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Installments: Avoiding hardwood installation pitfalls

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Jeff Johnson

Wood and bamboo flooring are natural products and, as such, are probably the most moisture-sensitive flooring products we deal with in this industry. Moisture problems can literally destroy a perfect wood floor by causing it to cup, buckle and warp, leaving no other solution than to remove and replace it.

Following are some dos and don’ts that can help save time and money on wood floor installations.

Check for moisture vapor emissions or relative humidity (RH) of the concrete subfloor. Traditional adhesives that do not offer moisture control are often less expensive than multifunctional, moisture-controlling solutions. A simple moisture test could save the homeowner some money per square foot if the concrete turns out to be dry. Checking for moisture vapor transmission through a concrete slab using calcium chloride test kits or RH meters may take time but aren’t complicated to do.

Make sure the floor is smooth, flat and defect free. Wood flooring is a fairly rigid material that does not conform to the subfloor over which it is installed. If the substrate has low spots, the adhesive will not contact the back of the wood flooring properly, thereby creating a hollow spot or even a noisy, creaking surface when someone walks over it. If the substrate has high spots, the adhesive layer may be too thin or can seep through the tongue and groove, causing cleanup problems. These high and low spots are a problem no matter which type of adhesive is used. The only way to correct this is to inject glue under the hollow spot and, in some severe cases, actually remove part of the flooring to re-adhere it.

The remedy: Use a self-leveling underlayment or other subfloor-preparation product to ensure the installer is working on a flat surface. If the concrete slab is dry and shows no signs of moisture vapor issues, traditional self-levelers can be used. If the concrete is damp and a moisture-controlling adhesive is going to be used, then the subfloor prep requires the use of exterior-rated products. Traditional self-levelers can only be used in moisture conditions maxing out around 8lbs MVER (ASTM 1896) and 90% RH (ASTM 2170).

Make sure the flooring to be glued down is approved by the manufacturer. Wood flooring manufacturers have justifiable reasons why their flooring can either be nailed/stapled down or adhered to a subfloor. Always read the manufacturer’s recommendations that come with the flooring to ensure the planned installation is within the installation guidelines for any particular wood flooring.

Don’t forget to leave an expansion joint around the perimeter of the floor installation. Wood is a natural product and, therefore, is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Forgetting to leave the required expansion joint around the perimeter of a wood floor installation can lead to very complicated problems. A general rule of thumb is to always leave a gap at the perimeter of the wood floor equal to the thickness of the floor itself.

Don’t leave adhesive residues on the surface of the prefinished wood flooring. When gluing wood flooring to the substrate, be sure to remove all adhesive smudges from the surface while the adhesive is still wet. Always keep a clean rag around to make sure finish on the floor remains pristine.

Jeff Johnson is the business manager for Mapei’s floor covering installation systems line. He has more than 25 years of experience in floor covering installation product development and marketing, and he is also a bench chemist.

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Marketing mastery: New ways to generate (and turn) solid leads

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

(Second of three parts)

In my last column, I outlined the ultimate floor marketing system, which consists of three simple steps: “before,” “during” and “after.” “Before” is what you do to attract new customers before they have purchased from you. “During” is what you do to get out of the “proposal” business. And “after” is what you do following the sale to create a stream of repeat and referral business in a competition-free zone.

I’ve been providing dealers with coaching, training and marketing services for more than 10 years, and I’ve found that most dealers are weak in at least one of these steps. Dealers who have a strong before, during and after system have fenced in their herd of customers and protected them from being poached by the box stores. If any step is weak, you’ve got a big hole in your fence and poachers are sneaking in and stealing customers.

Let’s do a deeper dive into the “before” step. Radio, TV, print advertising and most Internet marketing falls into the before arena because these are primarily used for attracting new customers. Today we’ll look at two online “before” strategies for attracting new customers.

Online reviews. Having a steady stream of positive online reviews is critical in today’s market because: 92% of consumers now read online reviews; 94% of consumers would use a business with a four-star rating; and 88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means having online reviews is like having another stream of referrals coming into your business.

Reviews are also the first thing the consumer sees when she Googles “flooring” and the name of your city. Also, 73% of consumers think reviews older than three months are no longer relevant, which is why it’s important to continuously get new reviews.

You should have a system in place for consistently asking for and getting reviews from happy customers. If you get two reviews a month at the end of the year, you’ll have two dozen positive reviews, and this will help you attract new customers.

Customer capture. When the consumer goes online looking for flooring, she has an unspoken question on her mind: Why should I choose you over the competition? The dealer who does the best job answering this will get the most customers and avoid having to compete on cheap price. However, most flooring websites don’t do a great job answering this question. This is because they follow the Name, Rank and Serial Number formula—business name at the top, links to what they sell and contact information. Yes, some sites have additional bells and whistles like a room-designer widget or a “schedule an appointment” form, but most are saying the exact same thing: here’s our name, here’s what we sell, here’s how to find us.

A powerful, proven way to answer the unspoken question on your website is to offer information prospects are searching for. You can do this in the form of a free report, white paper or e-book.

By offering this kind of information, you’re positioning yourself as a trusted authority and giving your prospects a solid answer as to why they should choose you instead of the competition.

In the next installment, we’ll go deep with the “during” and “after” steps, so you can close more sales, and generate more repeat and referral business.

Jim Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring retailers. For a free copy of his latest book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes Online,” visit BeatTheBoxesOnline.com.

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Lisbiz strategies: Micromanaging can kill your business

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Did your mom ever tell you if you wanted something done right, then you have to do it yourself? If so, you’re probably still doing it and everything else. Sure, sometimes it’s easy to do it yourself, but you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of aggravation.

Are you wondering why you can’t seem to grow a team or why employees quit? If you are attempting to grow a team, each person needs to be involved in setting goals for your organization. If your team isn’t growing, you can blame at least part of it on your micromanaging. Instead of nurturing your employees, you are driving a wedge between you and them and adding to their stress.

In 2016, a study at the Kelly School of Business, Indiana University, measured the level of stress of 2,362 employees with a micromanager and highly demanding jobs. The outcome was associated with a 15.4% increased chance of death. (The entire study by Heather R. Huhman is in “Entrepreneur, Voices on Strategic Management.”)

When people are part of the goal setting, they need to be held accountable for the outcome of the goals. You want them to see themselves as part of the solution and empowered, not failures.

Why do people micromanage? Oftentimes, it’s lack of trust or not really understanding how to manage or be a coach. They also tend to be perfectionists—in a negative sense of the term. No one measures up to their standards or can do the job as well as they can.

How do you stop micromanaging? Stop nitpicking and focus on the big picture instead. What are you trying to achieve? The more you focus on the big picture and results, the quicker you will get there.

The main goal is to create an atmosphere where people can express their ideas without repercussions. Not everyone has the right answer all the time—nor does the person doing the micromanaging.

Case in point: When I first went into business, I felt I needed to micromanage. I worried constantly. Suppose things went wrong, what would my partners think of me? What would I think of myself? I was more worried about these things than building a team of successful salespeople who could make money.

I began to realize I was both shortsighted and self-centered. I had to show everyone how good I was. I quickly realized people didn’t like me that much, and it was only getting worse. My ego was in the way. I had to get used to taking pride for the people who worked for me and developing them.

If you’re guilty of micromanaging, sign up for coaching and managing-skill classes. You might benefit from hiring your own coach to help you set some goals and hold you accountable.

Let’s say you’re not the manager; perhaps you’re the CEO. Micromanaging your organization is the kiss of death. The job of the CEO is to develop a vision for your organization. How much business do you need to show a profit? Where will the business come from? What ideas and skills do you have?

What is an executive’s job? He or she should constantly search for ways to improve profitability and growth by understanding the marketplace and its changes. As the executive, your job is to develop the vision for your group and motivate them to want to work their hearts out for the team.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Lessons learned: What Sears can teach us

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Tom Jennings

It was recently announced that Sears is closing another group of underperforming stores, including one not far from my home. As a longtime Craftsman tool junkie, I’m sorry to see this happen. But, as a retail merchandising junkie, who could be surprised? Rather than simply dismissing these announcements, there are a great many reasons flooring retailers need to be paying close attention to what’s been happening to Sears. The following are prominent lessons.

A business’ reputation only lasts so long. My parents and grandparents traded at Sears extensively. They believed in the value and quality offered. They traded there without really questioning either attribute. My generation began to have its doubts as Sears’ offerings seemed to get less exceptional while their competitors got better. My kids’ generation barely recognizes that Sears exists.

Lesson: Whether you’ve been in business 10, 20, or in Sears’ case, over 100 years—you have to be fresh today to be relevant. If you’re not changing as fast as your market, you’re simply having the world’s longest going-out-of-business sale.

Sears once was the king of private brands. I saw an article not long ago that stated a generation ago, one in three homes in the U.S. had at least one Kenmore appliance. Craftsman Tools had a lifetime replacement warranty long before it was common. Customers desired these brands and bought them in huge volume. While they were all priced competitively, they were not necessarily the cheapest options. They were all exclusive to Sears. Then they started to erode their own value story. Today, you can buy a Whirlpool appliance alongside of a Kenmore. You can buy a Dewalt drill alongside a Craftsman. Why? Over the past decade, this has been systematic suicide for all that Sears once stood for.

Lesson: Most flooring retailers today have brands that are exclusive to them through various distribution channels. Are you putting these offerings up on a pedestal in your store? Or, are they mixed in with non-exclusive displays, merely serving to confuse the customer?

Sears allowed their stores to become very tired and generic looking. Customers today have become used to a show. They expect to see the latest products shown in an inviting atmosphere. Take a good look at everything from dramatic lighting, to the type of music played, to the types of signage displayed at truly modern stores. My closest Sears store has exposed fluorescent light fixtures, generic flooring that has seen better days, a well-worn front entry and no sound system at all. Good retailing evokes customer emotions and actions. There is absolutely nothing remarkable here, just a bunch of merchandise for sale.

Lesson: I just described a majority of flooring stores in the country. Is yours one of them?

Do you remember when Sears dominated the catalog business? When I was young, it was a happy day at our house when the new catalog came. When was the last time you heard of someone bragging about a Sears app on their smartphone? The moral of the Sears story is in the customers’ eyes, you must stand for something to be relevant. For too long Sears has been neither cheap enough to seem cheap, nor good enough to seem good. Remember that past laurels all have an expiration date.

Tom Jennings is vice president of professional development for the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). Jennings, a retail sales training guru, has served in various capacities within the WFCA.

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Dear David: You get what you demand

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By David Romano

Dear David: 

I was talking to some of my peers and the conversation was centered around getting better deals from vendors. I heard about good deals, so I reached out to some of my vendors, but the deals I got were not that good. Do you have suggestions? 

Dear Passive Owner,

I’m sure you know the saying, “You get what you ask for.” I look at it a bit differently: You get what you logically demand. Knowing what one deserves isn’t quantifiable or achievable, and what you ask may be farfetched, but a logical demand creates deeper thought a vendor must consider if they are to continue to earn your business.

Coming up with what you demand is more complicated than you think. It involves research, feedback from peers/staff, rehearsal time and confidence. Previous and forecasted purchase volume and payment history are all things that will come into play. More importantly, if you go into these conversations without the idea that you are going to get exactly what you demand, you are dead in the water because it is likely the rep on the other end of the phone is more experienced. Your job is to convince this person what you want is a logical decision and if they don’t succumb to your demand, it will hurt them.

Without a threat to your opponent, your words will be nothing but hot air. What you demand must be substantially better than the alternative, and the alternative must be better than your current situation.

Following are sources for substantial savings.

Credit card processing fees. These vendors are fierce competitors and will do whatever it takes to win your business. Provide a limited number of monthly transactional statements to some vendors and the battle will begin. When you get the best rate, go and demand they beat the rate of the lowest bidder.

Cell phone carriers. If you are with Verizon, shop AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. When you get the best rate, which is most likely T-Mobile, go back to Verizon and demand they match the rate or you will take your business to T-Mobile. You must be willing to pull that trigger if you threaten to leave. Make sure you research the cost of new phones and conversion costs.

Payment terms. If your payment history has been consistently on time, you should be successful. Think about it this way: If you have a commercial or builder account that gives you a million dollars of business a year, and they tell you that you need to increase your terms and offer them an early-pay discount, or they will use another provider, would you say no? I don’t think so, because losing this business would hurt you more than it would help them.

Company/auto insurance. This must be done each year as driving records, vehicles, number of submitted claims and laws change. There are websites where you can put your policy out to bidders and you will receive numerous quotes well below your current policy. Make sure the coverages are identical and be aware the policy offered may be only a first-year offer.

Accounting services. You may have been using the same accountant for a decade and consider them a friend, but business is business. Shop for other CPAs. If you find a better value, let your accountant know. If this relationship and as tight as you think, a better rate will be offered.

The combined effect of demanding what is logical from all your vendors can be the difference between earning a living vs. building wealth.

David Romano, formerly the founder of Romano Consulting Group as well as Benchmarkinc Recruiting, is currently the director of Dallas-based Romano Group. You can contact David at david@romanogroup.com.

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Al’s column: Don’t let moisture trip you up

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Elliot Gordon

Across many job sites today, contractors are under pressure to complete projects on ever-shorter schedules with ever-tighter budgets. Unfortunately, the imperative to get the job done quickly and efficiently often overshadows the need to fully test concrete slabs to determine whether moisture remediation is required.

If moisture testing is not conducted and moisture content rears its ugly head in the middle of a project, it can be extremely disruptive to schedules and it can be costly. How do you overcome the tricky balance of scheduling around unforeseen moisture in a flooring project? Consider the following four best practices:

1. Test early and often. Excess moisture in concrete slabs is a common issue. One of the biggest mistakes flooring contractors make is to not plan for the possibility of moisture at the time of sale. Get a moisture test done well in advance of installing flooring by a certified professional. Anywhere from a year to a month beforehand is ideal for conducting initial moisture testing to start planning for the “what ifs.” This early testing will give you the big picture of what you are dealing with. If moisture levels are low, you know you will not need to allocate resources for moisture mitigation, and you can free them up for other projects.

For higher levels, continue monitoring moisture levels closer to installation time to make a final decision on the best moisture mitigation strategy. If you leave the first moisture testing to days before installation, and there is a moisture issue, you will have to delay the project to submit change orders and adjust schedules.

By testing early, you can plan for what products are needed and schedule the right pros on the job at the right time. If you find there’s a moisture problem, you can order the right materials and submit a change order.

2. Select products to speed up the timeline. The traditional approach to moisture mitigation is the use of a two-part epoxy to seal the slab surface, providing a dry substrate for the floor. While effective, this method requires multiple coats and a long cure time, potentially delaying the project schedule.

Newer technologies can help expedite the timeline when mitigation is required, freeing up labor for the next project. These innovations also help flooring contractors feel more comfortable maximizing their number of projects while still meeting customers’ timelines.

A proven moisture mitigation strategy is to apply a moisture barrier prior to installing the finished flooring. (Moisture barriers are sheet membranes designed to be laid down above the concrete slab but underneath floor coverings.) When working on a renovation, moisture barriers can also be placed over intact existing flooring to avoid demolishing the old flooring. The latest sheet membranes for floor protection are designed to offer significant advantages over liquid epoxy. Contractors and building owners can enjoy reduced installation time and easy application, saving time and labor.

3. Train your team. It is vital to spend the time and money to make sure your team is educated properly. Remember: A well-trained team works efficiently and avoids costly mistakes that can cause time-consuming delays.

4. Practice good communication. Another important element to keep a project running smoothly and on time is daily or at least weekly communication between the general contractor and the flooring contractor, even before the flooring installation begins. Be sure to document all communication as well.

Elliot Gordon is product marketing manager, flooring, at GCP Applied Technologies, where he leads all product development and marketing initiatives for GCP’s flooring underlayment, tapes and tools product lines.

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Lessons learned: That warm, fuzzy feeling

 

July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2

By Tom Jennings

 

I have long felt that before you can be a good service provider, you must first be an aware service receiver. There are lessons to be learned daily regarding the correct way to treat customers. Allow me to share an example.

Recently I needed to travel from Kansas City to Phoenix on short notice. In order to get flight times that would accommodate my schedule, I had to book flights on two carriers. The price quoted for each flight was the same, but the experiences could not have been more different.

On the outbound flight, I was greeted at the counter by a friendly attendant. I had two bags to check. I was advised this was not an issue as they could be checked at no charge. Once onboard, I was served a soft drink and a snack—again, complimentary. I was even asked if I wanted a refill. The pilot came on the speaker system to advise us of an anticipated smooth flight. He remarked that we had a great team of cabin attendants onboard that would take care of us. He then stated he realized that many of the passengers would like to work or sleep during the next two hours, so he would keep interruptions to a minimum. I thought to myself this man knows who his customer is.

The return flight was a very different experience. When I scanned my credit card to check in, I was immediately charged $60 to check my two bags. When I booked the flight, I was notified that seats would be assigned at the gate. Since I fly dozens of times yearly, I knew this wasn’t a good sign of things to come. I was then advised by a rather indifferent gate attendant that since I didn’t have priority status with this carrier for the fee quoted, only middle seats were available. He could, however, assign me to a “preferred window seat” for only $22. Being a large person, a middle seat isn’t a good option for me or the person on either side of me. I had now spent $82 and hadn’t even left the counter. I was really starting to feel special.

Then, finally, as we prepared to land in Kansas City, the pilot pointed out the university I attended was visible out the window on the left side. Since it’s a competitive school, he announced that anyone from my school would have to get off last. I realize that he was trying to be cute. My skin is not that thin as I have heard this banter for years. My point is that it’s never a service provider’s right to infer any type of bias that might offend a customer. The outbound pilot came across as professional. By comparison, this pilot looked like a clown. I assure you he thought that he was doing me a favor by flying the plane when, in fact, I was doing him the favor of providing a paycheck for his family. This airline seems to have forgotten that fact.

The lesson to be learned from this is that ultimately a customer’s feelings about a business seldom have much to do with the product offered. Both airlines got me safely to my destination. Both were on time and had my bags waiting for me. Based upon the product offering only, they were exactly the same. In my eyes, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Always remember that customers may forget what you said or what they paid. However, they will never forget the way you made them feel. How do your customers feel about the possibility of doing repeat business with you in the future? How do the services you provide make them feel?

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Marketing mastery: A marketing system can work wonders

July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

(First of three parts)

In a previous column I outlined the differences between dealers who are hunters and dealers who are ranchers. Most dealers are hunters, meaning they are transaction oriented. They spend their time, energy and money hunting down the next customer—bagging it, skinning it and then hunting for the next one.

There are three big problems with hunting. First, it is very hard work. Hunters wander in search of game. Sometimes they get it; other times they don’t. Dealers try to get good at hunting, but, in reality, customers are price shopping and beating them up about how some box store down the road is offering free installation.

Second, hunting is unpredictable. One day there’s game everywhere, and dealers have all the customers they need. The next day they disappear. The showroom is empty; the phone is growing cobwebs; dealers wonder where all the game went.

Third, hunting keeps dealers stuck on the hamster wheel of doom. They work more and more hours hunting down customers, only to make the same or less. If they do manage to grow, hunting takes so much time and energy that they’ll most likely wind up working harder than necessary.

Ranching changes all of that. A rancher’s job is to round up a relatively small herd of the right customers and live in style. Ranching is easy and predictable compared to hunting. When a herd of customers is rounded up and fenced in, dealers don’t have to wonder where their next one is coming from. Ranching lets dealers escape the wheel of doom, work fewer hours and increase their income.

To help dealers transition from hunter to rancher, I teach them the ultimate floor marketing system. It’s a simple, three-step approach that enables them to round up a highly profitable herd of customers and sell to them for life.

The first step is “Before.” This is what you do to round up lots of new customers before they’ve done business with you.

“During” is the second step, and it’s what you do during the sales process to wow the customer, position yourself as a trusted advisor and close more sales. A strong “During” gets you out of spending all your time preparing and delivering proposals to customers who don’t buy from you. Instead, you put yourself in front of high-quality prospects and get them to say yes.

“After” is the third step. This is what you do after the sale to dramatically increase your repeat and referral business. It lands their next projects for you in a virtually competition-free zone and produces ongoing referrals to their friends and family. This is done using a strategic outreach and messaging process to stay in front of your past customers week in and week out.

The “After” step supercharges your results because you stay connected with your past customers in a very personal way and build real relationships, so you can generate a consistent stream of sales. The Before, During and After system is like having a 12-foot, razor-wire fence to keep your herd of customers in and poachers out.

In the next installment, I’ll dive deeper into what goes into the “Before” step, so you can more effectively round up a herd of high-quality customers.

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Lisbiz strategies: Is your call center the weakest link?

July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

Every business has someone answering the phone; technically, this is your call center. Your call center is a crucial personal connection your customers have with your business. There’s a company I often do business with called Harry and David. They are an American-owned, premium food and gift producer and retailer. Their employees are so well-trained, they almost act as your party planner. They even go back into old catalogues and look up specials for you. Nice, huh?

How many times have you called a business but were frustrated by the person who answered? Did you have to ask them their name? Did they sound like they were put out by your call? Did you feel they were multitasking and you weren’t part of their important conversation? You might have felt you were actually being rude by interrupting their day.

What I’m reporting is way too common and it’s a huge financial drain on business, maybe even your business. Unless you are actually monitoring the calls, the only feedback you ever get from your employees is someone called and needed information. You don’t get a sense of the emotions between the caller and your staff. It’s just as important to know what’s not said.

It’s because we believe everyone inherently knows what to say on the phone that the call center gets overlooked. However, phone skills are a highly valuable tool to have in your employees’ skill set. Call-center training will give your employees these skills.

Teaching your employees these valuable skills will make them more confident, improve sales and help gain new customers while retaining your current clientele. A more confident employee is also one who is happier, and happier employees will produce more happy customers. This will lead to higher productivity throughout your organization. A business needs to gain customers, not lose them.

So, what is a good call-center strategy? As the owner, it’s your responsibility to determine how you want your phones answered and to make sure it gets done through your management-coaching system. I suggest using my SMARTER system, which is an updated version of the SMART system. As a refresher, SMART is commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. I have improved the SMART acronym to include “Evaluation” and “Review.” Having metrics you can evaluate and review with your employees will ensure they reach their highest potential.

If turnover is keeping you awake at night, getting your call center up to speed will fix that. The use of a monthly service to monitor your calls may be a profitable consideration. Oftentimes, it’s important to have another way to look at your problems. Call-center monitoring gives you another avenue to keep up on the vital signs of the health of your business. I had a client in New Jersey who set up a monitoring system to listen to her calls. We would discuss the content and the emotional consequence of the conversations. She said listening to the calls exposed what was going on between her employees and customers.

These are things I have in my bag of tricks gained over decades of fruitful experiences from business owners like you. I’ve worked with the best and the worst and, like you, I know the difference.

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Dear David: How to say motivated in running your business

July 9/16, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 2

By David Romano

 

Dear David: 

Is losing interest in running my business normal? I have been in the flooring industry for nearly three decades and as the years go by, I find myself less interested in going to work and every idea I hear on how to make things better seems like too much work. I feel trapped because I cannot sell the business, but I need to earn an income.

Dear Burned-Out Owner,

You are not alone. In fact, if anyone who owns a business has told you they’ve never experienced this feeling, they’re lying. The key is to find that one thing, or combination of many things, that provides your “chi.” The drive to not only keep going, but the motivation to own a better version of your company each year.

Here are some things that have worked for me as well as some tips from Forbes and the Harvard Business Journal.

Schedule personal time to recharge.Too often, business owners don’t allow time for themselves. Ask yourself what you’ve always wanted to do that you’ve never done, and what you have done in the past that has given you joy. Then go and do it and don’t feel guilty. After all, there is quantifiable evidence that owners who take more than a month off each year run larger and more profitable companies than their peers.

Seek out a mentor.No matter your age or experience, there is always someone who knows more than you. You can hire a business coach, reach out to someone in your network whom you’ve always admired or connect with people in your field through industry organizations and/or social media.

Delegate parts of your business.Consider assigning the work you don’t enjoy to someone else. Sometimes it seems easier to do it yourself, but the long-term effects lead to burnout.

Focus on your relationships.When you start losing that loving feeling for your work, you may start pulling away from the people around you. But that’s one of the worst things you can do. Those relationships are what will help you feel energized and inspired.

Introduce innovation.Disenchantment often stems from monotony. If you’ve been doing things a certain way at work from the start, think about how you can introduce innovation.

Throw yourself into marketing.If work has been boring, maybe you need to challenge yourself to find ways to attract new business. Perhaps because you haven't been trying to bring in new customers, you’ve been going through the motions.

Stop doing the parts of your job you hate.Maybe you love interacting with customers but hate number crunching. Perhaps you need to unload some of the grunt work you've taken on so you can work on more of the big-picture tasks that will help your business grow. No matter what activities your business requires, you can always find a way to do more of what you love.

Take up a hobby.If running your business seems to be a 24/7 venture, maybe you need to carve out more of a life outside of it. The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology came out with a study of about 350 people with a variety of jobs and hobbies, as well as a second group of 90 U.S. Air Force captains, and found the more people engaged with a hobby, the more likely they were to be better problem solvers.