Other Small Business Owners Seen as Key
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
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.