Kitchens & Bathrooms News visits the recently opened showroom of Venus Property Solutions in Hertfordshire
Venus Property Services was established two and a half years ago by directors Steve Ball, who has a background in plumbing and heating, and kitchen fitter Simon Crutchfield. They met while working on the same contract jobs and joined together to form one umbrella business. They have now opened a showroom, which not only showcases their bathroom and kitchen expertise but also their skills in electrical and small building work.
LOCATION FIRST CHOICE
They acquired a 130m2 showroom, which is situated on the crossroads of a busy Hertfordshire road, for £150,000. And as Simon explains, the location was key in their decision to buy the building. “The road is one of the main reasons we chose this building. Whichever direction you come from, you can’t help but see us, and the traffic has to slow down for the lights. “
But the building was all but derelict, having been left empty for the past four years. So, they set about developing the space into a boutique-like studio, gutting the space, fitting a new roof, and rebranding the showroom.Now powered by renewable energy, with solar panels fitted to the roof and a ground source pump for its radiator displays, ultimately, the company has showcased what it is capable of first-hand.
CHOOSING FAMILIAR SUPPLIERS
The boutique showroom features an even split between kitchens and bathrooms and features products they were familiar with, with the bathroom suppliers numbering Grohe Spa, Keuco, Matki, Keuco and Villeroy & Boch.In fact, Villeroy & Boch designed the bathroom side of the showroom. “They did a fantastic job”, saysSimon proudly.
ADVERTISING ITS PRESCENCE
Although the majority of its business remains contract work, the showroom is “just about starting to stand on its own two feet”, says Simon. When it opened, it still had scaffolding outside, and Simon confesses it probably took a month of being open before consumers knew the showroom was up and running. But Simon embraced local magazine advertising to attract customers, as he says “Initially no-one knew we were here, so we had to advertise quite extensively.” However, he continues stating the showroom is now doing well: “We have orders coming through now and it is ticking over quite nicely.” And he adds: “We are having huge, positive feedback from the showroom.”
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
So what are their expectations for the showroom business? “Hoping to achieve a life”, he laughs “would be nice”. He adds: “However hard you think it is going to be, treble it, because it is ridiculous. We averagely work, I would say, 14-15 hour days, six days a week.” But for a showroom that has only been open just seven months and in a tough economic climate, Venus Property Solutions has already proved to be a star in its locality.
The complete feature appeared in the September issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News