So – you’re handy with tools, love working with cabinetry, and are considering starting a cabinet refacing business. You’ve done your own cabinet refacing, and it turned out looking just like a pro did it! But, like many of us, you suffer from those oft-heard blues: under-capitalization. Simply stated, this means you don’t have enough money to do a bang-up job of advertising to get the word out about your new business. And to tell the truth, you really don’t have a clue as to how to get started. Well, here are a few tips that just might help you get on your way. Read on…
First Things First
Starting a cabinet refacing business, as in so many other service businesses, means others need to know of your abilities. This is when the old adage of “giving in order to receive” comes into play. Let it be known among friends, acquaintances, and coworkers that you’re willing to reface their kitchen cabinets for the cost of materials only. This is a sure-fire way of getting at least one, two, or more jobs in a hurry. But be careful to not extend yourself so far that you can’t keep up with what you’ve promised.
Don’t reface cabinets “pro bono” for more than three people. That’s all you’ll need when starting a cabinet refacing business. Do the best job possible, of course. And use these three jobs to refine your skills and work on doing the job the fastest way. Time means money, so the better you get at doing your job, it’s only natural that your speed at doing it will pick up, too.
Take Pictures & Advertise Cheaply
Always bring along your digital or regular camera and use these three jobs as samples. After each job you complete, take plenty of pictures, keeping the best ones to use for both an online portfolio and/or to place in a sample book. This can prove to be invaluable as a selling tool. You’ll also want to get permission from your three original customers to use them as references. People almost always want to talk to someone for whom you’ve actually done work in order to feel more confident about allowing you to work in their homes.
Advertise your service. Starting a cabinet refacing business won’t go far without at least some initial advertisement to get your services known. Avoid large newspaper advertising and instead, utilize neighborhood papers that offer cut-rate advertising at a fraction of the cost of the larger publications. You can also spread the word online through Web sites such as CraigsList.com, TownHub.com, Hoobly.com, and others. Do a search on Google for “classified advertising” to find out where best in your local area to place some free or low-cost ads.
You may go through an initial period of sporadic work when starting a cabinet refacing business, but it won’t be for long. So many people prefer sole proprietors over big-name companies that they will often choose the solo working man (or woman!) because they know they will get one-on-one customer service and won’t have to deal with a faceless corporation if something’s not quite right. And after a short period of advertising, you’ll soon find that word-of-mouth gets your name out well enough that you won’t need to spend time or money for advertising.
But what’s the very best advice for starting a cabinet refacing business? Always perform like you’re working on your very own cabinets. That way, you know you’re giving the customer what they deserve – your very best work!
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