By David Willard
Enid Nemy once said, “Windows are as essential to office prestige as Christmas is to retailing.” It is with this thought that many companies, and home owners for that matter, put such thought and care into selecting the right windows and doors for their businesses or homes. It is also with this thought that Salem Windows and Doors strives to be the only real choice when customers are selecting a company to meet these needs.
Salem Windows and Doors opened in 2008, and owner Ben Heinsohn didn’t pick an easy time to start a new business. “I started the company in the Triad in October 2008, months after the financial crisis in the housing market,” says Heinsohn. “While this was a very difficult time to start a business in construction supply, we selected the proper manufacturers and crafted a business plan that initially focused on commercial projects and home renovation, and then entered more of the new construction market once home building started to rebound. We successfully weathered the downturn in the housing market, while many others in our industry went out of business, and we emerged in a strong position,” he continues.
This strategy has paid off for the company, as 2013 saw Salem Windows and Doors expand to include a showroom in Foscoe, NC, so as to better serve the High Country area near Boone. Also adding to that success is the fact that 2014 has turned into the biggest sales year to date for the company. Heinsohn and the company’s strategy have certainly seemed to weather the crisis and excel in a tough business environment.
What sets Salem apart from the competition is something more than just good planning, however, as Heinsohn suggests. “Most other window suppliers are found in big-box stores, or lumber yards,” he continues. “In most cases, those employees don’t have an understanding of the industry—they might not even know the details of the products offered in the store! We know the industry, our products and the competition, so we can more accurately select the best product to fit the client’s needs. In addition, some window and door companies only sell one manufacturer’s products, and they try to “push” that product on you. We offer a variety of products, so that customers can select the products that best suit their needs” he adds.
When asked what he receives pride from in the business, Heinsohn says, “I enjoy getting to know the customer and trying to find a solution that will work best for each person. As a former educator and coach, I enjoyed the opportunity to provide students with direct attention and feedback to help them grow and learn. My gifts were suited for one-on-one instruction. While I am no longer teaching subjects like history, educating clients on how to find the best products still allows me to feel like I’m fulfilling my calling,” he concludes.
Salem Windows and Doors is also heavily involved in the community. SW&D has participated in Habitat for Humanity housing projects in the areas they serve, and has provided financial support to a number of charitable events in the area, as well. Obviously, the term “helping the customer” goes much deeper here. It is this dedication and commitment to the community that Salem Windows and Doors also brings to its customers. That is a commitment that has served it well since 2008, and, from the looks of things, will serve well into the future.
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