May 31, 2010

Why Not Marvin?

By Paul Bieber

Marvin Gaye–One of the best R&B Soul Singers of 60’s. He did a great solo act, but was better than ever when he joined with Tammi Terrell.

Marvin the Martian–One of the great Warner Bros. cartoon characters, but he needed Bugs Bunny as his comic foil to achieve classic status.

Lee Marvin–One of the great tough guy actors, he needed great scripts like “The Dirty Dozen”, or “M-Squad” to show off his skills.

Marvin Windows–One of the best window companies around, on top of their game, but a couple of weeks ago they announced they were entering a new market to continue their growth. The announcement was that Marvin is going to become a manufacturer and supplier of siding for houses, to go along with their windows.

The common theme—1+1 can equal 3. Add something to the mix, and if the add is right, you have a home run. Let’s see how this applies to our industry and to your glass shop or business.

Marvin makes a great window. That is a given in the trade. Their wood and vinyl skills are great, they use top-of-the-line Cardinal lami and IG, and Marvin’s service is super. The leaders at Marvin can see the economy, just like the rest of us. Window sales are down. So instead of lamenting that their pie was shrinking, they went to a whole new pie. Adding their name and quality standards to selling siding is a natural. It is part of the house envelope. With an established name, they will stand a very good chance of succeeding in a new market.

So can you. If you are sitting around waiting for the economy to turn up, you will not make it. You have to be proactive. You have to find new products to sell, products to attach your good name to, products your current customers would be glad to buy from you.

Start selling windows, start selling doors. Try one of the hottest items in the industry: applied film. Sure there are a lot of companies that just do that, but there are many companies that do film and glass. Better you should be chasing the film business, then defending yourself when a successful filmer decides to go into the glass business.

Link up with a local window-washing firm. Window washers see many failed IG units, cracked or scratched lites. A link here is vital to your growth. No window washers in your area? Open a small division that handles window washing.

Look through your latest USGlass & Metal at all of the new product listings to find one that will fit your type of business. Look at the ads of your competitors and see what they they are selling. You can sell the same items too!

I know that just about all fabricators and manufacturers are looking for business. Call your vendors and ask them what is new. Ask what they will teach you about their different products. Ask what they will give you on consignment to get your new line started. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Ask now.

It is easy…once you take that first step. The step of making a decision to grow your business by addition of products. Don’t wait. There are hundreds of products you don’t sell. You only need one or tow. Ask your current customers what they are buying from other vendors. Ask them what they would like you to carry. The common thread is that you have to be proactive. Get off your duff and work to grow your business.

P.S. I just received a note from a wise man at Marvin Windows, (of course he is wise, he reads my blog) that I incorrectly said that Marvin made vinyl windows. Shame on me. Marvin is proud of the their fiberglass windows, using a pulltruded fiberglass material named Ultrex. Sorry for the mistake.