some cabinet manufacturers only allow a certain number of dealers per geographic zone or dealers must be a certain distance apart to give each their own territory. The cabinet company rep who responds to your inquiry can explain all that and determine if you are elligible, or what you'd need to do, to become a dealer.