3 Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business

DreamMaker franchise helps new and existing remodelers succeed. Here are 3 tips to grow your remodeling business.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchisees gather for our 2013 Reunion. One of the best ways to grow your remodeling business is to become part of a bigger team.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchisees gather for our 2013 Reunion. One of the best ways to grow your remodeling business is to become part of a bigger team.

There are limits to hard work. When growing a remodeling business, it’s not unusual for the owner to work 70-hour weeks meeting with homeowners, making bids, suggesting designs, ordering inventory, billing and handling the project with the help of subcontractors. Because of all the facets of the business, successful remodelers often hit a brick wall. There is plenty of demand for their services, but there’s not enough time to tackle additional projects.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen helps remodelers, whether they are new to the industry or longtime remodelers, break through that barrier so they can continue to grow their remodeling business — often while working fewer hours, not more.

Here are three tips to help you get to the next level:

1) Stop undercutting yourself: Some customers focus on hiring the cheapest remodeler they can find, and many remodelers give in to that mindset and slash their prices to compete for these customers. It’s important to offer a fair value, but it’s also reasonable to ask for a fair price. The way many remodelers “win” a lowball contract is to lower their profit margins. Typically, they charge just enough to cover their product and labor expenses, plus a small profit.

You deserve to be paid for more than the installation phase of a remodeling project. Managing a remodeling project takes time, energy and expertise. Designing a project requires skill and a commitment of time. When you give all those things away, it hurts your ability to hire great carpenters and subcontractors, which forces you to turn to cheaper labor. That forces you to provide more supervision, which means more hours for you.

All of that extra, uncompensated work is one of the biggest reasons many remodelers work 70-hour weeks to keep their businesses running. With higher profit margins, you can afford to hire people to help you with sales and to choose better subcontractors and employees who require less supervision. Better subcontractors and employees also increase the quality of the finished project. Look for customers who are interested in quality — not just price.

Steve Everett has seen his margins and quality of life improve since converting his remodeling business into a DreamMaker franchise in 2007. You can find his story on our blog.

Steve Everett has seen his margins and quality of life improve since converting his remodeling business into a DreamMaker franchise in 2007. You can find his story on our blog.

2) Price great customer service into your business: In general, remodelers don’t have a great reputation. Unfortunately, there’s a reason. Homeowners swap horror stories about remodeling projects that dragged on for months, unnecessary delays, expensive surprises, lack of communication and more.

The good news is that when you offer excellent service, word about that gets around, too.

The keys to great customer service are communication and organization. At the beginning of a remodeling project, it’s important to consult with customers to be sure you understand what they want and what they don’t like about their current kitchen. Then you can educate your customer about the options that are available.

Once you have been hired, you should create a 3D design to help the customer conceptualize the finished project. That way, if customers want to make changes, they can do it before tearout and construction begins. That will save them time and money. Once you have settled on a design, you should be able to provide an exact estimate for the cost of the project, as well as a timetable for completion.

The timetable is important, because it should guide your ordering decisions and help you schedule plumbers and electricians to keep jobs moving.

Of course, some delays are inevitable. When you remove old cabinets, you may discover signs of water damage or mold. Great customer service means communicating quickly with customers to let them know about unforeseen issues and provide guidance about how they will affect the schedule. If you have a well-thought-out timetable for your project, you should be able to quickly revise the schedule as needed and let the homeowner know what to expect.

Great customer service takes time, and the only way you’ll be able to provide it is to free more time for upfront consultation and for project oversight. Build that time into your prices. It will enable you to deliver better customer service, which will lead to happier customers and more referrals.

3) Network and learn: One of the best ways to grow your remodeling business is to take the time to learn from your peers. You can learn about trends by talking to subcontractors, other remodelers and suppliers, and you may even pick up a few tips for ways to improve your business. Of course, there are limits to what you can learn — we hear all the time that your competitors are guarded when it comes to sharing their trade secrets with you. That’s why it’s powerful to join a larger organization like DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen. Our franchisees don’t compete with one another, so they are free to share advice and best practices, and build a deeper camaraderie as they build their businesses.

And deeper camaraderie is just part of the benefit. Since you and your fellow franchisees are using the same foundational systems to run your businesses, it makes it much easier to brainstorm, analyze challenges, and identify opportunities for growth. The common systems, and the network of peers who know the game plan and can help you master it, shortens the learning curve for you as you work to achieve each new level of success.

DreamMaker can help your remodeling business grow

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has helped dozens of remodelers grow their businesses. Thanks to our systems, our vendor relationships and our excellent franchisees, our remodeling franchise owners achieved an average profit margin of 43.5% in 2012.

To learn how we achieve higher profit margins, and why we think that’s important, visit our research pages, where you’ll have a chance to download our free franchise report. If you’re looking for ways to grow your remodeling business, we can help. You can read DreamMaker franchise reviews on our blog to learn about other remodelers who enjoyed a breakthrough by becoming a part of DreamMaker. We hope to talk to you soon.

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