Al’s Column

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  • Al’s Column: Managing a family-run business

    January 16/23, 2017: Volume 31, Number 16 By Jacqueline Tabbah There are many issues facing floor covering retailers today, especially family-run businesses. For instance, how do you keep your business running smoothly and successfully when generations work side by side or begin the succession process? How do you keep family and work balance? What is the influence of your corporate/family culture on business structures and policies? I will be addressing

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    Al’s Column: The importance of proper substrate preparation

    January 2/9, 2017: Volume 31, Number 15 By Scott Perron Recently I wrote an article discussing the challenges with installing hardwood flooring or any other moisture-sensitive product on substrates that are ill prepared (FCNews Product Guide, Sept. 26/Oct. 3). I received several calls and emails, as well as a referral from a dealer in Montana to handle an installation that was challenged here in Florida. Most of the respondents wanted

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    Al’s Column: TISE offers certified training in tile

    December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Number 14 By Scott Carothers Do you have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis? In our definition, experience refers to having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grouting and sealant materials. If the answers to those questions are yes, then you should consider becoming

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    Al’s Column: Informational tours on tap for Surfaces 2017

    December 5/12, 2016: Volume 31, Number 13 By Lisbeth Calandrino Floor covering retailers are invited to participate in several special events that will be held in conjunction with The International Surface Event (TISE) educational program, which is slated to take place Jan. 17-20 in Las Vegas. One event involves a tour of the Zappos factory. (What woman wouldn’t love a place with an endless supply of shoes?) In my initial

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    Al’s Column: Five proven LinkedIn tools at your fingertips

    November 21/28, 2016: Volume 31, Number 12 By Rebecca Vertucci LinkedIn has turned into one of the world’s strongest networking tools. But in my years of working for LinkedIn, it seems many of the platform’s best features go unnoticed. Ultimately, I feel this is due to the overwhelming nature of LinkedIn. There is so much to do that it can be hard to know where to focus. I am part

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    Al’s Column: How to market successfully after the sale

    November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11 By Greg Incardona According to a Small Business Trends report in 2016, 85% of a retailer’s new business comes from referrals. Most small businesses know it is easier to sell to a referred customer. Despite these statistics, many businesses send only thank you notes and never contact their customers again—unless they have a sale. Their commitment to customers gets lost after the initial

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    Al’s Column: How to be a true sales professional

    October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10 By Tom Jennings When training our sales staffs’ desirable behavior, we seem to place virtually all of our emphasis on the proper ways to conduct ourselves while in our showrooms. This is both understandable and necessary since this is typically where most first impressions are formed. However, it seems the majority of managers spend little time coaching winning behavior at the place where

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    Al’s Column: TISE offers a learning environment

    October 10/17, 2016: Volume 31, Number 9 By Carol Wilkins In order to remain effective and relevant in business today, you must be a sharp retailer who possesses the ability to multitask. A business professional must demonstrate outstanding skills in leadership, communication, customer service, sales acumen, social media engagement, branding, etc. Are you willing to adapt, take on multiple roles to meet the requirements for business today, or are you

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    Al’s Column: Satisfying the ‘me’ in customer

    September 12/19, 2016: Volume 31, Number 7 By Brian Gracon You know there’s no “I” in “team,” but there is a “me” in “customer.” Customers buy based on “What’s in it for me?” but what are they looking for these days when making their buying decisions? From luxury cars to gourmet coffee shops, many companies were recession proof and are strong today. These companies used growth strategies based on the

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    Al’s Column: It’s time to start thinking about TISE

    September 5, 2016; Volume 31, Number 6 By Carol Wilkins It’s hard to believe we are just a few months away from opening day of The International Surface Event (TISE), which encompasses Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and TileExpo, slated for Jan. 17-20, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For trade show veterans, retailers or wholesalers attending a conference and exhibition is a deliberate decision that requires proper

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    Floor Covering News

    21st Annual Award of Excellence Survey

    Press Release

    Armstrong Flooring wins two 2016 Good Design Awards

    Lancaster, Pa.–Two of Armstrong Flooring’s products–Vivero luxury flooring with patent-pending Diamond 10 Technology and Performance Plus hardwood–were awarded the Good Design 2016 Award. The award emphasizes quality design of the highest

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    Schönox to announce contest winners at Surfaces

    Las Vegas—The third annual Schönox Worst Subfloor Contest opened nine months ago with the starting-gun phrase, “Worst Case Scenario, You Win!” The winners will be announced at the Schönox booth

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    Creating Your Space helps flooring dealers create more leads, sales

    San Rafael, Calif.—Creating Your Space, an independent provider of online marketing products and services specifically for retail flooring dealers, will be introducing Easy Email Marketing at The International Surface Event

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