June 8, 2009

How Do You Drink Your Coffee?

By Paul Bieber

Sounds like a silly question…sure…black/with cream/with sugar/with sweet-n-low/with skim milk/with splenda/cappuccino/double shot/mocha/Starbucks/hot chocolate/decaf/Lipton/fair trade…and so on.

Hundreds of varieties, stores, flavors.

If something as simple as coffee in take-out cup can have this many variations, why do you, as a glass shop owner and manager, offer glass in so few flavors and types.

So many flat glass shops say they don’t do auto glass. Sure, you don’t have to do it in your shop, but if a customer calls you, say yes. Set up an agreement with a local, reliable auto glass company to do your referrals. Have them do the job, you bill the customer and pay the auto glass shop. Let the auto glass people work with the insurance company; this is its own specialty. This way you keep the customer, and make a couple of bucks.

Set up this type of arrangement with a screen shop as well. You can also work with a reputable picture framer the same way.

What?–you don’t do storefronts over a certain size, or any second story work? Set up an arrangement with a glazier who does. You can only come out ahead if the glazier you chose for your affiliation does good work. Your customers will appreciate you as a one-stop shop.

And this goes the other way, too. Go to the local auto glass shop, or the screen fixer-upper. They get calls for IG unit replacements, get their business and you have a great two-way relationship.

I know of only a few glass shops who are qualified to do bullet-resistant glazing properly. Most shops say “NO” when they get the question. You should say “YES,” and you will have your BR division call the customer right away.

In big business this is called ‘strategic partners,’ and it sounds so business-sexy. In my glass shop, this would be called smart business.