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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am converting my garage into an office/showroom. I figure this is a good start before I consider renting anything. One of the reasons I am doing this is to try to take control of my time. I feel like I waste so much time going to my clients home when I should just have them come to my office. As contractors I feel like we do too much running around for the customers opposed to other businesses because hardly anyone has an office!
Does anyone have an office that clients visit? and has it made your life easier having clients meet you at your office instead of always driving to their homes.
 

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While meeting at the clients home adds time to our day, it allows us to check out site conditions, check out the potential work environment, and caters to our clients. G
 

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I am converting my garage into an office/showroom. I figure this is a good start before I consider renting anything. One of the reasons I am doing this is to try to take control of my time. I feel like I waste so much time going to my clients home when I should just have them come to my office. As contractors I feel like we do too much running around for the customers opposed to other businesses because hardly anyone has an office!
Does anyone have an office that clients visit? and has it made your life easier having clients meet you at your office instead of always driving to their homes.
We have clients in the office all the time and actually have a showroom / conference room next to the project managers office for meetings. We also offer snacks, drinks and magazines while they wait or they can snoop around through our product brochures and displays.

Usually they are here to pick out doors or storm doors and hardware from our catalogs, drop off payments or to sign a change order or contract. They are much more at ease here and not as jumpy as when we used to take them across the street to the front desk of the lumber yard.

I think it will be money well spent for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's not the first site visit that seems like a waste of time but when it's time to sign the contract and permits it seems like the customer should come to the office instead of the contractor driving to them. My goal here is to free up more of my time so I am not running around so much. I don't think most customers will mind coming the office to sign a few documents.
 

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It's not the first site visit that seems like a waste of time but when it's time to sign the contract and permits it seems like the customer should come to the office instead of the contractor driving to them My goal here is to free up more of my time so I am not running around so much. I don't think most customers will mind coming the office to sign a few documents.
You pegged it right there. I would much rather visit an office to sign papers than have someone visit my home while I'm eating my dinner - so it would be a win-win for everyone. :thumbsup:
 

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I don't know of any contractor in my area that does this.

Personally, I don't like the idea. Having a showroom would be great, but not in my own home.

Though I agree it would free up more time for you, it's not doing that for the customer, it's actually costing them time. Some of the jobs we perform can be upwards of 30-50 miles away - I could never ask a customer to make that drive - especially to sign a contract. I can't imagine getting the go ahead on a $100,000 bath or kitchen or addition, and the next sentence is "great, when can you stop by my office and sign a contract and write me a check".

Again, all of this is just my opinion, but it also seems like you have two different issues going on here: 1. a need for a showroom, and 2. more time.

I think you are trying to solve both problems with 1 solution. Showroom would be good if you do a lot of kitchen and bath remodeling, but there are other options....I believe on of our members here - Silvertree - has a mobile showroom, maybe he would be kind enough to share some insight here.
 

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He'll be around...silvertreeconstruction.com....check it out.

I think it is WOW Kitchens...or something like that.

Paul...where'd you go? Out in those crazy rainbow boots again...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know of any contractor in my area that does this.

Personally, I don't like the idea. Having a showroom would be great, but not in my own home.

Though I agree it would free up more time for you, it's not doing that for the customer, it's actually costing them time. Some of the jobs we perform can be upwards of 30-50 miles away - I could never ask a customer to make that drive - especially to sign a contract. I can't imagine getting the go ahead on a $100,000 bath or kitchen or addition, and the next sentence is "great, when can you stop by my office and sign a contract and write me a check".

Again, all of this is just my opinion, but it also seems like you have two different issues going on here: 1. a need for a showroom, and 2. more time.

I think you are trying to solve both problems with 1 solution. Showroom would be good if you do a lot of kitchen and bath remodeling, but there are other options....I believe on of our members here - Silvertree - has a mobile showroom, maybe he would be kind enough to share some insight here.

I live in the city so most of my customers are within 10 miles of my home/office. I do understand your point of losing a customer.
I would let it be known from our first meeting that this is the way we do business. That if there are documents that need to be signed they can just swing by the office.
The more I think about this idea the more I like it!
 

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Merbs -

I guess it all depends on where you live. If all of my customers were within 10 miles, I would highly reconsider the home office (suitable for clients).

But unfortunately (or fortunately) our client base extends well into a 50 mile radius from the home/office. So with you, I think there is a far less chance of "inconveniencing" a customer and potentially losing them, as could be the case in my situations.

And Jesse - yes I agree just because no one else has done it, does not mean it should not be attempted, just not willing to attempt it at the cost of losing a customer(s).

Paul - thanks for the pics, didn't mean to make your ears ring!
 

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Merbs -

I guess it all depends on where you live. If all of my customers were within 10 miles, I would highly reconsider the home office (suitable for clients).

But unfortunately (or fortunately) our client base extends well into a 50 mile radius from the home/office. So with you, I think there is a far less chance of "inconveniencing" a customer and potentially losing them, as could be the case in my situations.

And Jesse - yes I agree just because no one else has done it, does not mean it should not be attempted, just not willing to attempt it at the cost of losing a customer(s).

Paul - thanks for the pics, didn't mean to make your ears ring!
That makes good sense.

In our situation most of our clients live or work within 5 miles of our office. Once we grow enough that we can really spread out I will open satellite offices in other cities.....even if it's just an estimator and secretary in those offices and we send the actual crew out from Jeff City as the hub.
 

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Not a bad idea, just remember the amount of O/H you will incur with satellite offices, office staff, etc.

I would assume your job size/costs may be less than mine and your plan makes good sense. Just thinking out loud here, but you mention about satellite office and dispatching a crew from your office (?)...what about letting guys have their own vehicle to take home, dispatch them from satellite office or home?
 

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Not a bad idea, just remember the amount of O/H you will incur with satellite offices, office staff, etc.
Yes overhead does go up significantly - but so does the status of the company. When battling the Handyman stereotype I find it's best to go that extra mile of professionalism. I am not good at putting my thoughts into words but the clients that I am after gravitate to the "Brand" we have built and our office is just another part of that brand.

I would assume your job size/costs may be less than mine and your plan makes good sense. Just thinking out loud here, but you mention about satellite office and dispatching a crew from your office (?)...what about letting guys have their own vehicle to take home, dispatch them from satellite office or home?
I have thought about that as well - we plan to have full crews in nearby cities (within 50 miles of JC) once the client base has been firmly established. The satellite office just helps establish our foothold

Someday I will let the guys take the service vans home - but not yet. The current vans already have plenty of miles on them (250-300,000 miles each)

My business model is more like a HVAC or plumbing contractor rather than a remodeling contractor. I have a lot of service techs going allot of different directions all in seperate vans.
 
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