Dealer spotlight is our new 10 question blog series where we feature Organizers Dealers around the nation. Today, we sat down with Mike Beard of Memphis Garage & Closets to learn more about his three (3) years of experience as an Organizers Direct Dealer.
Tell us your background and how you came to join Organizers Direct as a Dealer?
My background has been in corporate environments such as supply chain management. Prior to launching Memphis Garage & Closets, I was the director of a global supply chain company, which was heavily tied to oil and gas. As a result of oil prices dropping in 2016 and 2017, the company began looking at downsizing.
I decided I’d rather do something different (ideally as an entrepreneur) rather than just make a lateral jump elsewhere, so my wife and I looked into a lot of options. We came across Organizers Direct and looked into the local area market to see if it would be viable for us. When the layoffs at my company came my wife and I jumped in with both feet. She does a lot of our work behind the scenes (like accounting). I like to say that I’m the face of the business, and she’s the backbone.
What is your primary service at Memphis Garage & Closets?
As the name implies, we focus on closets and garages! Our sales volume is usually close to an even split between the two. We actively drive sales for both, as well as pantries, home offices, and more. We also linked up with two other local companies in order to provide more value to our customers. One of our partner companies does garage floors and the other does kitchen and bath cabinets. This helps us offer even more to our customers and be a truly all-in-one organization and storage solution company.
What was the process of getting started and launching your own business as a Dealer like?
I did a lot of research, especially into the industry and local competitive market, to see if it’d be viable. We connected with our regional salesperson, had discussions, and decided to do it. From there, it was an easy process. Organizers Direct made it really smooth for us. We went through the training, which was stellar. They taught us how to launch a successful business in every way from marketing to design, installation, and more. They offered great support. They’re highly invested in our success and have been from the beginning.
Why did you decide to go with Organizers Direct, rather than other companies in the space?
We represent Organizers Direct and one other company, and we feel they have complementary products. Organizers Direct’s link to Neil Balter gave them a lot of credibility in our eyes from the get-go. It was an easy transition and startup costs were low. Our sales representative, Brooke, had a lot of helpful information for us about gauging how much startup costs should be including marketing, equipment, etc. I already had transportation and tools so I mostly just had to pay for the design software upfront.
What is your current day-to-day like?
Depending on the day, I’ll do design consultations, sales appointments or installations. I might go through emails and put some Facebook posts out there talking about the business or recent installations. I’ll usually get into the installs or design appointments later. I like to tell people I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked, but I feel like I’m retired because I love what I’m doing.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?
I like doing closets, but I love doing garages. One recent garage, in particular, comes to mind as a favorite. We put in garage cabinets, a work bench, overhead racks, a flooring install and lots of organizers. There was a lot to it and it turned out great. The customers were happy and it looked phenomenal.
What has been the key to your success?
We did a lot of things right. Doing our homework upfront and understanding our local competition was a big factor. Our timing was also good in that we went into the business opportunity with savings to back us up. Also, it’s been helpful to get out there and show our excitement about the business. We really love what we do, and it’s infectious. Our customers tell us all the time that they can tell by working with us that we love what we do. That gets them excited.
Tell us about your hobbies! What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I used to like to hunt but I haven’t had time for that recently. Honestly, though, I haven’t missed it because I love what I’m doing.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
If I could cure cancer in that one day, I would love to do something like that. But realistically, I love what I do and don’t want to do anything different.
What’s your favorite thing about working as an Organizers Direct Dealer?
We get to work with a great product and a great company that has our interests at heart. I also have the flexibility to work with my wife and grow the business successfully together. It’s just fun.