Flip a Bear Market to Bullish with “Change”

Kitchen and Bath Dealers who can Modernize will see Upside Growth

Well, hello again! Many thanks to both of my adoring fans that hang on to these blogs like they were a life raft from Heaven.

Thanks for tuning into “As the Kitchen and Bath World Turns” as we explore how a new wave of Kitchen & Bath Dealers are focusing on how to revamp, overhaul and mainly turn their business into a fighting machine!

It sounds a lot cooler when you look at it like that, but truth be told, that’s exactly what Dealers need to do as they step into the ring among new and stronger competitors. Why you ask? Good question! And the answer comes in many fronts but here are just a few:

  1. The K & B Industry as a whole is continuing to drop as far as revenue is concerned and that’s a big one! The pie is continuing to shrink.
  2. Don’t be surprised to see interest rates hike another .25 point in June. Oh snap! Those higher rates don’t play well with new construction and remodeling.
  3. A report just came out on how the wealthy are now pulling back on spending. Not a huge part of the overall market but certainly a sign of things to come.
  4. Online competition continues to grow at an extremely fast rate and the downturn will only fuel that puppy.
  5. We have been experiencing one of the very best stretches when it comes to jobs but that is about to change and it’s exactly what the Fed is trying to achieve. Why? Labor costs have been a big component of inflation.
  6. Why would you need another reason to take the bull by the horns and seriously challenge the status quo of your business model?

I’m sure you are probably wondering why I keep bringing up all the challenges that Dealers are facing now and in the future. Well, it is no secret that our Industry typically moves at a pace that can be described as (drum roll please) slower than molasses!

That means that if the Dealers need to find another gear, it might take something like scaring the shite out of them to get things revved up!

Let’s look at it this way. Say you’ve been overweight for years and you know that you need to get in better shape, but we all know that what is on our priority list can get pushed to the back in our crazy lives. It’s not until you visit the doctor for that check up and you start hearing all the wonderful things that will happen unless you start taking better care of yourself (for some reason I think I know this person and only too well 😊) Now what used to be a back-burner priority has moved to the forefront of your focus. Sometimes it just takes a reality check to get things moving.

Can we please get past this now and get to more pressing issues? Like the big bad one called “Change”? I know how people don’t’ like change. Especially when you have become so comfortable doing things the same way for so long…and I get it. Why do it if nobody else in the industry is moving very fast? That my friends is EXACTLY why you need to fasten your seatbelt and join the growing group of Dealers who have figured out in order to survive and thrive, they need to throw their hat in the ring and start getting down to the business of building a stronger and much improved model.

I was planning on writing about Gross Profit Per Person (GMPP) and Profitability but after tracking the news and being in numerous conversations with Dealers that are sitting on the fence of change, I decided to take a step back and try to help people shed these blinders. Wake up little Suzy! Wake up! (Boy that song dates me)

It’s time to start the march forward! Don’t do it alone! It’s so important to have a peer group to discuss best practices, learn new things and forge ahead!

  1. Please, please get a system that integrates with the other important aspects of your business. Learn more about our amazing ERP system specifically designed for the Kitchen and Bath Industry.  
  2. Have a way to track the KPI’s you want in place (and not manually). If you don’t have them, it’s like trying to coach a team without stats. Oh joy.
  3. Marketing – if I see one more website that looks like it was built 10 years ago, I’m going to scream…do you know how many of your customer’s (and potential ones) will visit your website? Well let’s just say it’s close to 100%. Let’s make it worth their visit.
  4. Your customer’s journey should be mapped out and include a number of touch points that are designed to delight them.
  5. Culture and Brand – Pretty sure you have this one covered? Let’s take an informal survey and ask each person on the team. It’s not just the words they say but the passion behind them is what really carries the day. Don’t forget that if you have folks that rate a 7 on the scale, you can’t expect your customer’s experience to be an 8, 9 or 10.

I am way past the number of words I was allocated for this blog so at any time it might just…

Be a Nike…. Just do it!  Thad

PS Call if you need help.