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Marketing Advice / Inspiration10/24
Custom Cabinet shop in need of marketing ideas.
7 Person custom cabinet shop in dire need of marketing ideas. We’ve been going strong for many years, but for some reason all of a sudden the bottom has dropped out and we have no signed projects coming down the pike. We have been bidding consistently, but have been losing some projects to other shops, some projects just don’t seem to be moving forward, and a couple of our steady contractors have gone out of business. I’m going to have to lay off guys soon.
Shamefully, we have done barely any marketing over our 10+ years. I say shamefully because I truly believe it is important, and always been skeptical of a business that only gets work through word of mouth. (Why not try and get more business?) Of course, most of the time I felt too busy to spend time and energy to be a salesman.
We have a website, not too old, but also not too fresh. Over time, most of our work has been through architects and contractors- we don’t necessarily like to market to the public because they have a high “waste of time” rate.
In my opinion, I don’t really believe that print ads and flyers work well. I prefer to make contact with the architects and contractors via email and phone. The problem is that I dislike calling and visiting as a salesperson, it only feels more and more difficult when business is not doing well.
I wonder if one of my hires shouldn’t have been a salesperson, since this is the aspect of the business I never liked. I love meeting clients, preparing for the work, and running the business. But I’ve always disliked the work of selling “cold”.
Any ideas? What has worked for those of you in similar shops?
Mail (not email) former customers a post card.
Go visit them.
You need to stay connected to your former customers.
Lead generation is another matter.
Networking is best for that.
We are wholesale only but I do go out and take a bottle of wine or something nice to a new designer or two each quarter and leave them our info or talk to them. I have never sold a toothpick through our websites. Most of our biz is word of mouth and we also have lost designers who retired so needed to fill the void.
I also use email and write to designers who don't use us with a few photos of our work and that has worked for me. 35 years and still kickin'.
Social media/Facebook It's free and you can post ideas and projects as they are built. My 36 year old son starts all his research, for any purchase, on his smart phone. Update that dated web page, add a couple of videos. If everything has dropped off, I'd say you have more problems than marketing. What's your shop like? CNC? Outsource anything? Sounds like you should be looking at procedures and efficiency if you are losing those bids to competitors.
I truly feel it depends on your market?
Where are you located....whats the average price of your kitchen / or job?
I think I could give much better advice and everyone else here if we knew more about you...your shop and capabilities.
I would very much like to see everyone that works hard at their business succeed.
Short term, you need to pound the pavement and burn up the phones.
Derrek what social media campaign or sign is giving you that type of return? Just curious which site is the best and if you spend money promoting things on facebook or instagram?
Sorry, I will tell you just about anything about my business except for specifics on my marketing. Learned that lesson the hard way.
Hardly a secret that Facebook is the go to.
Websites are the long play. Having a solid website can also work to build the business to business relationships get started but it really takes the interpersonal skills to continue to build those relationships.
As far as the social marketing, you need to be on Facebook for all updates, Instagram and/or Pinterest for your really nice looking projects that you want to share.