Your article about how Gary and Caroline Small have wired their drapery
business for success is very informative (see “Wired
For Success,” December 2002, page 24). Although in your
article, Gary indicated that he is not an expert and that anyone could
do what he has done, I'm still very impressed that he and Caroline
have actually implemented such impressive customer-facing information
technology. I can assure you that implementing really useful and successful
customer-facing information technology is very, very difficult for
even really large businesses with sales of hundreds of millions or
billions of dollars a year.
I would recommend this article for even larger distribution, since
it sends a really good message that even very small businesses can
benefit from information technology that is well thought out and implemented with
the customer in mind.
Director, Information Technology
(for a large semiconductor equipment company)
I have been reading D&WC magazine for over 15 years, cover to
cover, and (really) Steve Bursten’s January article was the
first that honestly talked about the real world of numbers, in terms
that I can relate to! (See “Million-Dollar
Management,” January 2003, page 56.) I always flip to the
back of the magazine (just for interest) to see what businesses are
for sale. It always amazed me that businesses (in business for 15
years plus) were reporting sales revenues of under $200,000. I wondered
where the rest of us were!
Prior to moving to North Carolina, I owned a business in the Maritimes
(in Canada) and always averaged between $300,000 to $400,000 in sales
with a gross margin of 38 to 40 percent. Last year, my small business,
(started in North Carolina six years ago) reported $747,000 in sales
(with 39 percent gross margin) and I am not satisfied! I want that
$1 million in sales (with a 42 to 45 percent gross margin). My business
is a mix of hard and soft window treatments.
I would love Bursten’s report on businesses that sell $1 million
a year. I want to be one of them. Thanks for the inspiration. I can't
wait to read the sequel to this article.
Lynette Dudley, President
Window & Wall Decor
Morehead City, NC