Resolve to Become More Profitable in '05

Resolve to Become More Profitable in '05

The New Year, even this early into 2005, is looking as though it should prove to be another positive year for housing and for a kitchen/bath niche that continues to remain vibrant and fast-growing.

Business conditions, as noted in this month's Forecast 2005 feature, remain favorable. At the same time, household demographics point to a large and enthusiastic base of customers who are apparently continuing their love affair with kitchens and bathrooms that express their taste, address their needs and reflect their hot buttons.

That's the good news.

But will 2005 be as good a year for your design firm as it will likely be for the industry as a whole? And will your company make the most of the ample profit opportunities that exist in today's market?

There's no better time than now to resolve that the answer to both of those questions will be a resounding "yes."

Foremost among every business owner's New Year's resolutions, in fact, should be a commitment to make a concerted effort to expand their company's profitability in 2005.

That resolution, of course, can be achieved in large measure simply by applying a success formula Kitchen &?Bath Design News has been espousing for years. It's a formula that involves such principles as accurately estimating and pricing, maximizing sales prices through add-ons and custom design details, protecting against margin erosion by eliminating mistakes, assuring that your showroom spotlights the latest trends, and marketing your company in a way that differentiates it from its competitors.

But kitchen and bath design firms should also resolve in 2005 to take that success formula one step further.

The way to do that is by setting your sights beyond the kitchen and bath and creating new, unexploited revenue streams in areas of the home that can make a difference for both your customers and your company's bottom line.

The notion of achieving greater profitability by looking at areas of the home outside of the kitchen and bath will be emphasized heavily in 2005 by K&BDN, which this month launches a quarterly series examining "other-room" profit opportunities that are often overlooked by kitchen and bath specialists.

Appropriately titled "Expanded Profit Centers," the series opens with a look at the profit opportunities that exist in laundry rooms. Upcoming 2005 features will examine similar opportunities in closets and master suites.

That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg for kitchen and bath design firms.

Ample and growing profit opportunities also exist in such areas of the home as family rooms, rec rooms, finished basements, entertainment centers, home offices, pantry areas, outdoor kitchens, children's study areas, home gyms, pet centers, morning kitchens, home libraries, mud rooms and sewing rooms.

Kitchen/bath specialists should make a conscious attempt to expand their horizons and grow their profits this year by looking closely at these areas, and others.

They should then take steps to capture the business that's out there by displaying products for virtually all areas of the home, performing a comprehensive needs assessment of clients, being prepared to present ideas and, most importantly, asking for the business.

The year 2005 promises to be a very good one if current business indicators are as accurate as is widely thought.

It can be an ever better year if kitchen and bath specialists open their minds, and their business, to all of the profit possibilities that exist, not simply those that seem to be the most obvious.