Showroom Design Cost Management, Vol. 2, Issue 8

How Quickly Can it Be Done?

 Vol.2, Issue 8


daveBreaker

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Once you have made the commitment to undertake a building/remodeling project, the task of selecting who will do it, is the next order of business. I can say with a certainty that every wholesaler/showroom owner knows a contractor/customer that they believe can do the job for them. In most cases they are mistaken in their belief for many reasons.

Here’s why:

● When you select a customer or friend they have a tendency to take advantage of the relationship in ways they would not for any other client. Deadlines and completion schedules are not taken as seriously.

● They may try to work your project in with other work as “fill in” to try to save you some money.

● Clipping corners with building protocols, permits, architectural drawings and city or state requirements may save the contractor time but cost you in fines and shut downs.

● The perception of favoritism for one customer over another to do the work may potentially alienate your other customers.

● Many wholesalers/showrooms have reliable contractor relationships, however it has been my experience across the country that it’s not worth the cost and loss of a good relationship. “Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime”. The money you’re trying to save could very well end up costing you more in delays along with peace of mind.

● Don’t build or remodel without a complete set of drawings. Building “fast track” which means that you are building as you are designing; this may or may not save time but for sure it will always cost you 20% or more from my experience.

● Have all the finish materials that usually have long lead times ordered, delivered and in hand or close to being in hand before tearing apart your showroom.

● Work with your vendors to have all the product you plan to display, ready to install when your finished displays are completed. *Just a note here. If you have to pay for any product from your vendors be sure to include that in your cost budget.

This is the eigth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: Keeping the Doors Open… Pardon Our Dust.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

12-Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

March 2016

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patBreaker

We have reached your 12th principle. What is your final piece of advice for designing successful showrooms?

daveBreaker

Change is a certainty and we need to address it, in particular regarding the morphing client base. The generation of upcoming customers does not practice the traditional protocol in making purchase decisions. They narrow down their selections, shop the brands and prices and have their notes in hand before they leave the house. Many do not even leave the house but choose to shop and buy online. This is just one example of how technology has changed current and future trends and conditions.

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Get online! Most showrooms nationwide have embraced the electronic age. Some are even trying to capture sales via the Internet. This is a serious commitment. More is needed.

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Provide your sales staff with iPads or tablets that they can carry with them on the showroom floor as they accompany clients. Create multiple “perch” locations scattered throughout the showroom so that staff remains in plain sight. I call this approach “Apple retailing.” You will recognize it if you have ever visited an Apple store. This is not the traditional way that showrooms operate. It will take courage to make this kind of change.

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Invest in new equipment and training for your sales staff so they can use electronic note pads to take orders. Like most people, showroom salespeople may resist change. It is hard to work the training into everyone’s schedule when they are busy working during the week. But the cost and effort is well worth it.

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Add displays that operate electronically. This is an improvement that will move your showroom “ahead of the pack.” Your sales staff can demonstrate electronically operated shower heads, air tubs and tub fillers. Your salespeople need iPads or tablets and smart phones and should be able to work off-site. I am amazed at how commonplace it has become to operate off-site.

Look for for more insights into Successful Showroom Style soon!

10-Plan for New Product Introductions That Excite

Plan for New Product Introductions That Excite

January 2016

patBreaker

How do you maintain a high level of excitement in your showroom?

daveBreaker

Mix things up. This takes a lot of work, but gives everyone reasons to stop in and see what’s new.

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New products will bring people into your showroom. Products that are edgy or are cutting into new industry territory generate lots of buzz.

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Learn and apply what you see at industry trade show introductions. Use the manufacturer’s resources and momentum to carry that energy through to your clients.

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Create a special place in your showroom for the new “featured attraction.” Make it a little more dramatic than the rest of the

showroom displays.

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Come up with some type of rewards program for customers and or staff. Let everyone know how much you appreciate them and that you know they could make other choices than you. I frequently give restaurant cards to our team members after a push. It is amazing what a little extra thought by someone does for a persons spirit and overall morale.

Look for next month’s topic: Plan for New Product Introductions That Excite.

Display Merchandise That Comes To Life

Display Merchandise That Comes To Life

August 2015

patBreaker

Now that we are bringing the merchandise to “center stage” how do we keep customers interested in continuing their journey through the showroom?
daveBreaker

The days of having static displays are over. Today’s customers have already researched and narrowed down their preferences before they ever step through your door.

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Install products in working displays that look just as they would in someone’s home. This will bring you that much closer to a successful sale.

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Appeal to all five senses with working displays. Running water, a bubbling air tub, various flows from rain heads and body spas, the warm feel of towel warmers and heat mats will all impress customers. Ensure your water temperature stays warm and pleasant to the touch. Water that is too cold or hot will get a negative reaction. Your showroom cannot have too many working displays.

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Be careful when choosing which products to present in working displays. You want to get the biggest bang for your buck.

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Don’t worry about not having a drain in the floor for a woking display. We have designed many working displays that do not require a floor drain.

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Maintain all working displays to ensure they are pristine in appearance and function correctly. Just like dead flowers in the entryway, working displays that are unkempt, dirty or not performing properly will do more harm than good.

Look for next month’s topic:Develop A Retail Mentality.