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SENsational Breakdown for Business Development

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About this Episode

Tune into this week’s episode of the Remodeler Success Podcast as we speak with Bryan Winemiller, Director of Vendor Development at SEN Design Group. He talks about how becoming a member will allow you to access some key benefits and services for your remodeling business!

  • The Business Development Services for Remodelers
  • The Key Benefits of Becoming A Member of a Mastermind Group
  • How to Become a member of SEN Design Group

Dennis Oz: Welcome to another episode of the Remodeling Success Podcast. I’m your host Dennis Oz. Yes, we are bringing you great content from the industry and we are inviting key speakers to our podcast every single time. Today I’m hosting an expert in the industry. We’re going to talk about so many different things and we’re going to talk about education, growing the business and yeah, I’m really excited about that. Right next to me, Bryan Winemiller is with me, Bryan, welcome to the show!

Brian Winemiller: Glad to be here thanks for the conversation.

Dennis Oz: Of course, Bryan, could you please introduce yourself?

Brian Winemiller: Yeah, absolutely. Dennis, I’d love to. Again, thank you for having me, today as the director of Inner Development of SEN Design Group, the kitchen and bath premier buying group, it’s hard to believe I’ve been in this industry for over a decade, nearly two. I actually started out in retail and built a career, driving grills for a portfolio of industry partners, small and large companies alike from building material supply companies, remodeling companies, a local cabinet manufacturer and cabinetry dealerships. And along the way, I found a love for product design and development, and for the way that kitchen bath products can really change a space.

Dennis Oz: Wow. Very interesting, I know that you are in the industry for a little while and for a quite bit of a long time, how would you describe the reflection of your experiences to the work you do now?

Brian Winemiller: As perhaps any true creative will tell you a keen eye for design never really leaves you, does it? Even my earliest, work as a designer was a chance for me to think about the kitchen, and bath products and new and different ways, a chance to consider finishes and styles and all the aspects of design that many of your listeners may know very well. And that way my design experience informs every aspect of the work I do now. I became interested in design at a very young age. I actually started studying art in college with a focus on drawing. So yeah, I see all of the work that I do today in the eye of design. And I see everything with a keen eye for a place where four meets function. I noticed early in this industry has a strong concentration in design. And I also wanted to grow in the business, know-how. In fact, that’s in part why I became a member of SEN Design Group many years ago. Today in the role, the largest area of growth in our membership at SEN Design Group is actually like design-build, which is your listeners I think there’s a good reason for that.

Dennis Oz: That’s a great reason for that. Oh, absolutely. Let’s talk about SEN Design Group a little more in detail. Could you please tell us more about what you do in the SEN design group and do you guys do there?

Brian Winemiller: Yeah, as for benefits. Well, the very nature of a buying group is about purchasing power and the perks of rebates too, of course, but I tend to think that just icing on the cake, the most impact benefit of our members, I feel is the area of business education. At SEN Design Group, our chief focus is equipping kitchen and bath businesses with tools to empower their success. We do that in a number of ways to help drive business growth and business development.

Dennis Oz: That’s great. That is a lot of advantages for people who just want it to go there and get the benefits from the SEN Design group. And can you talk a little more about like key benefits of becoming a member of SEN Design Group?

Brian Winemiller: First let me give you a bit of an overview. It’s important to remember that when we think about remodeling kitchen and bath products matter, that’s in part why SEN Design Group, our members benefit from more than 50 vendor partners in cabinetry, appliances, countertops, fixtures, hardware, lighting, flooring, tile, you name it and offer these products and services to the SEN members at preferred group rates. But as I mentioned, our resource for our members is business education, and I think that’s where they find the most value. From our onsite executive business school, our good, better, best sales school to our online project management, and online bathroom remodeling, we also offer a kitchen design and sales course. Our members are seeing their businesses grow from the benefits of both live-on-demand and in-person continued education like these and thanks for the shameless plug here, Dennis. And as always, if your listeners want to learn more about this, I’d love to have that conversation.

Dennis Oz: Definitely. Of course, yes, we will definitely keep those conversations alive even after this session as well, because we are working for the same purpose, we’re in the same industry. I’m going back to my early career days. I was a kitchen designer as well. I started my career as a kitchen designer and, I was working in a small showroom. Our industry is pretty much different than any other home service because what I really like about our industry, is our service, our home service, particularly for kitchen designers: it’s not an emergency service. People are not coming to you within an emergency. People are not calling you with a leaking roof and it just starts with a conversation. You just need to start it and you just need to talk to these people and understand what they need and understand their personalities to give them the perfect kitchen. And over the course of the year, I hosted different kitchen designers here in the remodeling success podcasts. And they were telling about the one thing when it comes to design, it’s all about like the personality and it’s all about understanding the other end, and building trust and starting the conversation strong. That’s the main thing. That’s very important. And that’s why we are working for only one thing. We just need to create happiness in these home spaces. So I’m going to go back to SEN Design Group. I know that you have business development services. And you already talked about it a little bit, but just need more info about this business development services. You have services for business owners and also for the employees as well. How do you describe the business services in SEN Design Group?

Brian Winemiller: The business school is probably our foundation for us. And that’s an in-person four-day event. That’s presented at the Mart in downtown Chicago and is designed for owners, partners, general managers, and business office managers who wish to gain, critical financial, business management, and marketing. Team-building and sales knowledge, to realize their companies for revenue growth, and pro profit potential. It’s really designed for those who want more. And then I would say our other items are kind of for their support staff, the kitchen and bath design, courses, and the online project management. Those are all geared towards their support staff to become a better overall organization as well.

Dennis Oz: It’s a four-day event you said in Chicago, right?

Brian Winemiller: Yeah. Four days in the beautiful the Mart in downtown Chicago, and then our good, better, best sales school, for support staff as well as two days.

Dennis Oz: So you also create a mastermind and that’s again, that’s amazing guys. Listen, if you’re already tuned into this podcast today, this is an amazing opportunity for you guys to grow your business. We always believe in the magic of masterminds because world-class people share what they know and what they learned. And when you share the world becomes a better place. That’s all about it. When you share what you learned and that’s going to help even your competitor, if your competitors are as strong as just like you, that means that you’re on the right path. And here’s SEN Design Group is pretty much like helping, creating this environment for business owners and, If you’re not around or in Chicago, you should register for the next one and get your plane tickets and just go to Chicago. So when is the next one? Are you planning on a regular basis?

Brian Winemiller: Yeah, we have everything pre-scheduled for the rest of this year. We have some more business schools this year and good, better best schools. We have two more, but more towards the summer months. So plenty of time to sign up.

Dennis Oz: If someone wants to become a member of SEN Design Group, how do they do this?

Brian Winemiller: sendesigngroup.com is probably the fastest way to learn the steps. And again, that’s SEN: S-E-N designgroup.com. Whether your listeners are tuning in as independent kitchen and bath companies or part of a corporate brand or their dealers to showrooms or design-build firms, they’ll find resources and a place for them within the SEN community, we’re constantly growing our nearly 200 member base, but again, any questions on this, I’m happy to, be sure your listeners can get one-on-one attention that SEN provides, and to learn, what they’re looking for. And how we can help provide those solutions for them.

Dennis Oz: Definitely. We will also add the links and everything to every kind of content piece.

Brian Winemiller: And in a member, there’s also a discounted rate to get into these events. As a member, you get to go to that business school at no charge, and that’s a huge financial saving.

Dennis Oz: That’s great. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone, who is just trying to help homeowners. Talking about the kitchen and bath dealers could be maybe contractors maybe you are trying to grow your business. That could be another opportunity for you guys. The ones that you already have an established company for years, you have a showroom, really nice kind of setting with the designers and everything, you can take advantage of SEN Design Group courses and everything to grow your business. So this is the opportunity.

Brian Winemiller: We’re all over the country with members. And we, you know, in some markets we have multiple members in the same larger area. And to your point earlier. We make other members aware that somebody is coming in on, in descending, that’s in their market. And it’s interesting they’re like good. I want my competition to be educated and smart so we can both grow businesses together versus driving my margins and my pricing down. So overall it helps everybody like you said, it helps the competition. So that is a testimony of some of our members when we let them know another member.

Dennis Oz: When your service is great, that creates a spark and people will start showing up and asking questions about your service. Of course, that word-of-mouth network is going to be built up only if you are successful. Since we were in the industry for so many years and we are in the shows and we are going to the shows and we are talking to business owners. You guys are really good at what you’re doing and educating business owners and also creating a really cool environment for these people to run their businesses even smoother so that’s really important for our industry. You’re playing a crucial role in the industry for sure. And going back to the SEN Design Group services, executive business school. Just want to talk about a little more on that. What’d you tell us about executive business school?

Brian Winemiller: The executive business school, I kind of describe it almost hits you like a two by four. We hit so many topics and so many things, but, you know, lets them basically learn reverse engineering, what profit they should be doing, making sure they’re paying themselves correctly. A commission-based for their sales staff, a return on investment marketing strategies. Like we touched on so many different benefits. That it’s hard to nail down, which one’s the key one because somebody comes in and gets something else out of it. And that’s how we start the first day is what are you expecting to get out of this on the last day? We kind of like, did we hit the mark? Did you grow in that area? And what else did you grow? So again, it’s critical financial know-how in business management. We go over sales tactics. One big thing within SEN is a good, better, best sales approach and how to reduce that, consultation time with your potential customer. So much in our industry that we spend hours meeting with them, designing them, quoting them to give them a proposal for them just to decline it. And we try to teach our members how to reduce that consultation and upfront time to get a retainer and a paid customer. So that way, you know, any time spent with this customer moving forward is a paid customer. So being able right now with so much business coming into our members this type of resource and information is very vital to them right now to reduce that time and spend more time with the actual paid customers. So that way they can pursue more customers. And at the end of the year, make more money. And then with this sales philosophy, you get, recognize as the educator in that market, and people are willing to spend more for your services because you come off as so transparent that now you’re making more and you’re making more profit doing at the same time. And you’re more effective doing it all along the way. So the business school hits you with so many different things. I could keep going on, but those are some of the really big things that I’ve seen our members take advantage of.

Dennis Oz: You’re talking about the importance of creating that authority, like being the educator and yes, this is quite a bit important. I believe every home remodeler business owner should also take this one into consideration because, what we see if they attend one of their training, let’s say how to start designing your kitchen or how to purchase countertops. Those kinds of events are always helping create a kind of authority for the business owner. And when prospects walk through the doors, they feel more secure and this security brings the sale. And when you’re talking about your event, you’re talking about your services, sales tactics, for example, I didn’t have that much of training when I got first started. Of course, we are starting as a rookie, I don’t know. Maybe I can cut this out on the post-production, but I want to talk about that when I started kitchen design, I had no idea about this. Let’s say one couple is sitting in front of you and you have no idea about their budget. And I always find it really difficult to ask about their budget beforehand To understand their budget, I was looking at their car, I mean, I was going into the parking lot. I was checking their car, and what car they drive. Because the products are like, it’s a huge product line, right. We have when you’re working as a kitchen cabinet dealer, you have huge a huge product line. You have different pricing levels and you have different quality levels and different things. And you need to understand how they like it. That’s why I struggled a lot when I was just a rookie kitchen designer. Quite frankly, I ended up in marketing, not in sales, so, but creating that authority, they will be more pre-positioned to buy before even they walked through the doors because that authority, they will learn from the authority. They will learn how you work, what to expect from A to Z. And most of the homeowners they have like maybe sometimes they are thinking about, oh my God, we will be spending thousands of dollars and, what if we met the wrong person and if some sort of like a kind of a situation, we find ourselves and we will be spending more than you’re expected. So it’s fear. Education, guys. That’s just like Bryan said, education, educate your clients and you’re going to take it from there.

Brian Winemiller: Yeah. And it’s also, you know, building trust as I mentioned earlier. So we also touch upon showroom design style s being transparent of the process and being able to standardize your sales process so that way you can grow to multiple locations or a satellite. So that’s the really scalable part. Another big benefit of joining SEN is the technology piece that we offer to our members as well. That’s aligned with that. Good better, best budgeting. And they’re able to utilize that and really show the transparency and build the trust. But like I said to showroom design cabinet comparison walls, we get into a lot of different showroom tactics, role-playing ideas to really help their staff and their support staff, um, grow on their own levels as well and sales. So, that’s really exciting to see. Members coming in and the success stories that we hear back, how the business school, the good, better, best philosophy has really changed. And now five years down the road of, uh, the increase in margin and sales have they’ve seen with these changes, we offer a free Fintel report every year to our members. Which is a great benchmarking to see, as you come in to send my first suggestion is to do a Fintel report, to see how your helping is doing financially against others in the market. And then year after year, you can see the benefits and the changes that are being made in the company based on what you have those changes. And it’s exciting to see, those success stories of, making those steps.

Dennis Oz: Do you think those KPI comparisons for one company to another helping them grow?

Brian Winemiller: Yeah. We’re able to identify, others in the industry where those KPIs are off base a little bit on, different metrics. So maybe it’s a return on investment, maybe it’s overhead, maybe it’s the big thing I think is eyeopening is the owner’s not paying themselves the correct amount. I can’t take a salary because the business needs it. So we talked through how to be able to get you the owners, the correct amount of money and keep the business going and how to do that. It is eye-opening how many people are not paying themselves, and fear of if they do the business will have to shut it doors. And you can’t take it. A lot of designers maybe open their own business and they can’t take the margin or markup that they were doing at the place they were at before, because their business is different than the other business, the overhead, the product mix, there’s all different. And you can’t just take a certain markup from one company to the next, and I think it’s going to be successful. And that’s another big thing that I’ve noticed as well.

Dennis Oz: That’s absolutely right, that’s amazing insights, amazing insights. Well, let’s wrap up and I have one other question for you, maybe the last question for today. What is your most important advice for those who are eager to grow their businesses?

Brian Winemiller: When I think about your audience of people, who are eager to grow their business, the truth is the list of challenges they are facing sometimes feels endless from tight timelines or even tighter budgets. I’m sure the days start to feel very long given the demands of our industry today. So I guess my one piece of advice is more of a bit of encouragement as it’s true a lot of things in life, hard work is work worth doing, but we don’t have to go along. So my advice to your listeners is to find partners, seek out resources, and don’t do the journey alone. We can help. So I guess that’s my encouragement advice.

Dennis Oz: That’s perfect. One last thing let’s say, let’s talk about how they contact SEN Design Group. Is that just the website or what are the next steps to when they go to the website?

Brian Winemiller: Sure. So on the website, you can definitely go to sendesigngroup.com and that’s S-E-N signature executive network. And on there, there is a tab of you know, requiring, inquiring about becoming a member. And all of our education is under the umbrella of SEN University. And you can see all the education that we offer and the dates, and you can also try to register for those events there. But again, as a member, there are heavy discounts of being a member to attend these educations. And we do have a membership category just for education only if the whole buying group side is not of interest to you. You’re able to join as a member just for the education. So, if the buying group side scares you off, we do have something for you.

Dennis Oz: Thanks so much already for everyone joining us today. That was another episode of the Remodeling Success Podcast. Bryan thanks so much for joining us today.

Brian Winemiller: Thank you for having me.

Dennis Oz: Of course, we’re going to be meeting you guys in other next episode and see you next time. Goodbye