How first-time store owners make it work

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Whether it’s starting over or starting from scratch, opening your own flooring store takes time, dedication and the ability to think on your feet. Even with a perfect location, eager customers and stellar employees, any number of challenges could still present themselves. To help you prepare for the unexpected, FCNews spoke with various first-time flooring store owners from across the country to get their advice on how to successfully take the leap into retail store ownership.

Conway Flooring
Muncie, Ind.

flooring store

After opening his first flooring store in 2000 and subsequently shutting his doors in 2004, Steve Conway gave it a second try in February of 2021 with Conway Flooring. In 2022, he saw his sales quadruple. Now readying for a new location, Conway said he’s up for any challenges ahead. “We have overcome a lot of obstacles, and as long as my body holds up we will continue to grow,” he said.

How have you dealt with unforeseen challenges?

“We find that getting frustrated with daily challenges only increases the problem. So, we stay positive and do what we can do and control what we can control.”

Since opening, what are your most memorable highlights?

“Since opening, we have been blessed to have a great following of loyal clients. We
recently won ‘Muncie, Ind., Quest for the Best Place to Buy Flooring.’”

What advice do you have for others looking to open a store of their own?

“I would say nothing comes easy. If you work hard and do what you tell your customers
you’re going to do, things will start to pay off. Honesty goes a long way when people
are trusting you to do work on their biggest investment—their homes.”

Get Floored
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

flooring store

Jessica White, owner of Get Floored in Myrtle Beach, is no stranger to flooring. Her father owned a flooring business growing up—where she found her love for the industry—and her husband, too, as an installer. So, when her husband was ready to branch out of installation and into retail ownership, she was only too happy to oblige.

How have you dealt with unforeseen challenges?

“I rely heavily on support from the executive members of Women of the Flooring Business. We meet once a week and discuss relevant topics/trends and resolve issues. Also, transparency and honesty has been our mantra.”

Since opening, what are your most memorable highlights?

“My amazing customers who have worked with us on bigger remodels. We have grown
so close with all of them and have had nothing but amazing experiences. Our customers have become more of our friends and family than simply clients.”

What advice do you have for others looking to open a store of their own?

“Make friends with people who have experience, and don’t do anything you feel unsure about. If you aren’t sure how to handle a situation and the advice you’re given doesn’t sit well with you, trust your gut. Your brand is reflected in you and your values—it is as simple as that. Don’t over-think it—go for what you want.”

In-Home Floors

flooring store

Founded on the idea of quality service and quality products, In-Home Floors specializes in the customer experience—combining the best of the retail showroom and the shop-at-home experience, according to Adrian Rojas, owner/CEO. After its grand opening in July, the company has hit $1 million in sales within just five months.

How have you dealt with unforeseen challenges?

“Unexpected challenges come up with any business, but with the shipping challenges and economic issues looming overhead, it’s been an interesting puzzle to solve. We have done so by keeping true to our core values, sticking to our concept and learning whatever we can from those around us.”

Since opening, what are your most memorable highlights?

“That first sale, setting up the showroom, our first mobile showroom and hitting our first million. Hitting it in our first five months was so invigorating—it solidified the thought that we know what we are doing and the plan is working.”

What advice do you have for others looking to open a store of their own?

“Go for it! Don’t plan for what you are already doing, plan for the growth. Force yourself to succeed, lean on your idea that makes you different from everyone else and go after it with all your might and power.”

Quality Floorz
Herber Springs, Ark.

Heather Guest Green has been in the flooring industry for 16 years—six of those as a flooring store owner. However, experience doesn’t mean ownership came easy. “I can remember crying in the paint room because I was overwhelmed,” Green recalled. “I remember thinking, if I only knew would it all be worth it? The answer is yes!”

How have you dealt with unforeseen challenges?

“When I purchased the business, I started with a partner who had knowledge of the industry but did not understand accounting. This led to strife and the partnership was dissolved. Change is not always a bad thing; it proved to be very beneficial for me.”

Since opening, what are your most memorable highlights?

“After moving once and growing our business, the most memorable highlight would be the purchase of our new location. We are now located on the main thoroughfare with excellent visibility, which has helped with our walk-in traffic.”

What advice do you have for others looking to open a store of their own?

“Show up every day. I remember in the beginning being overwhelmed and thinking, ‘I wish I could see where I will be in five years.’ The store has been worth the time and energy I put into it. Every day is a little easier; a few more lessons learned and more friends made.”

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Jan. 23/30, 2023

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