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Research Fosters Growth: Paint Store Owner Shares How NHPA Study Strengthens Her Business

If someone asked you how your business was performing, could you answer them? For Peggy Sue Wingard, owner of O-Gee Paint Co. in Miami, Florida, she easily paints a detailed picture of the company’s strengths and areas they are working on improving. Her secret to knowing the ins and outs of her business is participating in the North American Hardware and Paint Association’s (NHPA) annual Cost of Doing Business Study.

“The Cost of Doing Business Study allows me to take a step away and look at the business as it compares to others in the industry,” Wingard says. “I enjoy the self-competition of the study because it’s not us against another retailer, it’s me against myself from year to year.”

Wingard, who has been a part of the study for a decade, shares the transformative power of participating in the study, highlighting how it equips independent home improvement retailers with a better understanding of how their operation is performing.

Hardware Retailing (HR): Why do you think it’s important for independent retailers to participate in the Cost of Doing Business Study?
Peggy Sue Wingard (PW): The more retailers who participate, the more robust the results will be and the more beneficial it will be for everyone. I tell every retailer I meet they need to participate to benefit the industry as a whole and to better understand and improve their own operation. With NHPA running the study, you save on needing to hire a consultant, too.

HR: What is all involved in the process for participating?
PW: Participating is very easy—there are a few simple ways to submit your data. Or, you can send NHPA your financials, and they’ll plug the date in for you. Plus, it is reassuring knowing that your data is secure and not shared with anyone else.

HR: How do you use the information in the study to better your operation?
PW: As soon as the completed study and my financial data are sent to me, I immediately get the information, print it out and start going line by line through it to see where I fit in. Overall, it helps you develop a plan each year after analyzing the data and seeing some areas where your expenses are higher and others where they are perhaps too low.

Benchmark Your Business Today

The 2024 Cost of Doing Business Study survey is now open for retailer participation! When you participate in the study, it can help you identify future financial opportunities and set goals for your business. Participating is free, easy and confidential. Learn more at YourNHPA.org/codb.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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