Kabbage helps Mike Stepanic expand his franchise and improve more homes
With two young children who are always on the go, Mike Stepanic says his family inspires his work in home improvement. Shaping his clients’ homes with custom cabinetry and garage storage solutions ultimately helps simplify their lives and reduce stress.
Mike has run a home improvement franchise since 2014 when he decided to pivot from a career spanning engineering, sales and product management to start his own business. He leaned toward buying into a proven business model and saw a great opportunity with Tailored Living featuring Premier Garage, the largest home organization franchise company in the U.S. and Canada. Tailored Living designs and installs custom home storage and organization systems as well as Premier One flooring options for commercial and residential properties. Mike bought his first territory serving Wilmington, Delaware, and surrounding areas in 2014. Months later, he added a second, neighboring territory after receiving numerous business inquiries. The expansion allowed Mike to service the greater Wilmington, DE and West Chester, PA areas.
Mike offered a full array of services from the beginning and, after closing his first few sales, he hired his first employee. Realizing he couldn’t sell and install at the same time, he hired another part-time employee after six months. Now, Mike employs specialists: two focused on closets and cabinetry, and two who work on garage floors.
Investing in marketing to generate leads and drive sales
Home installation services can be somewhat seasonal — business takes off in the spring and fall, then tapers off in winter. After becoming accustomed to the peaks and valleys of his industry, Mike began looking for an online lending option that would give him flexibility during slow months.
After hearing a Kabbage ad on the radio, Mike applied for a line of credit. He was set up within minutes. “I thought I did something wrong because of how simple it was,” he says.
Mike initially used his Kabbage account for marketing materials, such as print advertising and mailers. He increased his marketing spend by about 50 percent, which translated to a 25 percent increase in leads and a 30 percent increase in sales.
The loan “has been a lifeline,” he says. The time between the initial commitment to payment (post-installation) usually takes three to four weeks, and Kabbage helps cover unexpected costs in the interim.
Scaling the business
Kabbage plays an important role in Mike’s plans to scale his Tailored Living franchise. In the next year, he plans to grow by hiring a full-time salesperson, support operations by bringing on an administrative employee and grow his team of installation specialists. He also plans to use Kabbage funds to venture into commercial opportunities where the customer payment terms are longer, but materials and payroll must be paid on time.
“Kabbage has been irreplaceable for my business,” he says.