As business owners, one challenge that we always grapple with is our profitability. At the end of the day, we’re in business to make a profit. Yes it has to be something we enjoy doing, yes we have to be responsible for the environment, but really, a business is no business if it’s not making a profit! So one question we get from many customers is the challenge of increasing their order value and their profitability.

We’ve had a look at this, based on years of experience and feedback from customers, we’ve come up with a concept of GP per window – your profit per window. Why would you do that? If you’re going to a customer’s house, your travel, the fuel, your time, is really the same, regardless of the price of the window furnishing you put in that window. So how can you increase that? How can you get more profit from one window? We’ve looked at it and there are a number of ways it can be done.

1. Don’t assume┬áthe customer is looking for the cheapest solution because often they’re not.

It’s about speaking to the customer and asking questions, finding out what they’re looking to achieve. Giving them the options. Don’t assume that the customer is looking for the cheapest solution because often they’re not. If they’re driving a vehicle that is a prestigious brand, they’re not the type of person that is looking at the lowest cost, they are looking for prestige and a point of difference – you can give it to them in their window furnishings.

2. Begin with the higher value blinds.

Look at the type of blinds you’re selling and begin with offering the higher value blinds, the ones you make the most profit on. You might look at the ease of fitting for instance. Then you can upsell, offering what’s going to be best for their window or space. One thing might be the ease of use and child safety. And for this, you could sell them motorisation which will make the blind inherently child safe and easy to use. Going further with motorisation, you can offer home automation hubs and connectivity. Finishing the window off with a fascia is another way to increase value for you and your customer. A well-finished window dressing gives the customer value in the aesthetics it produces.

3. Look for the fabric with a difference.

Rather than just looking at the cheapest option of fabrics, look for a fabric with a bit of a difference, something that gives a bit of extra functionality. For instance, screen fabrics reduce glare whilst allowing light through. Or, a blind fabric with a reflective backing to keep out UV rays and keep the room cooler. You can also get fabrics that have acoustic properties and fabrics which help save your clients on energy bills. Blackout fabrics will add value in bedrooms. These are all things to discuss with clients to build more value.

3. Sell multiple blinds per window.

It’s not been unusual for us to have sold up to three blinds in a window. How does it work? As blinds come with different functionalities you may offer screen blinds for that extra privacy without entirely blocking the view outside and then, have your blackout blind over that, then to finish the window you might have a dress shading, something that’s a bit more decorative, either a curtain or Roman blind. So now you have three blinds in one window, tripling your opportunity for profit. Add a facia or motorisation to it and you can increase it more.

These are just a few small tips on how you can increase your profit whilst still giving value to the end-user. Looking at the point of difference, talking to them and finding out what they really want. The next step then is to ensure you have the right tools to inspire them. So maybe you’re going to need some sampling, photography or a brochure, something that gives the customer an idea of what their window is going to look like. Don’t look to get the sale on price but what you can add. Would you like fries with that? Would you like a fascia with that? Would you like a motor with that? Ask the question, even if only 20% of customers agree, you’ve increased your sales by 20%, and this will help your profitability.

Good luck selling! Let me know what I’ve missed and how you’ve gone about this.

Written by Peter Ford.