Mike Anderson is no stranger to the flooring business. He has amassed more than 30 years in the trade over the course of his career, most of those years on the installation side. In 2017, he launched head first into a retail operation, Raider Flooring, based in Lubbock, Texas. While the business was stable, he realized he could do so much more if given the necessary guidance to take his business to the proverbial next level.
So, in 2020, Anderson began to explore opportunities to align with a buying group suited to his situation. His exhaustive search led him to Floors & More, a nearly 100-member strong organization encompassing Floor to Ceiling retailers as well as Big Bob’s Flooring outlets. “I researched quite a few buying groups before I actually sat down and talked to Vinnie Virga,” Anderson told FCNews. “We were looking for ways to get better on the digital marketing end of the business and what’s going on socially.”
Like so many other floor covering retailers, Anderson was having a tough time managing the normal day-to-day aspects of running a business while juggling all the “other things” necessary to expand his customer base and grow brand awareness of his store. “When you’re running a business, you don’t have time to sit around and do marketing and social media and come up with ads and scripts and so forth,” he said. “Vinnie and his team have come up with digital marketing and lead-generation programs that have really helped us grow the business.”
How much exactly? “They doubled my business within the first year just by getting more advertising out there,” Anderson explained. He expects more of the same in 2022. “If we don’t double then something is wrong. It’s just been unbelievable in this market.”
Room for growth
The dramatic sales growth Raider Flooring achieved as a member of the Floors & More group put the company in a position where it could invest more revenues back into the business. Not only was Anderson able to physically expand his existing location, he’s also moving ahead with plans to open a second store. “We expanded our existing store to a location that’s twice the size, and this year we will be looking to add another location,” he said.
Membership in the Floors & More group offers benefits for Raider Flooring in other aspects as well. This is particularly true as it relates to networking opportunities with other members who are dealing with the same issues. “That’s a huge benefit,” Anderson said. “Piggybacking off what other members are doing really helps. Of course, not everything one member does will work everywhere. But if we see that something is working for someone else in another region that we haven’t tried, we will try to implement it—either it works or it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, we can explore other ways of drawing business using similar practices that other members are using.”
More importantly, with Floors & More, Anderson said he feels like he’s not just another member in a group that’s solely trying to build scale for the sake of getting bigger. To that end, Floors & More management makes it a point to touch base regularly with membership to help address any issues they might have. For instance, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, management held weekly Zoom meetings and teleconferences with membership to offer much-needed guidance on how to survive during difficult—even unprecedented—times. Then there are those occasions where management reaches out personally, just to touch base. “I talk to Vinnie Jr. about three times a week,” Anderson stated.