Dealer Dilemma: What keeps you up at night?

January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 2.14.38 PMFlooring retail executives and owners wear a lot of hats, which means they have a lot of concerns. One minute rushing out to do a measurement, the next spent worrying about employee morale, or inventory turns, or profit and loss, cash flow … you get the idea.

Yet not all concerns are negative; there may be a big project ready to begin, a store location about to open, or an exciting new hire that can help your business.

No matter the scenarios, FCNews asked several retailers, “What keeps you up at night?”

Kevin Rose, President/Owner

Carpetland USA, Rockford, Ill. and Sycamore, Ill.

Recently I was up in the middle of the night thinking about a large commercial contract we just landed the day before and all the ways we can make it run more efficient to increase the profit. It is 27,000 square yards of carpet and five hours away, so there are several opportunities to increase the level of efficiency for the project and create a higher margin of profit. Advertising ideas will also wake me up in the middle of the night. I put the ideas in my phone (which I keep on my nightstand) so I don’t forget them. I think some of the best ideas arise from dreams; it is funny how flooring people dream about being walked on.

Steve Weisberg, President

Crest Flooring, Allentown, Pa.

I’m up thinking about the one in 20,000 customers who has a problem with something we did and [she is] totally unreasonable in agreeing to a solution. My entire career of 45 years has always been based on providing quality work at the fairest price and to treat people according to the Golden Rule. Today’s fast-paced electronic world has created a profound insensitivity among shoppers. On top of all that, the cost of doing business continues to escalate and making profit continues to de-escalate proportionately—a combination of ingredients that produces a not-so-tasty recipe. We have customer reviews that appear on our website that average 4.8 out of a possible 5. I just need to develop a thicker skin. But honestly, when I stop caring is when I know I’m ready to retire.

Eric Langan, President/Owner

Carpetland USA, locations in Iowa, Illinois

We work in an excellent industry with excellent and intelligent people. However, what causes me concern is the continued over-regulation and influence of our friends in Washington D.C. It seems like the majority of the laws being passed in Washington over the past six-plus years has created a negative impact to small business owners and independent retailers. Business is competitive enough without adding additional costs and time to running a business every day. Obamacare, tax increases, sub-contractor vs. contractor debates, lead abatement, and all the other regulations that force businesses to focus on submitting continuous files and documents (at their own costs) take away time, effort and resources that can be used in growing one’s business. Hopefully with the recent [2014 mid-terms] we can make strides in the right direction to allow American businesses to do what they do best: compete, innovate and grow.

Casey Dillabaugh, President

Dillabaugh’s Flooring America, Boise, Idaho       

Generally speaking, I’m the most concerned about whether or not we’re exceeding our clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  The other stresses, whether it be profit and loss, cash flow, inventory turns, employee morale, etc., generally all take care of themselves when we are taking care of our clients. So while it’s a concern, it is also extremely fulfilling to work with a group of people all dedicated to that same cause where everybody will flourish together, celebrate together and grow gray together doing what we’ve been called to do.