Use February to Prep for the Busy Season

I hate February. It’s cold, it gets dark ridiculously early, and although it’s a shorter month, it still seems like the longest month of winter, with neither the festive holiday season of December nor the bright, shiny New Year hope of January to chase away the winter blues. I feel like I spend most of February wanting to take a long winter’s nap...which I figure I’ll need, since spring is always a crazy time for the kitchen and bath industry.

Mostly, I’m never quite sure what to do with February, and I know many people in our industry who feel the same way. We’re not quite geared up for the spring remodeling season, KBIS is still a few months away, cold weather and rampant flu viruses can discourage showroom traffic and it’s easy to get lost in the winter doldrums.

But I’ve come to realize that, while February may not be the best time for outdoor home shows or hosting big showroom events, it is the perfect month to brush up on some of the skills needed to lay the groundwork for a blockbuster spring remodeling season.

For those who are enjoying a slight lull before the busy spring season, this could be the perfect opportunity to focus on you and your business – whether it’s enhancing your own skills, prepping for the coming year, exploring new product options or taking advantage of an educational opportunity that you never seem to find time for in the busier months.

For instance, if you’d like to update your technology skills while getting a better read on “what’s next” in both design and the industry’s digital present and future, you can head down to sunny Orlando this month where KBDN kicks off its “Art + Science: How Contemporary Design & Cutting Edge Technology Can Increase Profits & Resonate with Today’s New Clients” seminar, featuring Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, CAPS, and Eric Schimelpfenig, AKBD (see related story, Page 10). And, if Florida is too far away, the program will be making its way across the country, with live seminar sessions to be held throughout the year in San Jose, Pittsburgh, Mahway, NJ, Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta.

Even if traveling isn’t in your budget right now, you can still get a handle on profit opportunities for 2013 from your office – or, even better, while curled up on your couch with a cup of hot chocolate at your side. Visit www.ForResidentialPros.com for information about how to register for KBDN’s free “Opportunities 2013: How Kitchen & Bath Design Firms Can Leverage Key Trends to Expand Profits in the New Year” webcast, featuring designer Joni Zimmerman, CKD, CBD, of the Annapolis, MD-based Design Solutions Inc.

Prefer to try something slightly more eclectic? Check out Bryan Reiss’ column on how to use body language cues to help overcome sales objections and better understand your prospects (see story, Page 16). And, if the science of reading body language intrigues you, consider taking a course on how to better translate those non-verbal cues that can give you an advantage in the selling process. If you can’t find one in your area, google “classes in reading body language” and you’ll find a wealth of online options to choose from.

February is also a great time to look over your product lines and make sure they’re a good fit for your existing clients, as well as the types of clients you want to attract in the coming year. Looking to explore some new options, or just see what else is out there? KBDN’s Annual Directory and Buyers’ Guide (Pages 35–56) offers a comprehensive listing of manufacturers of kitchen and bath products to meet a wealth of needs – from time and space savings to Universal Design to unique, one-of-a-kind extras that can help to differentiate your firm from the competition, and give your kitchen or bath project an extra edge.

February may be a short month, but if you use it wisely, it can pay dividends long after the snow has melted and the busy season has kicked into high gear.

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