Taking the plunge and opening a kitchen showroom

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Liam-a, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    As the post says I've finally decided to take the plunge and open a kitchen supply showroom!
    I've been selling and fitting the kitchens and realised it's impossible to do both so I'm fully committed to the showroom idea.

    Any hints and tips would be grateful and any advice.

    For the marketing side of things I'm going to be doing flyer drops promoting the opening of the showroom, an article in the local paper, Facebook and I'm also sending letters out weekly to planning applications touting for business all local joiners and kitchen fitters will be getting contacted aswell.

    Any thing else I should be doing??

    Thanks in advance

    Liam
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,368 8,923
    I'd be working out hot to compete with all the other kitchen showrooms. Why would I want to come to yours and not B&Q?

    How big is your catchment area? What it the local housing stock? Are there enough wealthy people to keep you busy?

    What do you do with all the flyers that drop through your door? What makes you think people are looking on facebook for a new kitchen?

    Do you have loads of images on Google? Do you rank number one on Google for 'kitchen showrooms' in your local area?

    Have you got brochures printed showing all the kitchens?

    What deals are you offering all the other kitchen fitters? Can you do a better deal on worktops than Howdens for example.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,156 4,226
    Kitchen supply, supply only?

    How will you compete with Howdens and the like.

    People go to a kitchen showroom because they want design, supply, fit and finance, all in one place.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #3
  4. MandaBarnes

    MandaBarnes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 2
    No advice on this topic, but I just wanted to drop by and say good luck! This posts popped out at me and I figured I'd send my well wishes, as it's clearly a huge step for you! Good luck!!!
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2019 By: MandaBarnes Member since: Feb 7, 2019
    #4
  5. Dory

    Dory UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 7
    so 30 years doing this - my tips are - make sure any suppliers are reliable and will support you - don't confuse yourself and the customer by trying to deal with everyone - find out what the competition does and offer something different - we do a complete service with project management of all trades so the customer doesn't have to worry about that side of things - but that might not suit your area - not necessary to have a town centre shop - people will come to you - parking is helpful - maybe near some other home improvement type businesses - try to get as much free / low cost advertising as you can - facebook - google my business on google maps - get leaflets or ads in those little local mags - we have tried all the expensive stuff - it doesn't work any better ( planning application we found a waste of time)
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2019 By: Dory Member since: May 19, 2017
    #5
  6. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Hi all, thanks for the replies,
    Just to clarify I'll be doing the selling but offer a full package from design to install, I have an electrician gas engineer, 2 good fitters lined up plus I know another 2 and more if I get busy. The shop I'm looking at is a small town centre one ( just down a street from the busy places) there's a big Wilko's with a carpark behind the shop, I use one supplier where I get my units and doors from and one supplier where I get my appliances from Another where worktops come from so all set and I've been doing alright selling from my van with swatches and door samples.
    What I'm thinking is a couple of displays and an area where I can demonstrate the build quality and have good one to one conversation with my customers without lots of people milling around therefore a more personal sales experience. It's just the marketing side if things that I struggle with I've been.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #6
  7. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Hi dory,
    What advertising do you think works best for a kitchen showroom ? I've been trying the planning application route and so far had nothing from that. I would only need one kitchen a week to tickover but my goal is 3 a week I'm pretty sure that this is more than capable with a small well planned out shop.
    Where abouts are you based ??
    Cheers
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #7
  8. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,156 4,226
    People love the 3D visualisations, mad for them, a full colour printed version is a great way to make sure your customers leave the shop grasping something from you, to remind them of how good you are. They will show it to all their friends and relatives to ask their opinion, and tell them all about you at the same time.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #8
  9. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Ive got the software to do this. I have everything in place to run a showroom smoothly just worried I'll be sitting in it with no customers!
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #9
  10. Alyson Dyer

    Alyson Dyer UKBF Regular Free Member

    142 39
    From a customer perspective: I’m in the market for a new kitchen.
    I have had 5 different companies around to measure up and pitch me their design. The costs vary from the cost of an Audi A3 to a well spec’ed C Class Merc.
    The design is much of a muchness because I know what I want and where I want it.
    The result? I’m waiting for the Howdens sale as the designs, quality and colours are similar so beware people like me who will consider th high end designs and shop around for the most cost effective solution.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2019 By: Alyson Dyer Member since: Oct 27, 2011
    #10
  11. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Hi Alyson,
    Would you mind emailing me the plan and letting me quote just to see how I compare to the prices ?
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #11
  12. Alyson Dyer

    Alyson Dyer UKBF Regular Free Member

    142 39
    I’m going to Howdens again next week, I’ll email you the plan afterwards.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2019 By: Alyson Dyer Member since: Oct 27, 2011
    #12
  13. Beyond

    Beyond UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    DIY kitchens are better than Howdens and a lot cheaper on the real wood vaneer doors also PWS.
    Wrens & Magnet kitchen units are only good for fire wood
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2019 By: Beyond Member since: Jun 6, 2018
    #13
  14. Dory

    Dory UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 7
    Sounds like you have a good basis for a kitchen business. In our 30 years we have tried all advertising. We are in a South Bucks village with affluent towns all round us. We find the local approach best, local info mags, local paper, facebook and local social media. just concentrate on building up a good reputation, you might already have that as you have already been trading. It does take a while to get going with a new shop. Decide where you are in the market place and stick to it. If you are not in the Howdens DIY kitchens price range don't try to beat their prices. Inform your customers where you are better, product service etc. tell people to look on mumsnet for reviews of Wren. Try to increase your order value by making sure they buy as much from you that you can provide, not wander off and spend their money on stuff on the internet etc. Agree with above about 3D designs and also give itemised quote so customer can see where they are spending their money. We give our customers a full presentation foc. Final thing, get a good accountant to keep on top of the books and all the employer / cis responsibilities because if you get it wrong it can cost a lot as some businesses we know found out.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2019 By: Dory Member since: May 19, 2017
    #14
  15. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Do you think a small showroom will work? With just a couple of displays but still have samples of the other doors I sell. I've also seen a unit on an industrial estate so I'm not sure which would be best that or the small shop. And yes I have the add on products like flooring, socket fronts under cab lights. I can also recommend a couple of decorators so all bases are covered it's just putting the showroom part into practice now. In your experience would you say a showroom its self attracts more people instead of selling from a van. Oh I've also got my local slimming world rep handing flyers out for me to the women who go there .
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #15
  16. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    836 209
    Different people will buy from a shop, a direct sales call, advertising etc.

    Re read Dory’s line on deciding where you want to be and sticking to it, there will always be someone cheaper, faster, quicker etc. I would also sub contract those decorators to your clients and make extra from their work. If they work for £100 per day charge them out at extra, it is how the world works.

    Once you decide where you are in the market you can decide how to pursue and market yourself to those clients.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #16
  17. Lee Oakley

    Lee Oakley UKBF Contributor Free Member

    87 22
    Hi Liam,
    First of all, the best of luck in hopefully taking your venture to the next level.

    I have a few clients in the kitchen/interiors industry and although my current clients are offering branded furniture I have had clients who went down the PWS route (under their own names), or even made their own furniture and/or doors so I have quite a lot of relevant experience, should you wish to benefit from it.

    I think location is obviously a critical factor to your showroom choice as footfall can help no end whilst you are building up the marketing side.

    Don't be afraid of local competition, particularly if you can demonstrate superior knowledge, service offering or design skills etc.

    As an example, I have a client who sell Nobilia and was terrified when a local Homebase started selling Nobilia a couple of years ago but it actually gave them more footfall and more business because Homebase brought in the targeted traffic and my client could then offer them a far superior service than the sales assistants in Homebase (no disrespect to them) could.

    If you want a no obligation consultation so I can offer more specific advice and discuss (in confidence) what has/hasn't worked for my past and present clients I would be happy to help and demonstrate work done, google rankings etc, which you can evaluate for yourself.

    I've personally written in excess of a million words on kitchens over the last 10 years and dare say I have a million more ha.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2019 By: Lee Oakley Member since: May 21, 2018
    #17
  18. Lee Oakley

    Lee Oakley UKBF Contributor Free Member

    87 22
    I think any good display showcasing your design skills and workmanship (even a small one) will do a lot more for your credibility, customer perception and potential business levels than selling from a van.

    When people are handing over anything from a couple of thousand upwards people do an unconscious due diligence of the offer in front of them and having a physical showroom and a limited business (in addition to other validation/reassuring signals) goes a long way than than if you were mobile.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2019 By: Lee Oakley Member since: May 21, 2018
    #18
  19. sands1967

    sands1967 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    79 6
    hi, i'm looking at Howdens currently, what's wrong with their stuff?

    i dont know DIY Kitchens, do you mean these guys? https://www.diy-kitchens.com/
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2019 By: sands1967 Member since: Jan 6, 2010
    #19
  20. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
    #20