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DGR,IABD
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The subject of a storefront came up (somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I think) in another thread, but it caused me to think. Most of the high profile GC and subs in my area do operate a bonafide storefront, reception area, or showroom. Is this one of the closely held secrets of being successful, or just another approach? I can see where the storefront concept would have merit, but I'm not sure if the associated overhead can be justified. Opinions?
 

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Custom Builder
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I think it depends on how you set up the store front. Years ago I had a lot of luck with a small office area and a big shop area just off it. I'd try to keep the fellas busy durring customer visits and sit downs. I guess they liked to see us in the thick.

As far as the GCs that like that new car dealer approach, I wouldn't know how they come out, and don't really want to know. It doesn't seem like construction if you pant it pretty pink.

Bob
 

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md, this is a by-product of being successful. Most of the big boys operate this way, some even have complete design centers with furniture and anything else you might need or want. True one stop shopping, which also makes it a stand alone business.
The other, smaller guys incorporate it into their business offices and go for the write off. You still have to have the income to support a $220K+ deduction.
 

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It's part of my long term goals to own a store front at least for my sales office. A smaller store front with a warehouse elsewhere will cost less than a large store front with warehouse combo.

I want it for the name branding as people drive bye and see my signs and trucks. Neighborhood presence is powerful.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter #5
Then, if I understand correctly, you don't need a storefront to be successful. When you are sufficiently successful, then you will necessarily want to maintain a storefront. Do I have it right?
 

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don,t think a store front is nesesary. but a seperate office address from your home helps separate you from the competion.other reason is you might actualy be able to do some paperwork est ect.going to check out small office space this week.
 

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bergenbldr said:
that small space ,two rooms 12x20 and 15x15,was 1400 a month plus utilitys.
I'm still looking was hoping pay a lot less.Small warehouse space would also work as i could build office in it for about cost of materials. Plus we need storage for tools and equipment.As i wasn,t going to use office to meet with customers the office park setting is realy not worth the money.
 

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I have 2, 16x16 rooms with a glass ( store front) in one room that looks over the parking lot. 325.00 a month and all utilities paid.

There were several reasons I went this route. The one I think of the most is to keep employies away from my house. The less they know about you and what you have , the better.
 

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I'm curious to know why you feel that way?

One reason is to keep your employees out of your personal business. If you happen to live in an exclusive area, have fancy furniture, expensive artwork, ect. you don't know what goes trough people's minds. They may not steal what you have, but in telling others what their rich boss owns, it could open you up to problems. Plus they may think their boss is so well off, that they deserve a raise, special treatment, ect. (Well my boss is so rich so he an afford @#$%^&)

Just my reasoning. I live in a very nice area and don't like to let customers know. I like them to think of me as just a regular guy. That is what I consider myself.

CB
 

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One reason is to keep your employees out of your personal business. Plus they may think their boss is so well off, that they deserve a raise, special treatment, ect. (Well my boss is so rich so he an afford @#$%^&)
CB
That reminds me of the story a buddy of mine who runs a painting company, this year he finally broke down and replaced his worn out 300K pick up with a 1 year old F150 4 door. By lunch 2 of his painters hit him up for raises - reason being obviously if he can afford such a nice new truck he can afford to pay them more.

Never assume you know how an employee employs logic.
 

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Before you run out and set up a showroom, remember one thing location, location, location, if your showroom is in a low traffic area, your better off operating out of a storage locker, a high traffic area is what makes the investment pay off, high traffic, high visability. A bargin showroom location, will not be such a bargin, when it does not generate the business. A good location may cost more but your increased profits, will more then pay the difference.

Not only the location is important, but how you set up the display, and how well you know your products, along with how your sales skills are.

Fill your showroom with quality products, that have strong national Ad coverage, and product awareness, deal with companies that can help support your showroom. The Co Op monies from these strong companies, can reduce your overall expenses.
 

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I think it's just another approach. We take a different viewpoint.

Our office is sufficiently nice to work in, but utilitarian in nature. We **do** have a "nice" conference room, with a table for 10 for the rare occasion we have a client over maybe to review a contract, etc. We have about 10k sq ft worth of warehouses (2), and a 2 acre yard for equipment and such. We are in a relatively inexpensive industrial area of town, and while its OK during the day, at night I would carry my pistol... lol. We also own the building outright.

A lot of us in this company came from another very large organization that went out of business after the second generation decided they were rich and built a extremely fancy "corporate" office. I mean.... $6000 drinking fountains, and tweed walls, the whole 9 yards. This was an outfit that did approx 30-50 million a year worth of plumbing and mechanical. They lasted about 6 years after the younger ones inherited the business.

We don't advertise, for that matter, we do not even put our business phone # on the trucks. We run our company as lean as possible, pinch every penny where we can, but at the same time we will not compromise our level of quality work, and we all make more money than our competition, not just the owner.

Crb5
 

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I think it's just another approach. We take a different viewpoint.

Our office is sufficiently nice to work in, but utilitarian in nature. We **do** have a "nice" conference room, with a table for 10 for the rare occasion we have a client over maybe to review a contract, etc. We have about 10k sq ft worth of warehouses (2), and a 2 acre yard for equipment and such. We are in a relatively inexpensive industrial area of town, and while its OK during the day, at night I would carry my pistol... lol. We also own the building outright.

A lot of us in this company came from another very large organization that went out of business after the second generation decided they were rich and built a extremely fancy "corporate" office. I mean.... $6000 drinking fountains, and tweed walls, the whole 9 yards. This was an outfit that did approx 30-50 million a year worth of plumbing and mechanical. They lasted about 6 years after the younger ones inherited the business.

We don't advertise, for that matter, we do not even put our business phone # on the trucks. We run our company as lean as possible, pinch every penny where we can, but at the same time we will not compromise our level of quality work, and we all make more money than our competition, not just the owner.

Crb5
The showroom approach is for the residential market, if you have industrial, and commercial accounts, your method will usually work well.
I had to laugh, when you said carry a pistol, years ago I worked for a contractor, that had his office and shop, in a less then desirable area, the first day I arrived at the shop, I heard pop! pop! pop! I asked the forman what the heck is that, he said don't worry it's only random gun fire, you will get use to it, after a while you don't even notice it.
 

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We do nothing but the heavy commercial / industrial.

Personally, I'm not the owner... I spent 18 yrs in the field, with the vast majority of that in a supervisory role. The past 2 years, I have been in the office on estimation and project management. Truth be told, its only just an extension of what I always did in the field, just on a larger scale.

No clue where I got any business savvy from... I'm your typical southern redneck high school dropout construction worker. :thumbup:

Crb5
 
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