Other Small Business Owners Seen as Key Asset
Kitchen and bath specialists may be overlooking one of the most valuable sources of management and business information available to them as a small business owner and that's other small business owners in their immediate area. Pairing up with other small businesses can be a tremendous benefit to all parties involved.
Are you faced, for example, with problems like high employee turnover or low showroom traffic? It's quite likely that other business owners in the same trading area have been facing the same problems. Perhaps they've discovered solutions that they can share with you, or would be interested in hearing your solutions.
Seek out other small businesses. There are several that have immediate synergies with kitchen and bath dealerships. For instance, anyone who sells cookware, towels, kitchen linens, wallpaper, paint, flooring, small appliances, soaps or basic toiletries can benefit from you promoting their business. And, even better, they can help you accessorize yours.
Cross-promotion is easy and profitable, and can help all of you improve traffic and sales.
Even those businesses without immediate cross-promotion possibilities are still valuable for networking. The dry cleaner down the block or the dentist next door probably shares many of the same concerns you do about security, parking, cleanliness, etc.
Work out shared programs to benefit you both. For example, would a nearby restaurant trade coupons for a range or whirlpool? You can use the meals as premiums for customers or incentives for referrals; similarly, the restaurant owner can use the range or whirlpool as a prize in a drawing for customers. Have you got a working showroom display? Would his chef like to give a cooking class for selected invitees for both of your businesses?
Got a stationery or computer dealer in your area? A home office layout in their store could allow them to showcase their products in a room setting, and could allow you some extra display space.
Meet regularly with business owners in your area. Form a merchants' association to discuss common problems. You can pool funds to promote your area to shoppers.
If you've ever been to a trade show, you know that, often, you come away with a wealth of ideas simply by talking with the people there. Sometimes, what seems like an innocuous comment can trigger a great idea if you listen carefully. Think of your fellow local merchants as a permanent trade show and start networking.