Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bath Planet Dealer Profile: Mike Sepanksi

What was your career before getting into the home remodeling industry?
I have been in the home remodeling industry for 31 years and was in the real estate industry prior to that.

How did you learn about Bath Planet?
We had actually been looking at adding acrylic bathroom remodeling products for a while now and explored various companies and explored what they would add to our existing business. We just stumbled into Bath Planet recently, made some inquiries and it looked like a good opportunity to add this type of business in Toledo.

Why make the transition from siding and windows to bathroom remodeling?
Right now, we do roofing, siding, gutters and enclosures. The main reason for adding the Bath Planet dealership is in the economy, it’s a matter of adding quality product lines to get you more customers. This seemed like a real good fit based on the research that we did and we feel strongly that our customers will love the products, designs, colors and warranty.

How many jobs is this new agreement between you and Bath Planet going to create?
To start, we’re looking at hiring one installation person to start with and two sales people. We’d love to see the number of jobs Bath Planet creates eventually double or triple.

How did you perform your due diligence? In other words, how did you conduct your background check on Bath Planet?
We had been looking at various lines for the past year. It’s really a timing situation. The company and products looked like something solid based on the research we had done about Bath Planet and BCI.

What was most appealing to you about becoming a Bath Planet dealer as opposed to going another route?
ABC Seamless Siding itself is a franchise and we’re paying franchise fees on a per job basis. With the Bath Planet dealership, it’s an an annual type of thing, almost like a participation thing as opposed to a monthly franchise fee.

How does the revenue model work? How do you benefit as an existing business owner from being an authorized Bath Planet dealer?
It’s just going to add to the bottom line. The age of the properties in the Toledo metropolitan area are such that it’s right up this alley. The price is right up this alley. With this you’re looking at a price point where it’s doable for most people and finance companies are willing to lend on the amount. It’s going to add more volume to what we’re doing at a price point that’s perfect for this day and time.

What did you find most appealing about home remodeling?
It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. It’s always earned me a living. We’ve taken on some different product lines and one recently was metal roofing that’s just spectacular when it’s done. All the products we carry are top of the line and what we sell is unique in quality. Consequently when you do a good job with a good product, it gives you satisfaction. That’s what brought us to Bath Planet, actually. There were some other options but this just screamed quality.

What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today with your business?
I purchased the company from the original owner six years ago so we had name recognition in Northwest Ohio. That was probably the thing that helped us hang in there through the toughest time over the past few years. Our biggest obstacle is financing. Very little financing is available anymore in this industry and if you do get something financed, people have to be at the highest level of credit score. The typical young couples that need window replacements can’t afford to spend $5,000 on a project without some level of financing for the project.

What are your expansion or development plans?
Everything is based on the growth. If this business extension meets our expectations, there are obviously lots of opportunities out there since this is a newly launched concept through BCI. We’re planning a lot of spring shows, fairs and we’re looking to try and get some advertisements on TV. With it being a totally new company in Toledo, we haven’t been able to directly speak with the customer yet.

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