The person I chose to interview for my essay was Doug Smith owner of Classic Mantels. Classic Mantels is a small company that specializes in building fire place mantels, cabinets, entertainment centers and many other specialty items crafted from wood. Although small compared too many of its competitors Classic Mantels is steadily growing gaining a larger variety of customers and moving into an unexpected direction.
Doug first started this business almost 3 years ago, after leaving his previous job as a cabinet installer for Hays Cabinets. Doug had worked there for almost 21 years and new that it was time for a change so he decided to start a mantle company. After building mantels and doing finish carpentry for about a year Doug did his first cabinet job since he had quit Hays. After that more and more cabinet calls kept steadily poring in forcing him to expand this portion of his business until it finally became his main source of income. This unexpected demand took a struggling mantle business and turned it into a farley secure cabinet business almost over night.
When I asked Doug what he thought it takes to make a small companies work he replied, "People Skills and Quality Work" then went on to explain. In his eyes people skills were the most important because know one is going to buy something from you if they don't like you. Also communicating with the customer is crucial if you want to guarantee that the customer is satisfied with the product or service. Quality is also a major concern, especially for small business. Most small businesses can't afford advertisements and have to rely strictly on word of mouth to keep customers coming and there business afloat. Another good thing about having a quality is you get less call backs or returns keeping your profit up and your materials and man hours down.