Operations, Sales & Marketing, V9I4

Dealer Spotlight: 5 Star Structures 

Relationship management is an essential part of any successful business. 

John Donne once said that no man is an island—similarly, no shed builder or dealer operates within a vacuum. 

Within the ecosystem of this industry, builders, dealers, and suppliers all rely on each other to deliver the best possible product to the end user: customers. 

We spoke with David Miller, owner of 5 Star Structures based in Stockport, Ohio, who believes strong relationships with his business community are the foundation of his business’s success. 

As an industry veteran with 20 years of experience under his belt, Miller founded 5 Star Structures in May 2019. 

He shared insights based on his experiences, as well as some of the pillars to which he attributes his accomplishments: namely, relationship building and maintenance with his partners, builders, teammates, and customers.


Relationships are a two-way street, so it follows that Miller has identified two sides to the relationship coin. 

First, of course, there’s relationship nurturing, so that you can serve your partners to the best of your ability and maintain a strong working relationship for many years to come. 

Second, there’s an investment in yourself and your company to stay at the top of your game so that you bring more value to the table of any partnership. 

Two key ways that Miller has fulfilled the latter are by staying on top of industry trends and by utilizing the best possible tools and materials on the market. 

With two decades of experience weathering the sometimes-tempestuous outdoor building industry, Miller has found that keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s trending and important to prospective clients is crucial.

 “In the last few years, for instance, we saw a real push toward housing because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says. 

“Not only did it end up being a huge boost for our business for those two years, because people started using sheds as apartments, but it also meant that consumers started using more online resources than they did even five years ago to research and find a shed dealer.” 

As a result of those shifts, Miller adjusted his strategy in two major ways.

5 Star expanded its product offerings from only storage buildings to also include multiple configurations of shed apartments, and they brought on an online marketing specialist to reach potential customers in the places they are looking to learn more about their outdoor building options. 

The company overhauled its website to include a 3D configurator, where shoppers can build, design—from window placement to colors and more—and purchase a shed from the comfort of their own homes without having to speak to anyone or visit a shed lot. 

Miller credits these strategic trend-based shifts for the 100% sales increase that 5 Star has experienced annually for the past three years.


Miller cites quality and consistency as two of the most important building blocks underpinning 5 Star’s success as they help create trust and loyalty across their business community. 

“Those changes we made help get people in the door, but what really helps seal a deal is a customer’s knowledge that they’re buying a really great, high-quality outdoor building,” he continues. “And that’s something we provide here.” 

Beyond this, Miller says that his partnership, which includes marketing materials, loyalty programs, and annual dealer days, is valuable to his team and also demonstrative of the partnership he feels with the brand. 

“These trainings are really going to make a difference in the future of the business,” he says. 

“I grew up on a farm and learned to work hard. There are certain things that work ethic translates to: customer care and service.”

For customers, Miller knows that trust and loyalty are just as paramount. 5 Star has nine different locations across Ohio and West Virginia, but some customers who have researched and connected with a 5 Star team member online will sometimes drive up to three hours to order a shed in person rather than visit the lot nearest them. 

“The sheds sell themselves because of their quality,” he shares. “But there are a lot of good quality sheds on the market today. I think it boils down to the relationships that our sales staff commit to building with our customers. 

“For instance, one of our guys sends thank-you notes every time a customer buys a shed. Others offer referral incentives, like gift cards and other loyalty programs, all with a personal touch.” 


All in all, Miller has concluded that the key to success lies in rising above the table stakes. 

Producing high-quality sheds, barns, and outdoor buildings is the standard, but it’s the plus-ups in the realm of relationship management that make a difference. However, those initiatives and the act of relationship building do not just happen. 

Miller’s north star is his vision board, which guides his plans and lives in a place he can see every day. 

“Most of all, I want to be a blessing to the community and to the people around me,” he says. “I want to build a future for my family, and I want 5 Star to help other families because if we help them, we’re helping the community. 

At the end of the day, that’s what building relationships is all about.” 

Miller says the key to success is falling back on his values and letting those guide the way, “So we’re going to take care of the lots and people we have now and keep on doing what we’re doing!”

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