Choosing whether or not to expand your small business is always a big decision. It can be risky, but if the risk pays off, it can mean higher revenues and more profit for your small business.
For one small replacement window company, BM Windows in San Diego, expanding their business looked a little different than they had originally anticipated. For many years, BM Windows was thriving as an independent replacement window dealer in San Diego. They had a great reputation in their area for customer service, selling high quality products, and professional window installation. They considered replicating their successful business model in nearby Orange County by opening up a second office and showroom to help grow the company even more.
At first, the idea seemed attractive to BM Windows owner Michal Bohm. Orange County is a populous area with a high median income and is just one county over from San Diego. However, the more Bohm thought about it, the more he didn’t like the idea. Opening a new office would require him to spend a lot of his time in Orange County, and although it isn’t that far away, distance-wise, with the notoriously bad Southern California traffic, it would mean several hours of additional time away from his family every day.
It just didn’t seem worth it to Bohm, so he decided against the idea of opening an Orange County location.
Soon after, Bohm got a call from the owner of a small apartment complex, asking if he could replace all of the windows in his building. Bohm had previously been hesitant to get into the more “commercial” side of the window replacement business, because he had always enjoyed dealing directly with homeowners. Having to work with property managers, property owners, and multiple tenants on a project didn’t seem worth the inevitable headaches. But Bohm decided to give it a shot anyway. The project went surprisingly well. Bohm coordinated with the property manager, who communicated with the tenants, and everything went off without a hitch.
Since that first successful apartment complex project, Bohm has done several more when owners or property managers have called to request his company’s services. He then installed windows in several small San Diego hotels, and has now made commercial projects an official part of his business instead of focusing exclusively on residential projects. He expanded his website to speak not only to San Diego homeowners, but also to landlords, property managers, boutique hotel managers, and developers. Bohm’s business is growing, but he hasn’t had to sacrifice time with his family to do it. He found a way to tap into a new market in the area in which he was already established.
Bohm said, “Had that first apartment complex owner never called me, I don’t know that I ever would have pursued this type of business expansion, but now that I’m doing it, I wish I would have done it a long time ago. It’s opened up a ton of new opportunities for our replacement window business, and we’re busier than ever.”