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16 July 2008

I'm starving to death. Not my stomach. My wallet. I need clients. No one is spending $ on kitchen & bath remodeling due to ga$ prices sucking the oxygen out of everyone's lives. Of course, maybe my feet stink. Or I'm lame. Or I suck.
No one is spending $ on kitchen & bath remodeling due to ga$ prices

OK, hm. Can you play this angle? Can you run a campaign saying "Hey, you're at home more often, cooking home more often - now's the time to make home more inviting!" Can you run some kind of bargain special, free consult, something like that? Have an open house at a beautiful kitchen that you've redone recently, serve some food and wine, and distribute flyers about small changes that can have big impact and making eating in and entertaining at home that much more fun?

Those are my brainstorms. Aside from that, I'm sorry you're broke. I'm also broke, and darned tired of it, too. Hope your luck changes soon!
posted by Miko 16 July | 12:44
Sorry, chew.

I think Miko's suggestions are excellent. Capitalize on the "Staycation" trend.
posted by LoriFLA 16 July | 12:49
Thanks Miko - I hope your luck changes soon too! My plan was to redo our own kitchen and use it as a showroom sorta deal, but the usual lack of moola cramps my style. But the free consultation could work, too. :D
posted by chewatadistance 16 July | 13:22
Love the Staycation idea. Another idea on playing the angle would be to focus on making their space more energy efficient. Did you know that using old seals will cost you $X in fuel bills over the course of a year?
posted by rhapsodie 16 July | 13:33
I'm broke as well. Seems like nobody needs anything translated in July. Just to think that last month, I had to turn several things down because I had too much work as it was! But now it's been nearly two weeks since the last one.
posted by Daniel Charms 16 July | 13:36
Did you know that using old seals will cost you $X in fuel bills over the course of a year?

Not to mention it's cruelty to animals.
posted by loiseau 16 July | 14:44
Seems like nobody needs anything translated in July.

Don't worry Daniel Charms. I have been translating full time for more than ten years, and my colleagues and I all agree that July is the slowest month of the year.
posted by msali 16 July | 15:25
msali: that's been my experience as well. It still sucks, though.
posted by Daniel Charms 16 July | 15:59
The free consultation idea is a great one - a lot of kitchen companies here shy away from them because of people getting someone to design a killer kitchen for free and then having them shop the design around for quotes.

We have had a lot of trouble getting even quotes for kitchens for our house because everyone is so busy, but we had someone come out a couple of days ago (although we had to book several weeks in advance) for what was to be a free two-hour consultation. Four hours later, all our concerns about how to make the kitchen work in all the different ways we want it to were resolved and we had a quote that was very well priced for a design that we (well, my partner, because I was at work) are very happy with. They got the sale, of course. One of the things that I noticed was that they didn't leave any plans with us - they did the design on a laptop and took it all away after the consultation. Once we pay the deposit we can get plans, 3-D projections etc, but they ain't gonna give us the plans to shop around to competitors.

Even if offering free consultations doesn't bring you work now, it will probably pay off in the future, by getting you known. Often people keep this type of information for years and bring it out for their next project. What have you got to lose?
posted by dg 16 July | 16:31
Blame the dropping prices in houses, chewatadistance. Bath&kitchens are the things to spiff up when thinking of selling. It raises the selling price.
When no selling is going on...

Some creative advertising is necessary and Miko's suggestion is great, hopefully in some toney neighbourhood.

I'm surprised you're feeling the effect so soon. The gas prices¿ No, fear of job losses...

Meanwhile, in Alberta they can't get enough trades and those that are there have no lodging...but, who wants to work in Fort McMurray./
posted by alicesshoe 16 July | 16:49
Maybe you could work the "patio kitchen" angle?
posted by dhartung 16 July | 19:22
Wow, guys - great input! I had thought about the outdoor grill thing but I totally forgot about it - always looking for more post material, thanks. And dg I'll definitely look at the free estimate thing more seriously - thanks for sharing the experience with me. You guys are awesome! I'm still poor, but I feel better. :)
posted by chewatadistance 16 July | 19:44
Good suggestions above!

Also, advertise the ways in which having a kitchen designer will save them money and hassle on the project: You know appliances better than the average person, and can steer them to equivalent items that meet their budget; you know options for countertops and cabinetry that will achieve the effect without breaking their budget. You know where the values are. That's the expertise you bring to the task.

Plus, it's very easy for the client - you can go to them instead of them shopping all around.

You reduce their stress by providing a good, clean set of documents for contractors to use in estimating, thus, reducing the surprise factor of hidden items...

Sell the invaluable service that you provide and educate the potential client about your services. Many folks don't know what a designer does...

Goodness, hang in there, things are difficult, but you can make it through if you keep at the marketing.
posted by mightshould 17 July | 09:44
A trailer for Ghost Town, || FOXNews on climate change and you