Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 20

BETTER BUSINESS

Going it Alone

10 simple steps to start
your own company

IF COVID-19 HAS TAUGHT US ANYTHING, it's that we must be flexible. The
lines between work and family life have become blurred, and creating an
adaptable work schedule is necessary to maintain our sanity. If you are a
kitchen designer with five+ years of experience and are contemplating your
own business, there's no time like the present.
A report from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) states
that kitchen and bath revenues are projected at $158.6 billion, a 16.6 %
increase over 2020. Furthermore, new construction is forecasted to grow
more than 22%, and high-end and mid-range projects are expected to lead
the way, with both approaching 20% gains over last year. As a kitchen and
bath professional, our sales in 2021 are on track to far exceed those of 2020. If
there ever was a " good time " to take a risk and invest in yourself, I'd say you're
looking at it. If you have the entrepreneurial drive, from one kindred spirit to
another, I'm sharing what helped me get my business started and profitable.

ABOVE Photo illustration by

hakinmhan / Adobe Stock

5. You don't have to put all your ducks in a row to
get started. This may seem backward, but I've

1. Before you dive head-first into starting your own business, ask yourself a few
qualifying questions, such as, " Do I have the right personality for this? " To be

in business for yourself, you must be outgoing, willing to talk to anyone,
have tough conversations and take risks and responsibility. If cold calling
prospective clients makes you queasy, this may not be the right fit for you.
And most importantly, what is your " why? " Why do you want to go into
business for yourself? Do you want more flexibility in your schedule? Is it
to spend more time with your family? Or maybe you want to have limitless earning potential? Knowing your " why " is the single-most important
question you can ask yourself prior to starting your own business.
2. Next, and most obvious, do you know how to design kitchens? Don't laugh!
Just because the market for kitchens is on the rise isn't a good enough
reason to start a kitchen business. I started mine because I was a confident
expert at kitchen design, and that has remained at the core of my business 12 years later. Your clients will expect you to know everything there
is to know about kitchens, so your kitchen design expertise will pay off.
Drafting software, such as Chief Architect, produces photorealistic 3D
renderings and brings your clients' visions to life. Our clients are in awe
of these beautiful drawings during our presentations, solidifying us as the
authority in kitchen design.
3. Join the NKBA and become a Certified Kitchen Designer. To this day, earning
my CKD is what sets me apart from the competition, and it's often why I
am hired.The NKBA is a vast professional resource that will enhance and
sharpen your skills and is where prospective clients will find you. Attending chapter meetings, webinars, training sessions, continuing-education

20
20-21_KBB_0521_BetterBusiness.indd 20

and NKBA events will help you stay on top
of industry trends, sharpen your skills and is a
great networking opportunity.
4. Identify your ideal client. Do you prefer working
with high-end or more budget-friendly projects? What problem will you help them solve?
Get super specific. Knowing who your ideal
client is will help you find them and vice versa.
Then, start cold calling prospective clients,
which include contractors, real estate agents
and other industry professionals who might be
interested in working with you and/or adding
you to their list of referrals. Use social media to
your advantage with posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram announcing your new
business.Follow up with local builders and vendors and be sure to follow,like and comment on
their feeds to increase your visibility.My success
is built on consistent social media campaigns
that connect me with local businesses. And
nothing beats good old-fashioned, face-to-face
bootstrapping. In this digital age, it's hard to
deny the warmth of a friendly smile and an endearing conversation. It also takes guts to walk
in and introduce yourself to a stranger, and that
kind of grit and perseverance is what will make
your business soar. Vendors are much more
likely to collaborate or even refer you to friends
or clients if they can put a face to a name.

LIZ WALTON, CKD,
is the owner of Phoenixville, Pa.-based Liz
Walton Home. She is
also the creator of the interior design mastermind
course, " The Interior
Design Blueprint. "

found the best way to start is by doing just that.
Start finding clients, vendors and contractors,
and the rest will follow. You will learn a lot
along the way, and it's almost impossible to
predict your needs without sales. Don't worry
about not having your website perfect and up
and running yet, that will come. Get a good
accounting program or bookkeeper and focus
your energy on bringing in business. But once
you have some clients under your belt...
6. ...Then it's time to establish some systems. Businesses sink or swim based on their systems or
lack thereof. At Liz Walton Home, we follow a
strict five-step onboarding process from which
we never deviate. This avoids confusion on
all fronts and establishes boundaries early on
in the process. Other systems to consider are
how you communicate with your clients, vendors and employees and establishing a good
contract, invoicing and receivables. Systems
streamline processes and efforts among all parties, keeping you organized and in good graces
with your clients and vendors.
7. Depending on how much capital you have to invest,
there's a good chance you will be doing it all for a
while. When I started out, all I had was a com-

puter, phone, printer and a lot of tenacity. For

/ MAY-JUNE 2021 / KBBONLINE.COM / The official publication of NKBA (NKBA.org) and KBIS (KBIS.com)

5/11/21 7:27 PM


http://www.KBBONLINE.COM http://www.NKBA.org http://www.KBIS.com

Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021

Table of Contents
Editors Note
NKBA Note
Happenings
Trends
Better Business
Skill Set
NKBA List
NKBA 30s Choice
Universal Design
Solutions
Tech Savvy
Before & After
Balanced Budget
Special Section
What's Hot
Favorites
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Cover1
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Table of Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Editors Note
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - NKBA Note
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 12
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 14
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 18
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Skill Set
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - NKBA List
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - NKBA 30s Choice
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Universal Design
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 30
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Before & After
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Balanced Budget
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Special Section
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 39
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - What's Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 42
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Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Favorites
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business May/June 2021 - Cover4
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