Wednesday, April 30, 2014

So what's the point of a buying group anyways?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Step 3: Focus on Meeting... Preferable Beating Your Competitors Prices!

Whether its a windshield, hack out, or shower enclosure, your best bet to shed the profit pounds is to give it away to the customer.  For most glass companies this is fairly easy.  They've already had a lot of practice giving their profit away to suppliers so caving under the pressure of a "price-checking" customer is easier than falling off a log.

Key point:  the goal is to break even.... not go completely broke, so be careful how low you go in trying to get a job.  You don't know the overhead of competitors so you just might be pricing with respect to companies that are on their way to a bankruptcy.

How low is TOO low?  Well if you're still in business and you can pay your bills, and live paycheck to paycheck it sounds like you have a nice break even company.  If you are sooo busy you can't see straight... you might be one cash flow issue (or theft issue, or lawsuit issue) away from going OOB (out of business).  If you do go OOB, don't worry... all of you low cost competitors will be happy to hire you for peanuts, after all they can't pay you much... they have to compete on price!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Step 2: Shield Your Bottom Line From Those Pesky Vendor Rebates

In your struggle to work harder for less money, nothing can take you off course quicker than an unexpected rebate from one of your glass suppliers or other service providers.  Rebates are particularly deadly to a zero- profit company because they can come from out of nowhere... and hit you right in the bottom line.  Even the smallest rebate when you buy car windshields or even glass shower enclosures can add up... especially if your suppliers only gives out checks once per year.

If, by chance, you are wondering "what the heck is a supplier rebate?" don't worry about it.  What you don't know about I guess won't hurt you. If you have small company (or a larger company that's really bad at negotiating with suppliers), you probably don't carry enough weight to garner a seat at the rebate table anyway, so you're not in too much trouble.  But what if?

Imagine sailing in the calm seas of a break-even year when.... WHAM!... you're hit with torpedoes, sinking your zero-profit ship.  Don't let this happen to you!  The best defense to a breakeven glass company is a good offense.  Before you get hit, with an unexpected rebate check at the end of the year, contact your suppliers and vendors and make sure to cancel any rebate programs that your suppliers may have given you by accident because they thought you were the other company in town. Hit them before they hit you.

And if you don't have any rebates to cancel?  You are smooth sailing to Step 3!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Step 1: When Buying from Suppliers...Leave Big Tips

Ok there are essentially two ways to impact bottom line profit in your business: increase your sales, or decrease the costs.  Conversely, decreasing sales (and there are a lot of ways to do this) and increasing costs (this is a constant, natural part of business anyway).  So one of the biggest costs as a percentage are your material costs.  For example, if your glass material costs in your repair/installation company are greater than 30% of sales... you might as well skip to Step 2 because it appears you're giving your suppliers a big tip anyway.
Now if your material costs ARE less than 30%, don't worry just yet... You haven't received your rate hike notification for the year yet have you?  That being said, there are still things you can do with your company to dump that embarrassing, obscene profit. So let's not let those suppliers off the hook quite yet.  There's another secret coming up that can blow a hole in your plan for the perfect zero profit company, but in the meantime, (for example) make sure you are paying way too much for the top 12 most installed windshields.