In order to survive in today’s highly competitive business environment, it is important to expand your knowledge, refine your skills, and learn how to better market your services. There are several ways to do this.
One of the most important ways to improve your installation skills and knowledge is through the many training courses and seminars available across the country. These seminars and training classes are offered by most major flooring manufacturers and floor covering installation associations. A thorough listing of these training classes and seminars is offered in each issue of FCI, so if you haven’t taken the time to read this section yet, what better time than now to brush up on new installation techniques or refine the skills you already have. If your business routinely involves glueless installation of laminate flooring, in particular, it is especially important to take to learn the manufacturer’s recommended techniques, as they differ wodely among the different manufacturers, and not following the manufacturer’s recommended techniques could raise liability issues if a failure should occur. In addition to offering new techniques, these courses also offer a great opportunity to network with your fellow installers.
Another important way to increase your business is to expand the range of services you offer. For example, if you’re currently working exclusively with one product, such as carpet, you could learn to install wood or ceramic. Within you area of expertise, you could always add new applications, such as areas not usually treated with your type of floor covering. An excellent example of this strategy can be found in this issue, in Dave Gobis’ article on kitchen countertop and backsplash installation, in which he offers examples of tiled garage floors, laundry rooms, and many other creative tile applications that go beyond the old tried-and-true standbys.
Customizing is another area that can help generate more business, as well as increasing your recognition. Hand-cut patterns and inlays, use of exotic materials, and artistic designs are just a few of the many techniques you can use to make an installation more personalized, and profitable. These types of customized applications will be discussed in depth in FCI next year, so if you have any areas you would like to see addressed, please write or e-mail your suggestions.