Kitchen Solvers: Cabinet Refacing Business Opportunity
While a lot of people with construction experience have found great success by becoming Kitchen Solvers franchisees, you don’t have to be an experienced craftsman to be a successful Kitchen Solvers owner.
Many of our most recent franchisees, like Sara Baumann of Eau Claire, Wisc., don’t have construction backgrounds. What she does have is a passion for kitchen design, a desire to help people improve their homes and a talent for putting customers at ease and earning their trust.
Baumann thinks that being a woman helps put her customers at ease.
“People are more likely to trust a woman to have good design skills and to understand the best way to redo a kitchen,” she said. “I’m still working on the craftsman skill end of things, but I gain a little knowledge from each job that I go on.”
“If you had told me two years ago that I’d be doing this, I would have told you you were crazy. I didn’t have a particular passion for cabinets,” Baumann said. “I had been staying at home with my kids, and I had been talking to a gal at the Y about her business. She’s a meeting planner. My degree is in marketing and I asked if she wanted a part-time person to work from home. Then a neighbor told me about this opportunity and said he thought it could be a really good thing.”
She bought the Eau Claire franchise in June 2011, and says it took her a little time to get up to speed — but she had booked $80,000 worth of jobs through the first 2½ months of 2012.
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Suzie Crowley and husband Brian, by contrast, has been running the Kitchen Solvers franchise in La Crosse, Wisc., for 15 years. Suzie does sales consultations and office work while Brian handles installations.
Crowley said that she thinks the keys to success are having strong people skills, being willing to follow the system, being creative, having a passion for design, being driven to succeed, having strong organizational skills, and being willing to market and network. She thinks interior designers and real estate agents would be ideal Kitchen Solvers franchisees.
“You don’t have to be a carpenter,” Suzie Crowley said. “The training is wonderful. Many franchisees have come on board that didn’t have a lot of carpentry skills, or experience with kitchen design. The most important thing is if you’ve got a flair for color or good taste in design and you want to help people.”
Others, such as Larry Schaffert in Frederick County, Maryland, came to Kitchen Solvers after having years of construction experience. Schaffert owns his own construction company, and values the simplicity and buying power that he gets from Kitchen Solvers. “If I had it to do all over again, getting into construction … I would start with Kitchen Solvers,” he said.
John Boynton of Springfield, Va., is another recent addition to the team. Boynton’s construction business had been doing about $800,000 a year in revenue, and 60 to 70 percent of that was from kitchens. He joined Kitchen Solvers after learning that he could save about 20 percent on his materials by being part of the nationwide system.