Thrifty Doesn’t Mean Cheap: How a Home-Based Woodworking Business Can Maintain Quality and Profit Margins
Training and buying cooperative give Kitchen Solvers cabinet refacing business owners a big advantage over other home-based woodworking businesses
Kitchen Solvers Cabinet Refacing
Thrifty doesn’t mean cheap.
Thrifty means you deliver excellent value without wasting money or supplies.
Cheap often just means ugly.
Thrifty means buying a well-made tool that will last decades.
Cheap means buying an inexpensive tool that will break in a year.
Thrifty means investing in a low-cost franchise company with a proven business model, training, a network of other professionals who can answer questions and a responsive operations team.
Cheap means starting out on your own business, with lower startup costs, but with higher costs for materials, no training, little advice and a high likelihood of failure.
Kitchen Solvers is all about being thrifty
Kitchen Solvers offers customers a wide range of kitchen remodeling services — everything from complete tear-out and redesign and rebuilds, to cabinet refacing, to wood restoration. We got our start in 1982 by pioneering solid-wood kitchen cabinet refacing, and it still makes up the bulk of our business.
Solid-wood kitchen cabinet refacing is a perfect example of the difference between “thrifty” and “cheap.” Before we started 30 years ago, “cabinet refacing” usually meant using a cheap veneer to cover up worn-out cabinets. Cracks, blisters and seams were inevitable, and the finished product rarely looked good after a year or two. Kitchen Solvers’ solid-wood cabinet refacing eschewed the “cheap” solution in favor of a comprehensive retrofit and repair of old cabinets — replacing doors, drawers and hardware with brand new pieces, and using one-eighth-inch furniture-grade plywood to transform the look of cabinets in a way that would withstand decades of regular use.
Did we find ways to save our customer money? Yes. Did we do it by compromising quality? Heck no.
We carry the same approach into our franchise operations.
Kitchen Solvers uses a buying cooperative and strong negotiations to secure the best supply prices for franchisees, which allows them to offer competitive prices while still maintaining solid profit margins.
We also offer sales training that helps franchisees learn to build customer relationships and trust. While Kitchen Solvers’ prices will often be better than competitors, we don’t want franchisees to compete for jobs strictly on the basis of price — or how “cheaply” a job can be done. Instead, we train franchisees to act as consultants who can help homeowners navigate the maze of options that are available to them as they contemplate a remodel. Educated customers feel more in control of the remodeling process. They’re happier, they’re more likely to offer referrals and they’re less likely to base a decision solely on price. They’re more interested in value: How their new kitchen will meet their needs.
Focusing immediately on cost — on how “cheap” a job can be accomplished — often leads contractors to cut corners and withhold ideas that customers might love. We don’t want to withhold ideas. We want to help customers dream big, and we want to help them accomplish those dreams. Sure, customers may have to leave out a few options depending on their budget — but it should be their choice. By giving the customer control, we give them the power to get as much value out of their kitchen remodel as possible.Back