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Thread: selling walk in tubs to seniors

  1. #1
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array huggytree's Avatar
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    Default selling walk in tubs to seniors

    I have recently found a resonably priced senior walk in tub....similar to the ones ed mcman sells on tv...Ed's tubs are $15,000 installed.

    Ive gotten calls for them over the years and the lowest price tub i could find by a major manufacturer was $7,500...after the plumbing, drywall repair,tile, flooring it would end up being $11,000 range...not much of an improvement on $15,000

    now a homeowner found one for $3,000 range...he ordered it and i will be installing it.....The brochure sounds great...its 200 lbs, is built on a stainless steel stand and is made in the USA...seems very well thought out and very easy to install.. If i team up with a remodeler and an electrician i can offer these in a complete package deal for around $6,500 range....now thats a significant savings and many seniors can afford $6500

    my question is where is the best place locally to advertise??

    magazines? newspapers? a billboard? back door of my van?

    right now i dont know the quality of the tub, but i should be installing it next week....before i go forward with any advertising i want to call this customer back in 2-3 months to make sure it hasnt fallen apart. I may have them order it direct and lose the markup just to avoid the liability on the actual tub.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Spider's Avatar
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    You have one satisfied customer - or you will have after the installation and after your suggested wait-time. That customer's friends are all likely prospects, don't you think? That customer goes places and does things that other people like them do - golf club, country club, associations, church, womens' groups, travel clubs, quilting groups, local history group, investment groups, etc. They go to geriatric doctors, senior fitness centers, and day spas; and they shop at conservative stores. They might even go to the opera, ballet and theater. Almost certainly, they volunteer - at local charities, the library and at civic and political associations.

    I'd start by asking them if they would be prepared to show their friends their bathroom and recommend you directly -- for $100 for every sale. You can easily add that $100 to the price - $6,600 rather than $6,500 - and if they can get you one sale a week, they'd make $400 a month (which they might even donate) and I'm sure $26,000 a month in business from this one source would serve you quite well.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array huggytree's Avatar
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    They are a referral from their son, so yes they will be a good referral if they get out and meet other seniors....my parents dont get out and dont do anything...i dont know if many seniors know that many people....my parents only go to movies together and funerals...(that was a joke, but somewhat true)

    I do like the $100 referral idea and will be using it.

    what about starting a new company just for this idea and hiring my own handyman guy to follow behind me?....i really think this market is big enough for a local company which just does this....im basing this off of gut feeling only since i only get a couple calls for it a year.....i know if i were old and couldnt move much with lots of aches id pay $6,500 for it

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    Moderator Array Patrysha's Avatar
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    A more traditional approach, especially if you think this would appeal to seniors with mobility issues, would be if you invested in a postcard campaign and a list from say the AARP or a seniors magazine.

    Online marketing shouldn't be overlooked either...seniors are the fasted growing demographic online.

    Another market would be seniors buildings/condos...
    In pursuit of bright lights and good stories,
    Patrysha the publicist
    Patrysha Publicity - Press & Media Relations, Promotions & Podcasting

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Steve B's Avatar
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    This sounds like a good candidate for direct mail. You can target your list to a certain age, income level, and if they are a home owner.
    Steve B

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    Quote Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
    ...what about starting a new company just for this idea and hiring my own handyman guy to follow behind me?....i really think this market is big enough for a local company which just does this...
    Having an employee will be risky if you cannot be quite certain the work will be steady and continuous. Also, an employee is not likely to go out to look for business.

    I suggest teaming up with a handyman-type. Form your separate company jointly and share the proceeds. Then you both will be looking for business, and both doing other work when business is slack.

    I also like Patrysha's observation that senior homes and senior communities would be good prospects, either from a single-owner POV (like privately-owned condos) and from a multi-unit POV (like rented apartment senior communities.) Check with your architect friends and find one that is designing an assisited living apartment complex, and talk him into including walk-in tubs in every apartment.

  7. #7
    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    I think this is an excellent idea. There are a ton of retired people and seniors here..you could probably clean up.

    I wouldn't go as far as to hire someone until I know that installations will be steady, but it sounds like a good niche to tackle.

    Besides all the other suggestions for marketing, don't forget the local supermarket rags and community papers. There is normally a lot of information for seniors in those as well.

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array orion_joel's Avatar
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    I think you could make a business of this, however why stop at just the tub, you could expand to other accessibility things for seniors. In the bathroom with bath and shower, as well as toilet. If it was a separate business you could move away from just plumbing as well, and do railings, and other things like this, to expand the demand for the business to justify an employee.

    The primary consideration i imagine would be what the potential range of public liability insurance covers for installing this type of product. There are these few additional considerations to make.

    Lots of scope with this idea. It even could be something that you would look to provide a finance options for, if not the full price the actual portion which is the tub.
    Joel Brown
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    Good one, Joel. There are all sorts of special items in this category

    - wall-mounted, low-level washbasins for wheelchair bound patients
    - raised-level WCs for wheelchair bound patients
    - auto- and foot-flush WCs
    - low-level mirrors and medicine cabinets
    - computer-controlled "speaking" medicine cabinets
    - railings for WC and shower manouverability
    - wall-mounted washbasins and WCs for easy floor cleaning
    - bidets and urinals for special situations
    - seated tub/showers
    plus the walk-in tubs already mentioned.

    This could then be extended to low-level "clear under" kitchen sinks and low cooktops and counters, for a wheelchair-appropriate kitchen.

    Add to all this, handicap design consultancy and advice to architects and interior designers.

    In my plumbing business, way back, we had a couple of small firefighting systems to install, which led to us landing a rather large job requiring several built-in firefighting systems. My fascination with fire and fire-fighting quickly led us to being the local experts on firefighting systems. Much the same could easily develop for Dave becoming a Handicapped Accessability expert.

    Bet there's more profit in this than straightforward plumbing with weekenders and spare-timers as competition!

  10. #10
    Member Needs New Keyboard Array huggytree's Avatar
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    there are already companies in the area who do it all...they seem to stay in business for a few months and thats it...very pricey stuff..

    i think focusing on the 1 product that takes a pro to install and has the most dramatic price savings over the competition is the best...atleast to start...anyone can change a toilet or sink/faucet....

    when i go to estimate the job it doesnt hurt to offer them some extra options..it would be very smart....i just wouldnt want to make it the focus of the business...the tub would be the focus w/ the other things considered 'extra's'

    i install the tub next Friday....If it goes well and i like the product I will start some internet advertising for it and cold calling some senior groups...possibly looking for a place to be a speaker at some event for seniors. once i put in 10-20 of them i can see word of mouth taking over nicely
    Last edited by huggytree; 01-16-2010 at 02:46 PM.

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