As 2008 comes to a close, I can look back in amazement at what a year it was for business. Gratefully, our overall business was up over the previous year, but I still feel for those other businesses that suffered greatly. With layoffs, the recession, store closures, and government bailouts, I feel so grateful for what our sales team, deliverymen, warehousemen, installers, and office personnel have accomplished this past year. As sales in our industry ended down about 20-35% overall, I am thankful to report an incredible 17% INCREASE in sales over 2007 for Feder’s Kitchen Appliance and Air Conditioner Distributors!
How did it happen? Well, first and foremost, we had a plan. At the end of 2007, we met and discussed the upcoming year and specifically decided what to focus on. What changes needed to be made, product lines that needed to be dropped, and what we wanted to start selling. We looked at the bulk of our business and decided where we could pick up more business and tried to alleviate what may not have been working.
Next, we decided to focus even more on our customers than in the past. We made a dedicated effort to say thank you as often as possible, using a simple thank you card and other promotions. Next to the Feder’s team, our customers are the most important asset we have. We listened to feedback after all of their purchases and tried to implement our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
We also focused our business on a small niche that give us the expertise where our customers feel comfortable purchasing from us after we give our insight and opinions. We are not only experts in the multi-family management, investor, and builder market, but we have been selling air conditioners and appliances for more than 42 years! In addition, we are not afraid to tell a customer that we can not help them in certain situations. I like to say that we don’t know what we don’t know and that if a customer feels we are making up an answer to a question is a bigger flaw than telling them that we can’t help, or don’t in fact know the answer.
We’ve recently completed our plan for 2009, and with the help of our amazing team and incredible customers, we hope next year will be the best one yet!
Here’s wishing you, your families, and all those you care about the best 2009 has to offer. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!
The Feder Family