Dev Joshi is the owner of JMD Furniture stores currently located in Maryland and Virginia. He started his company to build foundations for a family-owned empire. Over 15 years later, he now holds one of the fastest-growing enterprises in the furniture market. Besides experience, Dev Joshi increased competitive advantage by employing his family members.
In reality, JMD Furniture is one of the few companies where most employees are related to each other. Luckily, the senior management found a way to use the family ties to their advantage. Worker productivity, open communication, and frequent feedback were all positively affected family ties. Now, as the company plans further expansions, Mr. Joshi is excited to take his business to the next level.
What team-bonding activities does your company do?
Believe it or not, we take a lot of family trips. After all, most of us here are a part of the Joshi family. I do my best to organize short excursions for people who have time. That helps me get feedback and discuss important issues in a less formal environment. I initially tried creating office parties and casual meetings. After a while, however, I realized that those were unsuccessful and I could not connect with everyone. So, we decided to abandon the company grounds and start meeting elsewhere.
What are some of the main costs to run your business?
Purchasing the actual furniture from a manufacturer is the biggest expense. After that one, we spend most on salaries, independent contractors, and equipment. Occasionally, I make one-time investments to expand our space or even open up new locations. None of those would qualify as reoccurring charges though.
How do you fight off the competition and new companies in your market?
We do not; customer loyalty fights the competition for us. We sell and deliver to individuals who usually turn into long-term clients. Since they become loyal to us, the chances of them switching to a new company are slim. I further noticed that most of our competition focuses on their endeavors. I assume that they do that because trying to take our customers away would be too costly. Just the marketing for that type of takeover would be extremely pricey.
What type of marketing campaigns help your business the most?
We run paper ads and billboard posters locally while our social media reaches out all over the nation. That approach is working very well for now. In the future, I assume that we will slowly move to more online marketing. After all, it is a lot easier to do and much more efficient.
Would you ever consider expanding to the West Coast?
That depends on two important factors. First, I would have to move somewhere on the West Coast personally. Second, I would need to appoint someone better than me to run our operations here. To be successful with an enormous endeavor like that, I would need to oversee it personally. Hence why I would prefer to move and follow the new business from the beginning. At the same time, however, I would not just give up everything we have here. The only way that I would leave our current locations is if I find other executives to take over. The problem, however, is that most of my family members do not want those roles right now.
How does working with your family affect your relationship with them?
Very positively. Working with the same people that I spend family gatherings with is amazing. We all got a lot closer, and our communication was never better. Although there are certainly some downsides, I think that the benefits outweigh them. I mean, how often can someone ask their employee about a project and very personal matters simultaneously? The answer is, not very often as professional boundaries are very strict. In our case, everything is extremely transparent, and people genuinely love one another.
Can you talk about one challenge that you faced in the last 12 months?
Some of the storms in the area made it difficult to meet our projections. We had hurricanes and tornadoes all over the nation. Thus, most small business owners saw a decrease in sales. As far as our enterprise, there were weeks when we did not even open. Our communities needed help, and we decided to attend to their needs before selling any furniture. In retrospect, doing so was one of our best decisions up to date. Ultimately, not everything revolves around revenues. We do our best to interact with people and connect with local communities. Failing to so would eventually just lead to our downfall anyway.