Napoleon Hill wrote, "Life is like a checkerboard and the player opposite you is TIME. If you hesitate before moving or neglect to move promptly, your men will be wiped from the board of TIME. You are playing against a partner who will not tolerate indecision."
So, we're planning in January to make changes in your business for 2006? Today is more than halfway through the year. Did you do it? I realize that in business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with a small business. However, you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation and insight. Success is never automatic. It is not based on luck, although a little never hurts.
The statistics are not bright for the business community according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within the first five years. Chances are if you are reading this, you may have beaten the odds and for that you are to be commended.
If you have partnered with a dealer who is as concerned about quality, appearance and customer satisfaction as you are, you will succeed. At times you may feel this type of dealer does not exist, but I can assure you they do. Did you ever consider that they might not know where to find you? What emphasis have you placed on marketing your skills?
You must prepare your price list based on profit for your company. You may offer concessions to the dealer if it will benefit both parties, but you will not be around very long if you work cheap! Cheap and quality are definitely two very different words!
Your Target Market:
- Higher-end dealers and designers who aim for customer satisfaction; the affluent sector, commercial accounts who are searching for non-interruption of business.
- Dealers who are searching for a "one-stop service" that includes receiving, inventory, measuring, installation and complaint handling.
- Network with the carpet manufacturer's technical departments - the CFI Convention is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your services.
- Speak on the subject of quality floor covering installation at local clubs and organizations that are always searching for speakers, such as the Garden Club, the PTA, the Booster Club, the AARP Meeting, the Kiwanis Club and others. Introduce yourself and the "great" topic of flooring installation. You'll meet folks who need what you "sell." Remember, IF you know your topic, you are the expert and anyone can speak in front of a group IF they know their subject and are prepared. CFI will help you.
- Network with the local real estate companies, insurance brokers, carpet cleaners and even the termite inspectors. Be creative; they all need flooring installation at various times. Be their connection to quality.
- Sell SECURITY! Visit retirement centers and introduce yourself. Flooring is always being replaced and SECURITY is important to these folks.
- Remodeling firms. According to American Demographics Magazine, Households in the 45-65-age range grew to 34-million in 2000. They will increase another 32-percent to 45-million in 2010. They will remodel or build new homes. Approximately 46.2% of the nation's 93.3 million dwellings were built before 1960. Many are expected to be updated soon. Be careful working in the builder market unless you know you will be paid on time and work is ready when you arrive!
- Know your local press representatives. Write an article on flooring problems. Need one? CFI will help you.
Have a "take-no-prisoners" attitude and NEVER reduce your markup for any reason. Not marking up the job for fear of losing it is a big obstacle to success. Only you know what it takes to make the type of living that you consider best for you and your family.
Review the chart and if you need to earn more. Partner with a dealer whose focus is customer satisfaction and ALWAYS live up to your commitment to service, service, service!