KBSA Q&A | How to build a successful business

Chair of the Kbsa Richard Hibbert explains how its annual Kitchen & Bathrooms Industry Conference will help retailers build a successful business

08 Jun, 23

Chair of trade association the Kbsa Richard Hibbert explains how its annual KBB Conference will help retailers build a successful business

KBSA Q&A | How to build a successful business


Q: Why have you chosen Ingenuity & Building Success as the theme of the Kbsa Conference 2023?

A: It has been a challenging year for the retail sector, but we wanted to look forward and take a positive approach.

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Independent retailers are by their nature adaptable to market changes, we wanted to take this theme of adaptability forward into ingenuity, and focus on the tools required for building a successful retail business.

Q: What was the reaction from last year’s event and how has that feedback been used to inform this year’s Conference?

A: The feedback was absolutely fantastic and very positive.  But we are not complacent and don’t wish to stand still.  We aim to continually review, tweak and improve.

We have built in plenty of time to network again this year, as the feedback shows that this is one of the most valuable and important aspects of the conference.

Kbsa announces Sensehacking author as keynote speaker

Professor Christopher Spence, author of ‘Sense-hacking’


Q: Can you tell us about the panel of speakers for this year’s event and why you have chosen them?

A: Our speakers have been selected to provide insight and inspiration.

We have selected a mix of topics, some unexpected that we hope will be different and interesting. In particular, Professor Spence will focus on ‘sensehacking’ our showrooms, exploring how we can transform them into a multi-sensory experience that enhances both the design and sales process.

This is something entirely different, from a world leading authority, which could help showrooms stand out from the crowd in an extremely competitive market.

The programme of speakers also includes business coach Andy McLachlan who returns to the conference, this year, following popular demand.

He is an advocate for positive change, and has a mission to help change business culture, that resonates with KBB retailers. This year he will focus on wellbeing in the workplace.

Q: Will the Big Debate take place again this year – what topics will it cover – and who will be the panellists this year?

A: Yes it was a big hit and will definitely be back, with an improved format this time.

This year we will have three short presentations from industry experts and the Big Debate will follow, based around the topics of training and education, building success and inspiring inclusive innovation.

The presentations will be made by Barry Moss from Leap; Paul O’Brien from Kitchens International and Amanda Hughes from Blum.

The Big Debate panel contributors include Luke Wedgbury from Coalville Kitchens, Joanna Geddes from Kitchens by J S Geddes, Elizabeth-Pantling-Jones from Lima Kitchens and Graham Robinson from Halcyon Interiors.

Kbsa announces 2023 conference dates

Q: Can you tell us about the advice surgery – what will it cover and who will offer the guidance?

A: The advice surgery cover topics such as finance, credit card processing, HR and legal and brings together companies that offer key business services to Kbsa members.

Guests will be given the opportunity to meet with representatives from these companies, whilst networking during the refreshment breaks.

Companies that will be featured include Markel, TrustMark, Dell, Novuna Finance, Compare Card Processing and Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing.

Q: What do ou hope independent retailers will gain from attending the conference?

A: Our objective is for all attendees to take away something that they can put to good use in their business.

It is also important that having taken time to get away from the showroom or the office, that delegates come away feeling refreshed, recharged and go back ready to go again.

Kbsa conference is sell-out event

Q: What are the biggest challenges for retailers in 2023?

A: The cost of living crisis and the unsettled nature of the country, which followed a year of political madness has taken its toll on business.

The challenge for retailers is to adapt and thrive, which is reflected in the title of the conference.

Q: What are the biggest opportunities for retailers in 2023?

A: Whenever there are challenges, there are also opportunities. Independent retailers operate in one of the most resilient market segments, where people have money and want to spend it.

Keeping abreast of what is important, investing in marketing to retain market share, will ensure continued opportunities.

Q: Reaching a record number of retailers last year, having opened the association to non-members, what are your hopes for 2023?

A: We would love to smash last year’s record attendance.  This is the only dedicated conference for our industry and everyone who comes leaves with more than they came.

We may well sell out this year, so if you are an independent KBB business… get a ticket while you can!