Time To Reset?

Most of us reset every January… We start eating healthier, living life to the fullest or getting organized –  but what about your business?

When was the last time you audited your website, daily systems or hardware options?

Now is the perfect time to get your company ready for the busy Spring season.

Do the pictures on your website need to be updated?  That’s an all caps YES if the monitor in your home office photo is 20″ deep.

Are you constantly showing up to installs and the floors aren’t ready?  That’s a major sign that your system needs to be changed.

Do you have a hardware supplier that doesn’t care about your success?  Show you new products?  Value your business?  It might be time to look at your options.

Yes Richelieu stocks the trendiest hardware and Italian melamine on the market, but we also have all of your standard closet hardware.

From closet poles and jewelry trays to wall rails and hanging brackets we have everything that you use.

Unlike other distributors, most of the hardware we sell we manufacture ourselves.  You are buying direct which saves you money.

If you haven’t taken the time to get to know Richelieu yet, send me an email or reach out to your local rep.  We will explain how we can be a valued business partner.

3 Things to Think About This Week

Santa Closet

Ready or not the holidays start tomorrow – today for some of you.

I truly appreciate all of your attention this year – whether you are a long time follower or a new one.

Thank you for spending a few minutes each week reading and sharing my posts!!

With the finish line in sight – I thought today would be a great day to share 3 questions that you can think about while sitting in holiday traffic or watching Christmas Eve Football. (What is better than that!)

What did you accomplish this year?

Take a minute to enjoy your wins.  Did you finally get that additional truck on the road?  Purchase that new machine, update your website?  It’s ok to brag a little!! 🙂

What slowed you down?

Is there something or someone causing you constant pain?  A difficult employee or business partner.  Come up with a plan to fix that next year.

What are some goals for next year?

List 3 – 5 things that you would like to get done.  Is it increasing marketing, updating your showroom, or adding a new product line?  Write the list down and keep it on your desk this way next year that list can be moved to accomplishments!  You know I love helping you succeed – let me know what I can do.

In case you missed this – here are my top two posts from 2016 –

Successful Closet Companies are Doing This – Are You?

Part II – Successful Closet Companies are Doing This

Thank you for your loyalty and support this year.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!!

New Vertiko Closet System In Stock…

Vertiko Wall System

Many of you have asked me about the “closet without verticals” or the “European Closet System.”  It’s in stock just in time for you to freshen up your showroom for the new year.

It’s something that you should definitely be showing because if you haven’t been asked for a system like this yet – you will be soon.

The Vertiko Closet System has a short learning curve and is pretty easy to install.

There’s plenty of adjustment built into the stanchions to follow the bows in the wall and the slope of the floor.  We have brackets for cabinets, shelves, closet rods and every combination.

This short video will show you how easy it is –

This is also a great system for entertainment centers because you can easily hide the wires behind the back panels.

If you have questions or need more technical info please email me at RDeMarco@richelieu.com.

Thanks!

Part II – Successful Closet Companies Are Doing This… Are You??

successful-closet-companies-part-iiNow is the time to start thinking about those slow winter months. Waiting until Christmas to deal with a soft January is too late.

Hopefully by incorporating some of the following strategies you can start the year on a high note.

If you missed Part I – click here.

I want to start with discussing the importance of keeping your installation schedule.   Getting your jobs done and sticking to the calendar improves your cash flow and increases profits.

The best or worst thing an installer can say to you when they come back from a job is –

“We Made It Work”

Especially if you don’t supply them with the proper tools to prevent a service call.

Here is a list of tools and jigs that most of my closet customers have on their trucks.

Festool Track Saw – this is a must and I bet it pays for itself the first month. I was at a trade show 3 years ago, we were setting up our sliding door display and the doors were too big. I used my track saw – cut thru the 2” aluminum frame and a ¾” melamine insert – I was blown away when I saw that it was a clean cut on both sides.  Imagine how easy cutting down a few shelves would be.

If you do have to cut down shelves, chances are you will need to re-drill them for cams.   Here is a great solution for drilling cams on-site.

Do you ever scribe a counter tops, toe kicks or verticals?  The ThingAMeJig Scribing Tool makes it quick and easy.  Not only will your installer thank you, your finished product will look much better – leading to more referrals.

How much time do you spend installing handles? Do you have a jig you made out of melamine? The Precision Handle Jig will ensure every handle is centered and straight.

Multifunctional Beds

Are you still installing an old clunky Murphy Bed? If your client prefers a bed that deters overnight guests – your spring system is the way to go.

If they are looking to give their mother in law a nice place to sleep or hoping that their grandchildren visit more often than you should be offering your client a piston bed with a built in box spring. Selling a higher end product will increase your profit.

If you’re not selling beds at all you are missing out on revenue stream that every major closet company offers.

Wall Systems

Vertiko Wall SystemMany of you have asked me about the “closet without verticals” or the “European Closet System.”  I finally have it in stock. If you have a showroom, it’s something that you should definitely be showing.

This system is great for entertainment centers because you can easily hide the wires behind the back panels.

Sliding doors

Sliding Doors - HawaDuring the recession my sliding door hardware sales spiked.  Replacing builder grade by-passing doors was an easy way for you to add an extra $500 to $1,000 to your job.

Now that you are busy and the economy is good you have gone back to telling your customers you don’t install doors. Even if you installed one set of doors per month you could add an extra $12,000 per year.

I sell a surface mounted ball bearing system that takes minutes to install, hangs from the header and works with ¾” melamine. There is no reason to pass on this business, all you need to do is create a system.

I gave you 8 different strategies that you can use to put a little extra money in your pocket next year.  I’m not telling to do them all at once.

Start slowly, train your designers and installers on one new program per month.

Watch how quickly your average sale increases!

If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me at richdemarco@optonline.net

Successful Closet Companies Are Doing This… Are You?

Qualities of a Successful Closet Companies

Recently I presented to 60 independent closet companies ways that I see them missing out on profits. I discussed product offerings that large independents or franchises offer to their customers making them more profitable.

I work with all sizes and types of closet companies – I do what I can to help them succeed and make more money. Hopefully you can take a few of these products, create a program and put them into action in your company.

Under Mount Slides –

About 10 years ago we saw our industry go from white epoxy slides to ball bearing. We are experiencing another transition with under mount slides. Some customers have already made a full conversion and the only reason there hasn’t been more is nobody had the right size under mount and the drawer construction.

I have solved both problems. I sell a fully assembled dovetail box prepped for under mounts and I also have an under mount that comes every 2 inches and will mount on a 14” vertical.   Even if you don’t want to offer this as a standard yet – you can offer as an upgrade and order on a per job basis.   If you have a customer willing to pay more for your drawer box, why not give them what they want?

Freshen Up Your Color Pallet –

If you are still pushing summerflame and candlelight you are losing jobs. Yes I know that 80% of what you sell is white – but why lose out on the other 20%. Many customers are offering high-end textured panels.

I sell melamine from Italy that looks so good you would think it was real wood. The grain in the paper matches the texture in the panel. You can purchase by the sheet, you can get it cut to size or you can buy doors and drawers fronts.

Decorative Hardware –

Some of you may have read my blog post last week. Many of you sell an inexpensive chrome knob or wire pull and if you want to be fancy you give them an upgrade – the bar pull.

Then you say “if you don’t like these make sure your handle is here at time of install we will put them on.” So your guys are still taking the time to install the handles and you’re not making any money for that time.

About a third of the room raised their hands when I asked if they credit back when a customer supplies their own handles. Not having a decent decorative hardware program is costing you thousands of dollars per year. Below is my new closet hardware board.

Closet Hardware Boards

Lighting –

Three years ago I remember meeting with the lighting suppliers and telling them they were crazy – no closet guys were going to sell lights. Boy was I wrong – I currently have customers averaging $3000 per month in lights!!

I know the wires are an issue and many of you reading think lighting isn’t worth it. If you put in a system and create a program – you will sell it. Even if it means you only offer battery operated or rechargeable lighting.

New technology and wireless remote control switches are a game changer. You don’t have to worry about turning lights on and off or wiring a switch. All you need is an outlet.

The above products only work if you have a program. When a client asks you for lighting you need to be prepared with your offering, just like you are with your melamine samples. Same goes for decorative hardware and under mounts.

If you have to get back to them or seem unsure customers will pay more to go with the company they feel confident with. Think about your own shopping habits.

I know you are busy, and building a program might take a little work, but it is well worth it once you look at the numbers over a year – it really starts to add up.

If I can help please leave a comment or send me an email.

Stay tuned for the Part II of my presentation.