One of the nice things about being in the cabinet business for 30+ years is I’ve been around the block, a few times! Early in my career, I worked for the least expensive guy, I’ve worked for the best, highest quality shops. I’ve worked for the “Big Box” store as a cabinet saleperson, I’ve installed cabinets for the “Big Box” corporations. I’ve worked in a high production shop, I’ve worked for artists. I’ve been an independant contractor, I’ve work for time and material. I’ve worked inside Shasta Dam, I’ve worked in a tree house. I’ve done commercial cabinets, I’ve worked for free and for food, (Thanks Mom).
One thing I always try to do is learn something good about the way other people run their businesses. I use the best of their ideas and avoid mistakes the best I can. My Grandpa used to say, “If you want something done right, do it yourself, but if you don’t know how, hire a professional.” Be humble enough to admit someone else could probably do a better job, then find that professional whom you can trust. Then it’s all about building a relationship of good business practices, friendships will follow.
There’s nothing wrong with finding the best value, but the best value is not always the lowest price. There is value in working with someone who has experiences they are willing to share. That’s how I learned what little I know. I absolutely love being a cabinetmaker! It’s a challenging puzzle everyday. The most rewarding part is the struggle, knowing I did my best everyday and conquered the task. Oh and happy customers are icing on the cake and lifetime friends.
Don’t be afraid to pay a little more for good advice when it comes to cabinets you expect to live with, possibly for the rest of your life. A good installer can make the difference between a job done and something beautiful you’re proud to show your friends. After all, that makes you look pretty good too. My philosophy is, do your best work always and the rest will fall into place. It seems to work with raising kids too…who knew?