Nancy K. Martin & The Garage Authority (April 2017)
When it comes to making garages functional and attractive, The Garage Authority isn’t just monkeying around.
It’s spring; time to clean up those garages, carports, and storage spaces. You may think it’s as simple as just dragging your junk into the driveway for a weekend yard sale, but afterward you’ve still got to deal with all the tools, sports equipment, bicycles, plastic storage bins, and random personal ephemera. What to do?
The Garage Authority to the rescue. Based in Arden and serving Western North Carolina, as well as the Upstate region of South Carolina, the company sells and installs space-efficient and aesthetically pleasing storage and shelving solutions for garage, workshop, and basement, as well as throughout the house, additionally sealing and coating garage floors to make them easier to clean and maintain.
The company was originally founded as Monkeybars of WNC & the Upstate “in June 2011, in the middle of the Recession, by my son, Daniel Gibbs, who had just graduated from Appalachian State with a building science construction management degree,” says owner Nancy K. Martin. “There were no local jobs for him in his field, but staying here in Western North Carolina was important to him, and research led us both to believe there was good potential with this product line in an open market to build a successful business. I did all of the marketing from the beginning—together, we went through the initial training, and off we went to work.”
Successful, indeed—The Garage Authority was profitable its first year of business; every year since has seen a significant increase. (Martin: “We were elated when, in our third year, revenues increased over 74 percent.”) In 2013 the name was rebranded as The Garage Authority, and by 2015 they had outgrown their original space in Horse Shoe, necessitating a move to a larger warehouse and showroom in Arden. That same year Martin, who has an extensive background in technical sales and sales management, purchased the business from her son.
“I had the challenge of streamlining and improving our operating costs, and managing the growth efficiently,” recalls Martin. “In 2016—our first full year in the new facility and first full year in full control—we achieved an actual decrease in cost of goods, and our net operating income improved dramatically. One of the biggest hurdles [of the past] was surviving during December, January, and February, and I am pleased to say that this past December and January were the best we have ever had to date.”
Our goal is to grow at least another 20 percent in revenues, while continuing always to improve cash flow and profitability.
Although the Monkeybars company name was retired, the Monkeybars process remains key to their success. Martin explains that the flexible/scalable designs of the custom-built storage systems they install will help maximize efficiency of storage when floor space is at a premium, the idea being to utilize layering on the walls so that even bulky things (bicycles, blowers, large tools, etc.) can come off the floor to hang from the metal shelving’s adjustable bars and hooks. “The systems’ flexibility allows for homeowners to be able to reorganize as often as they like, truly supporting the concept of seasonal accessibility,” says Martin.
Going forward, The Garage Authority plans to expand its services via selected partnerships—not to mention hiring, training, and retaining talented employees—in order to provide customers with one-stop shopping for all types of interior transformations. They have also added the cabinet lines Contur (all-metal modular cabinets) and Ulti-MATE (commercial grade PVC laminate cabinets).
“At the beginning of this year,” says Martin, “we added a second vehicle, a new cargo van, to the fleet, and are expanding our capabilities to do more jobs in less time, which fulfills part of our long-term plan. Our goal is to grow at least another 20 percent in revenues, while continuing always to improve cash flow and profitability.
“That, and maintaining our high standards of total customer satisfaction. We don’t go to a customer to sell a shelf or a cabinet or even a floor. We go to provide a complete solution to a nagging, often annoying problem or frustration. We custom design an efficient solution to accomplish their goals—we take the time to help them.”
Visit the Garage Authority on the web: www.monkeybarscarolinas.com
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