So over the previous eleven articles, I have covered most of the bases you need to cover when you are running a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home improvement showroom.
None of what I have spoken about is ground breaking new ideas or innovations, but a few simple steps and adjustments to make when making sure your business is the best it can be.
Strategy is a word that gets used a lot when I am speaking to clients. From multinational retailers, to private equity investors, to small independents, strategy is a vital part of any business.
You need a road map for the success of your business, and hopefully my previous articles have helped put some of the points in along the way.
It’s important to understand your history, and where you are now. But knowing where you want to get to is as vital as knowing how you are going to get there.
You are turning over £1m, is the vision to get to £3m ? Or £5m ?
How long will it take you ? What does the journey look like ?
Have I got the resources I need ? What is missing ?
You need to be constantly stopping to review how things are going, how close to the plan are you, and does anything need adjusting ?
And does everyone know your plan and has it been communicated to the team so they aren’t just looking at their own personal world, but they are working for the business.
When I speak to a lot of clients, their vision is in their head and they are really the only one who knows it.
When I ask why they haven’t shared it with the team, they say that they don’t want to distract them, or it’s not set in stone, or similar.
The fact of the matter is that it’s healthy that the team not only knows what the vision is, but they actually may be able to help make it become a reality.
The pathway to success has been discussed in my previous articles…
Colleague Reviews - Make sure you do them ! Daily, weekly, monthly, in the office, on the beach, on the bus, wherever and whenever, but make sure they are completed. Filled out and signed, with clear expectations and performance overview.
Colleague Pay - Are you staff earning the right amount for their role, and is it a clear and concise structure. The cost of living is rising and interest rates are going up. Money is now more important to people than ever. Make sure you are rewarding people with a fair and reasonable amount.
Target Setting - Have you got your short, medium and long term targets set. Does everybody know what they are and are they visible to all staff? Not only the target, but the progress against each target needs to be communicated regularly.
The Sales Process - What is your sales process ? Do you have one or do you just let the designers do their thing ? In my view, although not a rigid, scripted system, it’s good to break the sales process down, especially for new starters or people who need to refresh their skills.
Lead Management - Probably the biggest, missed opportunity of many showrooms is the way that outstanding business is dealt with. Make sure you are in regular contact with all of your outstanding business and that the next contact is agreed at every stage.
The Showroom - The biggest sales tool at your disposal is your showroom. Make sure it’s appealing, fresh, clean and clear of clutter. Constantly look at it critically and decide whether it’s an area that you would enjoy shopping in.
Marketing Yourself - It’s not for everybody (including myself!), but marketing yourself and your business is, and always has been an integral part to growth. Whether it’s the old school of print advertising, radio and flyers, or getting down with the kids on social media through channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Houzz or more. You need to tell the world how great you are.
Protecting Your Margin & Profit - Sales for show, profit for dough. So many times we look at the sales number and pat ourselves on the back. But sales are nothing if you aren’t making money. Know your numbers and know where your high margin products are. Every expense comes at a cost !
Should You Sell To Trade ? - This can be an inviting and lucrative opportunity to make extra sales and more importantly, extra profit. But it can also be problematic, time consuming, low margin and come at a sacrifice to your main stream of business. You need to be set up right to deal with it, and your systems and processes need to be water tight.
Everybody has a plan and a journey that will look different from everybody else's. The important thing is to have that plan in the first place.
It can be changed, delayed, brought forward or erased and rewritten, but the most important thing is that it needs to be there in the first place.