May Cover – Terry Conroy – Planit Kitchen

Terry Conroy is a local industry leader and the owner of the largest custom-designed kitchen company and showroom in the region.
Founded in 1990, Planit Kitchens has grown from a business of two to a company that employs 33 staff operates from two locations (a factory at Tuggerah and a showroom at Erina) and manufactures an average of 700 kitchens a year.
His journey and the lessons he has learned make excellent reading:
• Treat your staff well so they want to come to work and operate on the basis of transparency. “I’ve always said to my staff, ‘If you make a mistake, come and see me, so we can solve it and move on’.”
• Keep on top of WHS. “You’ve got to keep up. Simple as that.”
• Stay in control. After contracting out the deliveries some years ago and finding the drivers weren’t “soft enough” with his clients, Terry began employing his own drivers.
• Be there on time or let the client know if there is a delay.
• Don’t tell them you’re the boss. Clients are more honest with you if they don’t know you are the business owner, at least in Terry’s experience, who personally conducts most check measures at their clients’ properties.
• Be honest.
• Ensure clients receive the time and attention they deserve by having the right number and type of staff on board.
• Don’t micromanage the staff. At Planit Kitchens everyone is empowered to do their best at what they’re employed to do.
• Focus on the client rather than the accolades. While Planit Kitchens has won some major awards, Terry says his energy is focused more on “getting a nice email from the client”.
• The customer is always right, no matter what. Terry maintains, “If a customer isn’t happy with their kitchen because they didn’t fully understand the plans, that’s our fault because we didn’t communicate it properly. So we need to deal with it, and we always do.”