If you love to build and possess excellent trade skills, you can start a kitchen remodeling business. There is a growing demand for kitchens that actually work for them — and they are more likely to renovate their existing kitchens rather than sell their homes to find a house with a better kitchen.
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If you are going to start a kitchen remodeling business, here are things that you can do to help you increase your chances for success:
Be their Partner
As a business owner, it is natural to want your clients to spend as much as possible in their planned kitchen remodeling. When they spend more, that means more income for you! However, it better to make sure that the customers understand the impact of the type of kitchen renovation that are envisioning. Customers are more likely to think highly of you – and recommend your services more – if they feel that you were their partner in the process; instead of wringing them out dry by making them do and pay for unnecessary things.
Discuss the impact of kitchen remodeling to the client
Understand why the homeowner wants a kitchen renovation, and how their plans will affect their overall goals.
If they are looking to sell the property, it is important not to go overboard. They should not overprice their home out of the local market. They should not spend $100,000 for a kitchen remodeling when the area homes are just selling on average for $250,000. If they do, they may not be able to recoup the investment they put in remodeling the kitchen.
Understand what the clients need
Does the client needs a total redesign or just a facelift? It is important to understand what the client really needs and their budgets – and how those can align with your services. You need to learn to listen well to know what your customers want.
Some kitchens may not need a total redesign. Instead, the client’s kitchen may just need a facelift. If a kitchen is in good working shape, your customer does not need to completely gut it. The client may be able to achieve what they want with their kitchen simply by doing less-drastic updates such as refinishing surfaces, upgrading appliances, and installing new light fixtures.
On the other hand, there may be instances where the reverse is true: your client only wants a facelift even though you think that a full-scale remodel is needed. Clearly explain to them why a full renovation is needed, as doing cosmetic facelifts will end up costing them more in the long run. For example, simply spending money refacing the kitchen cabinets now may end up costing them more in the long run if their cabinets are not structurally sound and runs the risk of falling apart.
Learn how to bid and win projects
Take time to understand how to craft a winning bid submission. Remember: winning the right bid means bidding on the right projects. Know your cost structure and not just rely on gut-feel or plucked-from-thin-air numbers. You need to identify and review labor, material, equipment and supplies. Before submitting your bid, be sure to crunch the numbers so you can know whether the project will be profitable or not. You need to identify the acceptable bid threshold to make money on the project.
It is not just about getting a job: but getting a job that will best advance your business. Focus on projects that fit the target market you have identified as these are the types of project where you have the most knowledge and skills.
Know your financial numbers
It is important that you have a strong grasp of the financial situation of your kitchen remodeling business. When you launch your business, your tendency may be to accept every project that comes your way, afraid to turn jobs down. However, you need to know whether the jobs you are taking are real cost effective. You need to know whether you are making money or not from the jobs you accept.
Educate yourself in reading financial numbers, such as standardized chart of accounts, balance sheets, and profit-and-loss statements. Learn about cash flows and gross cash receipts, and do monthly reporting of your business to track progress and budget in order to identify a problem before it escalates.
Focus on your Customers
Customer service should be the core of your business. A key part of this is managing your client’s expectations about the project.
One of the best ways to satisfy customers is to educate them. Help them understand what you can do for them, why you are the best company for the job, and what will be part of the project. Explain your business processes and what they can expect in the course of the project, such as:
- when will the project commence
- who and how will the materials be selected
- what are the project milestones
- what will be covered and what will not
- how long will the project take to complete
- who will be responsible for cleaning up after a day’s work
- who will be responsible for disposing the replaced kitchen parts and appliances
It is extremely important that the customer understands what is in your contract – and what is outside the scope of the contract. If kitchen cabinet handles are not part of your contract, it is imperative that the customers understand that they will have to buy the handles and that there is an additional fee if you will be asked to install the handles.
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The last thing you want is to deal with an irate customer because you think the job is completed based on the signed contract; but for them, all they can see is that their new kitchen cabinets have no handles! How can a kitchen renovation be complete when the cabinets have no handles! An irate customer will not hesitate to spend time posting negative reviews about your business in Angie’s List or anywhere where your business name appears online — and negative reviews could prove detrimental to your business.
Know How to Price
Knowing how to price your services is a key ingredient in the success of your business. You need to know what to charge clients without compromising your profitability. Ensure that you correctly calculate your materials and labor needed to complete the project, including wastage. You also need to know overhead factors and your profit margins. Think of your acceptable terms and schedule of payment.
Hire the Right Talent
The kitchen remodeling business is not something a single person can do. You will need to have a team to help you in various aspects of the business — be it sales, design, and actual construction. The designer can create the concept of the kitchen, while your contractor should ensure that any construction will meet the local codes and be completed on time and on budget.
It is important to hire knowledgeable individuals who knows the technical requirements of construction and building, and knows how to deal with people. The designer must know how to listen to what the customer wants and translate the needs and wants of the customer into a design that fits the budget. During the construction, be sure to assign someone who will deal with the customer if they have questions or concerns.
When hiring employees, be prepared to take on additional obligations such as withholding taxes, paying wages, benefits, complying with employment law, and so on.
Recommended Books on How to Start a Kitchen Remodeling Business:
- Internet Marketing for Remodeling Contractors: Advertising Your Kitchen, Bath, or Home Remodeling Business Online Using a Website, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Angie’s List, LinkedIn, SEO, and More!
- Home Remodeling Success Secrets: Essential Tips Before You Buy, Sell or Remodel
- Affordable Remodel: How to Get Custom Results on a Penny-Pincher Budge
- Mastering the Business of Design Build Remodeling
- Mastering the Business of Remodeling, An Action Plan for Profit, Progress and Peace of Mind
- The Contractor’s Closing Success Blueprint: A Contractor’s Guide: Consistently Close More Profitable Jobs and Generate Higher Quality Leads
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Redesign, Redecorating, and Home Staging Business: With Companion CD-ROM
- 7 Secrets To Achieving Rapid Growth in Your Remodeling Business: And How You Can Crush It Online
- How to Start a Kitchen Remodeling Business
- Project Management Best Practices
- 5 Home-Based Home Improvement Business Ideas
- Project Management 101
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