The Cabinet Makers Association is the one place where cabinetmakers and woodworkers from both residential and commercial markets can get together and share their experiences. We believe that working together is the best way to improve our own individual companies and the industry as a whole. That’s the power of peers.
The key is networking. There are hundreds of stories about how networking among CMA members has paid off big — a tip that eases production, a tidbit that leads to a bid, or a receptive listener who provides knowledgeable feedback.
Current members log into the CMA member forums. Or, they pick up the phone and introduce themselves to fellow members. Some CMA cabinet makers visit when traveling through another shop owner’s area.
An especially good site for networking is the International Woodworking Fair. (It’s August 22-25 in Atlanta). At IWF 2006, Brian Dirks attended his first CMA member forums, as a young, struggling shop owner. Though a pretty good cabinet maker, Brian wasn’t billing enough on jobs to run a successful business.
At the IWF show, Brian joined 60 CMA members for a shop tour, then attended a pricing custom woodwork seminar lead by CMA member Sean Benetin — who taught Brian he had been underestimating and under-pricing his work. Brian began slowly to raise prices — and became a successful CMA member.
Sean Benetin, now one of CMA’s star speakers, cut his learning curve early on by networking with CMA members. Sean is such a prolific idea generator — starting a mobile showroom, establishing customer events that draw 150 prospects — that he is a regular among IWF and CMA conference presenters. You can see him yourself at CMA’s seminars running at the IWF 2012 wood industry show.
Of the hundreds of networking stories among CMA members, your story may be one that is yet to begin ... if you join the CMA
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