Thinking about opening a custom kitchen cabinets business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Breaking Into the Custom Kitchen Market
Kitchen remodeling jobs continue to be big business in the U.S. Americans are increasingly aware of the fact that a large share of family life revolves around the kitchen, and they are willing to invest significant resources to make their kitchens as beautiful and as functional as possible.
Cabinets are a major component of kitchen remodeling projects. But unlike other remodeling components (e.g. appliance), cabinetry needs to be custom manufactured for each space, using dimensions, styles and finishes that are unique to each customer.
Entrepreneurs in the custom kitchen cabinet game need to be skilled in cabinet making and carpentry. But just as importantly, you'll need to understand the dynamics of your local kitchen remodeling scene to capture your share of custom cabinet revenues.
Don't believe the people who say your cabinetmaking skills alone will guarantee your startup's success. These days, custom cabinetry is about understanding kitchen remodelers' needs and creating products that meet market demand at specific price points.
Making Headway as a New Custom Kitchen Cabinet Provider
Your commitment to your custom cabinet startup is 100%. But to earn a return for dedication, you'll need to work smart, starting with a handful of strategies for making quick gains in the local custom kitchen marketplace.
- Contractor Relationships. Remodeling contractors often rely on relationships with custom cabinetmakers to deliver kitchen remodels on time and on budget. Don't be surprised if the contractors you encounter are skeptical at first. Over time, business characteristics like reliability, affordability and quality will win their trust -- and their business.
- Industry Awareness. The cabinetry you manufactured a decade ago won't necessarily cut in today's market. Although some styles never go out of style, contractors and homeowners want cabinetmakers who stay on top of industry trends through trade shows and participation in industry organizations like the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers' Association.
- Portfolio Development. It's important to visually document every project you complete in order to create a first-class portfolio. These images need to be displayed on your business website and in printed materials to quickly demonstrate your competency and to give prospective customers an idea of the kind of work you're capable of delivering.
How to Draft a Custom Kitchen Cabinets Company Business Plan
We know - writing a business plan can be a daunting task for a new entrepreneur.
But here's the good news: With a few tips, any entrepreneur can create a successful plan for their business. If you can get past the mystique, you'll see that a business plan just describes where your custom kitchen cabinets business is headed and how you intend to get there.
Once your business plan is in place, you can use it for a variety of funding and planning functions.
If you still aren't sure where to begin, consider taking a look at several sample business plans to get the creative juices flowing.
Before you open a custom kitchen cabinets business within your community, it's a smart move to determine what the competition looks like. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of custom kitchen cabinets businesses in your area.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
As part of your due diligence on opening a custom kitchen cabinets business, it's essential that you speak with somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a custom kitchen cabinets business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the best way to find an owner of a custom kitchen cabinets business on the other side of the country to talk to?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
How to Buy a Custom Kitchen Cabinets Business
At Gaebler, we're big advocates of buying a custom kitchen cabinets business instead of a startup. Yet the process of buying a custom kitchen cabinets business introduces a new set of challenges.
As you would expect, there are a number of steps in buying a business. For most prospective business buyers, the first step is to contact a business broker.
A good business broker serves a number of useful purposes. From locating available companies to helping seal the deal, your broker will have the experience and skills to help you successfully navigate the purchase process.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
The probabilities on your surviving in business greatly improve if you decide to franchise rather than going it alone.
Before you consider starting a custom kitchen cabinets business, you may want to assess whether franchise opportunities in your space might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a custom kitchen cabinets business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to custom kitchen cabinets businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.