No one will ever convince me that professional installers, who perform the work correctly and treat the customer and the facility with respect, cannot make the wages that other trades expect. Flooring installers provide the FINISHING touches for every job! Today, more than ever before, a shortage of quality-minded installers exists and a surplus of the ones with which most of us do not want to be identified, run rampant across this country. This happens because too many dealers are yelling, "How cheap? How fast?" This does not speak well for the manner in which the customers are treated nor does it provide the excitement for another "flooring experience."
And, how often do installers who do their best receive payment for their work only to find that the price they quoted for labor has been severely discounted? This, too must stop!
PARTNERS DON'T BEAT UP ON PARTNERS!!!!!!How do you "sell" your services and are you prepared to be a part of this installation BUSINESS? There are far too many installers who think that time spent in the trade "makes" them the best installers FOREVER! Time has little to do with increased knowledge. With all the new flooring products, tools and supplies; installation has changed. Add to this, EPA and OSHA requirements, and the way we used to do it, has absolutely NO meaning. Don't tell me how many years you have been installing floors; tell me about the educational events and training courses you recently attended.
Installers, it is not difficult to sell your skills, IF you believe in yourself. I notice now more than anytime during my career, the skilled, experienced, knowledgeable and educated installers with healthy attitudes and great people skills, have learned to sell installation, and are at the top of their game.
They have learned one very important thing. Once you sell yourself, you must produce! That means when problems are encountered, they are rectified IMMEDIATELY! You sold the buyer! They expect a finished package; a package of which the end user will be proud for years to come and a package that performs. This determines your value. Most retailers, architects, specifiers and others are just plain tired of fighting the system of the unkempt, sloppy, uneducated and uncaring people who call themselves "flooring installers." They are ready for a change, but they also want someone that delivers a job completed as promised.
Whether it is a dealer, a specifier or a manufacturer, remember you need work from them again. I've always been a firm believer in the saying, "a card laid is a card played!" If we quote a price at our company, we live with it. Floor prep we miss, furniture we overlook and additional items we did not cover, become our loss. Granted, there are times that circumstances beyond our control do surface, but in all fairness, it just does not happen very often IF we do our part to provide an accurate proposal. The installation partner always seems to understand and works with you, not against you. However, your "partner" cannot justify receiving a cost that far exceeds the amount you quoted. Carefully, select your installation partners. They can make flooring installation the best job in the world, or not.
A true professional notes the details. One price does not fit all, but one FAIR price will get you more work and create an avenue of success like none you have ever experienced. You should be way past the day of working for those who are only interested in saving money on installation. You should be targeting those who want value for a job well done. I still believe that if you KNOW your costs, you can provide a price that makes a fair profit for your company.
When you do your part, the dealer will realize that only 50-60 square yards of a difficult woven, sisal or berber carpet can be installed in one day. You CANNOT do this for the same price as a standard installation. Nor can you drive 80 miles to install 20 square yards for the same price as 20 square yards located ten miles away.