Goedeker’s has been a trusted name in St. Louis for major appliances, home lighting, plumbing, and furniture for over 60 years.
From Ben Goedeker’s home repair shop to the huge warehouse and showroom overseen by his son, Steve, Goedeker’s has been providing name brand washers and dryers, kitchen appliances, mattresses, and home furnishings to St. Louis residents for generations.
BusinessInterviews.com: You’ve been a brick and mortar store since 1951. What influenced your decision to start having an online presence in 2009? What did you find most surprising or interesting about the process?
Steve: The economic recession hit us hard in 2008. We saw a huge drop in sales, and we had already tried all the old ways to increase our numbers. Selling online was our last alternative. We had hoped that it would give us just enough added revenue to ride out the recession. We never planned for the online site to be our primary form of business, but it kept growing and growing. It’s been an entirely new learning curve for me. It was like starting from scratch.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a local company who is contemplating launching their first website?
Steve: You have to start with the basics. Have a great designer who can create a good-looking site. Start small. Don’t get in over your head. If you anticipate too much and those things don’t happen, you’ll get discouraged. Just take it slow.
BusinessInterviews.com: How does being a Christian business influence your approach and vision of the company?
Steve: As a Christian business, we work under a distinct set of principles. We believe that everything we work for should glorify God in some way. We want our customers to see Christ in everything we do. We make it a priority to serve others to the best of our ability.
Faith, prayer, and persistence have guided me throughout my entire life, and I believe that with God, anything is possible. The sky is the limit for Goedeker’s.
BusinessInterviews.com: How important is blogging and social media to your overall marketing strategy?
Steve: It’s definitely important. Over the last year, we’ve expanded our online marketing efforts through daily blogging and the use of several social media platforms, not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. The blog serves as a first touch point for consumers. We’ve invested in an SEO team dedicated to these specific tasks. We have two writers, a social media manager, and two designers.
BusinessInterviews.com: When did you know that the time was right to contemplate launching a mobile version of your site?
Steve: Over the last year, we’ve seen an increase in mobile traffic, and several purchases ordered from tablets or smartphones. With the consistent rise of smartphone users, it made sense to make the site mobile friendly. It’s just another way that we can continue to serve our customers in the best way possible.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some insights you’ve gained about scaling a business during times of growth?
Steve: Our approach has always been to do more with less. If you feel that you need to hire fifteen new employees, hire seven. Stretch yourself a little. If you hire fifteen people, then you need people to train and manage them. It can be stressful on your management team. You have to go slow. It may slow growth, but it makes growth more manageable.