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Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by bloorino, Nov 18, 2009.
What area are you covering Bloorino?
All the banks issue a free business guide when you ask them about setting up in business, these guides which can normally also be brought from WH Smiths etc offer all the knowledge you require, the are also council lead buisness classes in most towns to help with start-ups and may also have grants
The main thing is your business plan, it's easy to write it to impress the bank with large growth numbers etc, but you should be writting it for yourself to find out your weak area's, what your competition are doing, your break even point and your cashflow forcast.
Remember no cashflow no business, so keep tight reins on your credit control and cash, when you start up I think most people would be better off purchasing second hand equipment or renting / leasing if possible so that they can keep as much cash available for the rainy days ( some people chasing technology obviously cannot use secondhand but thats a different story)
Don't put money into the company at start-up and then take your pay out of the company, as you will be paying double taxes on it ( you have already paid tax on your savings), much better to keep a few months salary back out of the company and live off that first whilst taking nothing out of the company
Just responding to your questions ...
What on line advertising worked best?
PPC marketing using Google Adwords
How busy are we?
After our worst Q1 ever, we had a very slow start at the beginning of the year, we've had the busiest Q4 to date. Obviously this has a lot to do with the experience we've gained over the last 5 years, and constantly advertising our business online plus in local papers and local magazines, etc.
Having good contacts always helps, especially if you can get those contacts to drum up some business for you.
Getting a business partner?
I wouldn't say you need someone right away, but it should be something that you bear in mind as your business starts to develop. I had my brother to rely on and to share reponsibilities with - e.g. if he was on appointments, I would be taking calls, handling sales enquiries, placing orders or taking deliveries. You might want to get your Dad involved as a partner to help you out during the first 6 months or so, or until you can afford to employ someone full-time.
I work on a farm and one of the units has just been let to a guy in a similar situ to you. Anyway he has linked up with a company like you and they manufacture the units and he fits etc. What I thought was great is that he has produced a great brochure which has all his units, the spec, the drawing, colour pic, but most importantly the fitted price of each unit! Additional costs are work surfaces. So you can almost work out the price yourself with fine tuning from you the designer! and negotiate a little discount too. All the units are wood and he has set up a kitchen environment in the unit on the farm at little cost so that he can show off his work! He doesn't man it just shows when he gets alead I think... Hope this helps
Kitchen & bathroom design supply and installation is hot and a potential business. Life is the main theme of a person, and house basic installation and beautification would be a must need.
To answer Tw Installation ? I will be mainly covering Staffordshire, but wouldn't rule out going further a field.
If at all possible avoid taking on a partner. Have you ever heard the phrase 'a camel is a horse designed by a committee'?
I operate two kitchen/bedroom/bathroom warehouses. The bulk of our business is kitchens. We specialize in affordable kitchens and here it seems that the market is booming. We offer supply only which is increasingly popular as well as fully fitted.
I would advise you to take small ads in as many local newspapers as possible, nice and simple with a clear message. Avoid wasting your money on yellow pages etc. We also get a great response from low-tech road side signage.
We may be able to supply you with some products as we have great contacts - PM me if you are interested.
I have just had a week off work to install a kitchen, customers are over the moon and have already recommended me to their friends.
Heres my problem, i now have 2 kitchens to design, supply and fit for the end of Jan, but i still haven't quit my job yet. Do i hand my notice in Jan and go for it or do i try and sub the work to someone i now???
I really want to take the plunge but is 2 jobs enough??:|
Its all down to you whether you feel confident emough to take the plunge.
As we speak I have zero kitchens linned up for January so you are officially in a better position than me.
However, I have a few years worth of knowledge and I know when I want it the work is there, I just need to press certain buttons to bring it in. Its a learning curve and Presonally I'd say if you have a little money to help you get by for a wee bit then 100% go for it. If you are smarter than your average tradesman then it should not be too hard to make a decent living and stay ahead of the competition.
Others may disagree but fortune favours the Brave and there is no better feeling working for yourself, being your own boss and choosing what hours and lifestyle you want to have.
How many kitchens would you need to fit per month to match your current salary?
That sounds like about a month's worth of work in your order book; going into Christmas with a month's work booked in for the new year is a position lots of established businesses would envy - see post above!
January heralds the start of the prime selling season for kitchens and bedrooms - indeed any kind of home improvements. If you have been able to sell two kitchens in the run-up to Christmas - probably the worst time of year for bringing in new business of this kind - then you should confidently expect to be able to do at least as well over the coming months. Attracting leads and converting them is time-consuming however, and it is difficult to see how this could be combined with a full-time job long-term.
Sooner or later you are just going to have to take the plunge. From what you've told us, now seems as good a time as any to me, but only you can make that decision.
2 Kitchens..? A months work...?
Nooooooooooooo - Our fitters must be superhuman!
Well, there's kitchens and kitchens...
Mine average around £10k each. I reckon I spend two days designing, planning, and organising, followed by 5-8 days fitting. Maybe another day or so in the workshop making end panels, corner posts etc.
If I do 2 a month I'm clearing 4-5 grand net...
Sounds like you're working too hard, mate!
will you be doing the design and subcontracting the installation process
I don't do any installation work. I do work very hard though - obviously the return is directly linked to effort expended.
Well i have just made £2500 in 2 weeks which is what i earn a month at the moment. But i don't have to pay for car, phone, food etc. If i could do a complete job a month at first i would be happy as i could do little bits and pieces to fill the rest of the month.
Have you come to a decision yet?
If there was any advice I would give it would be to talk to others in the trade... builders etc and get email addresses, phone numbers and meet as many as possible before you start. Also people like property agents, conservatory companies etc.
Our business (plumbing and plastering) has been on it's knees all of this year and only just picking up from last quarter and we have been finding it really tough to hold onto profit from bathroom supply and fit. Most of our profit has been from domestic plastering which is the complete opposite of the 4 years prior.
In terms of advertising our best returns have been from website development, targetted leaflets and telemarketing to business and consumer.
Hope for the best but never try to put every thing on stake. NO doubt, Own business is far better than jobs.
good luck,i only say that.everyone has his choice and we must grasp it.friends,i am from China,i want to know you.i think the life will be better
You can get a website to reach to your potential customers. In your website give the necessary details of kitchen planner, offer and the price you offer to get that service. You can create a page for online quote so that the interested visitors can have some ideas about the price.