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Lizbiz strategied: Differentiation is the key to your survival

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

A flooring retailer recently told me she couldn’t understand why customers weren’t coming to her store. “Don’t they know I have the best prices, and that I’ve been here 20 years?” she asked. “We only get the cheap customers.”

The movie, “Field of Dreams” memorialized the saying, “Build it and they will come.” That was nothing more than a line in a movie, but it doesn’t mean the customer equivalent of Shoeless Joe Jackson is going to show up. We’re already overbuilt with retail space and restaurants; how much fast food can we consume?

In the old days, you didn’t have to try too hard to draw customers. But then again, this was a time before the Internet, social media, blogs and Amazon. Differentiation meant you existed. Today, you have to do more than show up if you’re going to thrive.

Need proof? Just look at what’s going on with the fast food industry. I live in Upstate New York, where Friendly’s, a family restaurant, is closing the remainder of its Albany stores. They aren’t the only ones; it appears that Ruby Tuesdays, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback and Hooters have all been selling off their restaurants or shutting them down. Several are reportedly basing their lackluster performance on trends showing millennials like to cook at home. Really? That’s hard to swallow.

Fact is, many of these fast food chains pretty much look—and taste—alike. A blooming onion or scantily clad servers won’t cut it anymore. (By the way, I heard Hooters has plans to open new restaurants under the name of “Hoots” and put more clothes on the servers. No, I didn’t make that up. According to my research, several of the older chains had internal disputes about what they should do when business was declining, and they chose to do nothing. You need more than new paint to attract today’s customer.)

So, what can you do to differentiate your business? Here are a few ideas:

Teach your salespeople to be marketers. No one knows the customer better than your RSAs, so ask them to post regularly on social media. I’m appalled when I see a store that’s been in business for 50 years but only has 500 friends! If you have 10 salespeople and their average number of Facebook friend is 338, that’s potentially 3,380 people who like your employees and should be on your business page as well.

Organize a ‘Product Day.’ Pick a day of the week or month to promote wood, carpet or even area rugs. Invite people on social media to attend; the ones who are interested will come in. Give away goods and get people excited.

Use your parking lot to stage events. Putting up a tent and throwing some remnants in the parking lot isn’t exciting. How about having an antique car day or animal adoption to bring in customers? In my area, Curtis Lumber hosts a car, truck and jeep show—an event that brings in hundreds, if not thousands, to their parking lot. Better yet, how about a yoga or Zumba event?

Partner up with local businesses. One retailer I know organized an event with a nearby landscaper. He offered advice on how to make them thrive, and he sold a ton of plants in the process. Spring is the perfect time for such a promo. Memorial Day typically brings everyone out to buy products to spruce up their homes.

Bottom line: Always be on the lookout to find ways to market to both new and returning customers. This way, when they need flooring, you’ll be top on their list.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for more than 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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Guest column: Don’t let moisture ruin your wood installation

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23

By Jason Spangler

 

Hardwood is one of the oldest and most widely used premium flooring types, and its popularity is increasing. In the United States today, sales of hardwood flooring products are approaching $4 billion yearly.

On the downside, however, more than $500 million is spent each year on repairing flooring failures. Since hardwood accounts for about 10% of all flooring installations, that amounts to roughly $50 million lost to wood flooring failures. That means it’s in your best interest to take precautions to minimize the risk of failure.

The worst enemy of a wood floor is excess moisture, which can come from a wood or concrete subfloor, the ambient air or the flooring materials. Excess moisture can cause cupping, crowning, gaps, buckling and squeaking.

To protect yourself from liability and callbacks, you need the proper tools to measure moisture. Remember: moisture must be within acceptable limits in the subfloor, the flooring system you’re installing and in the ambient air both during and after the installation.

Before you begin, make sure the subfloor has been tested for moisture. If you’re installing over a concrete subfloor, ensure you possess ASTM standard documentation that proves the concrete has been tested for the correct moisture conditions. You may be able to get this from the general contractor, or you may have to conduct the testing and document the results yourself. Wagner Meters offers an easy-to-use and quick concrete moisture test system that fully complies with ASTM F2170, so if there’s a failure after your installation due to excess moisture from the subfloor, you can prove the problem isn’t with your work. If you’re installing over a wood subfloor, the situation requires the same documentation to protect you against liability.

Next, use a pin or pinless wood moisture meter to make certain your flooring system materials have been properly stored and acclimated before you begin the installation. Both types are accurate if used properly, but pinless meters have some important advantages. First, pinless meters don’t damage the floor. Pin-type meters use metal pins that must be pushed into the wood, which mars the surface. A pinless meter rests on the top of the wood and determines moisture content in the wood via an electromagnetic wave pattern. Pinless meters are also faster and easier to use. There’s no time wasted pushing the pins into the wood, and because they use an electromagnetic field to measure moisture.

If you’re properly equipped for your installation, you’ll have a high-quality wood moisture meter that can also be used on the subfloor. A dual-depth moisture meter can be adjusted to the thickness of the material you’re testing, so you can use it to accurately test both the subfloor and the flooring materials before and during installation.

After the installation is complete, it’s important to ensure the correct ambient conditions are maintained. Even if you’ve done your job and kept moisture conditions within spec, the client can cause damage to the floor by not maintaining the proper service conditions post installation.

You can help prevent this problem by monitoring and recording the ambient conditions in the space after the installation. However, this requires you to return to the site repeatedly.

 

Jason Spangler is the flooring division manager for Wagner Meters. He has more than 25 years of experience in sales and management across a wide spectrum of industries. He can be reached at 844.808.8761.

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Lessons learned: Sometimes you have to fire your customer

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23

By Tom Jennings

 

We’ve all countlessly heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” I believe this to be the case—the majority of the time.

When a customer is unhappy with the goods she has purchased, or the service she has received, shouldn’t you make every effort to ensure her concerns are remedied to her complete satisfaction? My answer would usually be yes.

But isn’t the customer always right no matter what the particulars of the transaction may be? Simply stated, no.

What causes the exceptions? Often it is simply a matter of fair- ness. It’s not just the equitable rights of the entire business to be considered. Many times it is imperative management validate the value of an employee who may be under duress.

Let me first explain I am focusing on a small percentage of the customer base. I have always felt the majority of the people we deal with are basically decent folks who are just concerned with getting their fair value and being treated respectfully.

When this fair-minded customer has a concern that is valid in her mind’s eye, you should endeavor to satisfy her at any cost without delay. Your perception of reality doesn’t matter when dealing with the honest customer. The value of future orders and referrals they can create will always exceed the cost of keeping her happy now. There is never any reason to argue or negotiate with this customer; long term this is a battle you will never win. Remember, whether posting a review or discussing her experiences in person, she will never tell your side of the story—only her own.

The small percentage of the customers I am referring to are the ones who just decide to be impossible to satisfy or decline to play within the rules of decency. Maybe it’s a male customer who harasses a saleswoman. It could be a contractor who is rude and unreasonable in his time-related demands. It could be one who is verbally abusive on the telephone. Maybe it’s the customer who decides to treat your installation staff as subservient. And then there is always the curmudgeon who will find some fault with anything you say or do. If you’ve been serving the buying public for any length of time, you know the type.

When dealing with these customers, it’s usually best to say, “We’re sorry, but maybe we would all be happier if you took your business somewhere else.” You’ll be amazed at how liberating saying these words can be.

As an owner or manager, it is imperative you show your staff the value and respect you have for them—even at the expense of losing a sale. Bending over back- wards to satisfy a customer is admirable. Getting bent over backwards by a customer is not.

Inviting a customer to leave your store is obviously not some- thing you should do often. Perhaps it will occur only once or twice per year. None of us can afford to get in the habit of walking business out the front door.

I would suggest, though, that none of us can afford the cost of walking good employees out the door, either, when they feel unsupported by management. This carries a much greater financial and psychological cost than any profit a sour customer could have provided. Don’t be afraid to fire the occasional bad customer. Your blood pressure will go down and your staff’s morale will go up.

 

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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Al’s column: Creating a culture of winners

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23

By Irene Ross

 

Motivated employees are not just good to have; they are good for business. A showroom work environment is even more important, because those employees create the consumer’s first impression of your company.

This is particularly critical for people who operate flooring stores. After all, flooring can be a big investment, and motivated salespeople can make all the difference. “That means you’ll want your showroom employees to be enthusiastic, motivated, knowledgeable and well trained,” said Sean O’Rourke, director of merchandising, Art Van Furniture, with several stores in Chicago and Michigan.

Why is employee morale so important? Research shows just one bad experience can change the mind of someone planning to make a purchase. The firm Gladly recently surveyed 1,000 consumers, of which 92% said they would change their mind about buying after three or four bad encounters. However, 26% said they would also consider stopping after just one unpleasant visit.

“You can have a lot of leads and potential customers, but it doesn’t mean a thing if your employees are unmotivated, uninterested and untrained,” said Lyle Sapp, general manager of the retail division of Carpets N More, Las Vegas. “If they only come into work for the paycheck, they might make a sale or two but they won’t get referrals, and those are the lifeblood of any business.”

Ensuring employees remain motivated is a top priority for dealers such as Jeff Perez, general manager, TF Andrew, with showrooms in New Rochelle and Elmsford, N.Y. That’s why he makes it part of the hiring and ongoing training process. “We’ve found it easier for an employee to align with our company goals if we’re very clear about them from the beginning,” he said. “It also works in their favor because we can spot opportunities in the company for them.”

Employee motivation isn’t just about working hard or completing assignments. It comes from multiple sources, including the ability to make more money, the possibility of promotion, the desire to meet personal/professional goals or just plain satisfaction from the work. Sometimes a group outing, a bonus or even a simple “thank you” will do the trick.

Following are key strategies to keep in mind:

Maintain transparency.“It’s important for employees to know about the company,” Perez said. “Although the sales team sees figures every month, we also show them to the entire staff on a quarterly basis. We want people to know they are working for a financially sound business.”

Focus on education. Chris Quattlebaum, a manager at Bradenton, Fla.-based Manasota Flooring, believes an emphasis on training helps develop and retain employees. It also conveys confidence to the consumer. “Our employees are charged with gaining PK,” he said. “We qualify them on carpeting so they know all the different fibers and styles.”

Quattlebaum isn’t alone. Contract Furnishings Mart, with stores in Portland and Seattle, conducts weekly training sessions and PK classes to improve RSA morale. “Once or twice a year we also send our reps to facilities to learn how a product is made,” said Garrett Anderson, director of marketing. “It’s not just about PK; it solidifies relationships between our sources and employees.”

Make it fun. At Contract Furnishings Mart, managers try to foster a fun workplace to keep employees happy. “We are a family-owned business and we promote that type of environment,” Anderson said. “Balance is important. We don’t want our employees to think about work 24/7 or stay up all night sending emails.

 

Irene Ross is a marketing and public relations specialist/copywriter at IFR Communications. She writes frequently on issues impacting floor covering retailers.

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Marketing mastery: How to prioritize your marketing

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

During a coaching call, a dealer from Arizona told me he wanted to market his business. The only issue was he didn’t know where to start.

“What are you currently doing?” I asked.

“Besides our website, we post pretty regularly on social media, we buy leads from Home Advisor and we spend about $15,000 a year on radio,” he replied.

I asked how many sales his radio ads generated last month, but he had no concrete answer. I also discovered the dealer doesn’t routinely ask all of his prospects how they heard about his business.

I’ve had many conversations very similar to this one with hundreds of dealers from all over the U.S. and Canada, and there’s a lot you can learn from them. First, this dealer isn’t tracking his marketing, so he has no idea what’s working and what isn’t. Marketing without tracking is even more wasteful than heaping your money into a big pile, pouring gasoline on it and setting it ablaze. Why more wasteful? Because you can roast marshmallows over bonfires made of money, but you can’t with money wasted on lousy advertising.

Tracking visitors to your website, your AdWords campaign and how many people are engaging with your social media is all important and useful. However, you need to know what’s driving people to actually visit or call you. Every person who phones or walks through your door should be asked, “How did you hear about us?” Record the answers. After 90 days you’ll get a fairly clear picture of what’s driving people to your business and where you should continue to invest your marketing dollars.

The second thing to notice is this dealer has no real plan for his marketing. He heard he should be doing social media, so he does social media. A radio ad salesman offered him special pricing for a 12-month contract, so he bought radio ads. He’d get far more bang for his buck if he prioritized using the “Three Tiers of Marketing.”

Tier one: Warm market

  • Past customer marketing (monthly newsletter, etc.)
  • Referral program to encourage and incentivize referrals from customers
  • Referral relationships with realtors, designers, remodelers, etc.
  • Sales system
  • Website
  • Online reviews

Tier two: Marketing to cold prospects

  • Social media
  • AdWords (pay-per-click)
  • (SEO) Search Engine Optimization
  • Online lead capture
  • Print ads
  • Direct mail to targeted list

Tier three: Broadcast advertising

  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Television

Implement all the tier one strategies first. Once these are fully up and running, then implement tier two. (Or, if you have the marketing budget for it, implement tier one and two simultaneously.) Implement tier three only when you’ve thoroughly implemented everything you possibly can in tier one and two. Use discretionary marketing dollars for tier three.

Almost all dealers invest heavily in tiers two and three and virtually ignore tier one. Reviews are in tier one because everyone is looking at your online rating, including your past customers and their referrals. Studies show that 88% of consumers now trust reviews as much as a referral from a friend. If you have no reviews or a low rating, you risk losing these once-loyal customers to competitors with a better online reputation.

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Installments: Vinyl sheet makes commercial comeback

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22

By Jerry Lee

 

Commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods were once one of the most popular commercial flooring options on the market. These goods have been regarded for decades as functional, durable, decorative and relatively easy for contractors to install. These flooring products have been used in a wide variety of commercial applications in which the color, pattern and size could be customized to fit specific project needs.

However, over the past 10 years, commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods have lost some market share due to the introduction and rising popularity of vinyl composition tile (VCT), luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP). These new flooring options offer a wider range of sizes, colors and patterns as well as ease of installation for the end consumer. While these products certainly have many of the same benefits as vinyl sheet goods, it is unclear if they possess the durability needed in high-traffic and demanding areas. For those applications, vinyl sheet goods are still the best choice for consumers.

There is little question surrounding the durability of commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods. These products have been used in the most demanding environments, including commercial kitchens in restaurants, schools, stadiums, elder care facilities, walk-in coolers and freezers, animal and pet care facilities and even in garages and oil change areas. And the number of applications in which vinyl sheet goods are used continues to grow as consumers look for flooring with improved durability and longevity but minimal maintenance. What some consumers fail to realize are the additional benefits of choosing commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods for their facility.

When considering a new commercial floor, many consumers today are unaware that there is a new standard of commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods. There are many manufacturers in the United States that have made a number of improvements to these products and thereby increased the benefits of installing them. Some of these added benefits include: comfort underfoot (eliminating the need for anti-fatigue mats), noise reduction and a new rolled cove base accessory product.

In addition to the above benefits, some manufacturers have made significant advancements in the installation process of vinyl sheets goods, leading to increased efficiency and decreased required installation time. One of these advancements is the use of a liquid welding system in place of traditional heat welding. This system can decrease installation time by up to 70% and reduce the opportunity for installer error that can often occur when using heat welds.

These new advancements, combined with the durability of commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods, are why these products are slowly gaining back part of the market that was lost to VCT, LVT and vinyl planks. As consumers become more aware of these improvements and their current commercial flooring begins to show wear due to demanding environments, commercial-grade vinyl sheet goods will emerge once again as the prominent choice in commercial flooring.

 

Jerry Lee is national sales manager at Oscoda Plastics: Protect-All and Proflex. In this position, he has developed various teams in regional sales, technical sales and business development, and created a national distribution model for Protect-All, which has received two patents under his name.

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Lessons learned: Building a better staff can pay big dividends

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22

By Tom Jennings

 

Due to both growth and turnover, many retailers are finding the need to add new hires to blend into their staffs. My experience tells me that too many managers treat new staff members as a necessary evil. When a rookie first walks in the door, too often all they see is the amount of time it will take to get them “up to speed.”

Management too often will pass these duties to another more senior salesperson. The conversation usually goes something like: “Just shadow Susie for a few days. She’s been in the business for over 20 years and has seen it all.”

There are several problems with this scenario. First of all, does Susie even welcome the new staff member addition? Many times competitive sales staff can view new faces as somewhat of a threat. Often Susie is a commissioned salesperson who understandably has her own agenda. How long do you think it will take for Susie to begin to influence the new hire with her prejudices? Does Susie have any experience in properly training, or was she largely self-taught when she began? Then, predictably, management will complain when this recent hire begins to flounder. They will question the rookie’s efforts. Perhaps they will place blame on Susie, who was told to do a task she was likely neither properly prepared for nor well suited to do.

Then comes staff turnover. Next comes the manager com- plaining that you can’t find good people to hire today. Then the process is repeated.

Too often, the primary initial emphasis of training is placed upon product knowledge. When responsibility for training new staff members is delegated to a fellow salesperson, or a vendor’s field sales representative, you can almost be certain of this approach. While expertise in this area is required, it is secondary. The most important first task for management is making sure the new employee understands the organization and his or her role within it. He or she must know the firm’s mission and develop a belief in it. It is imperative the new hire be able to connect what he or she does with why it is done.

Remember that we all had a first day on the job—just as we had a first baseball game or piano lesson when we were young. Many of us had a teacher or a coach who believed in us and encouraged us to practice and improve. If you didn’t, you probably soon lost interest and gave up. The same is true when building sales knowledge and ability.

Successful sales trainees must have a mentor who monitors their progress, offers encouragement and celebrates their victories as their careers grow—not a peer who they may ultimately be measured against. All too often, though, novice salespeople are shoved into the deep end of the pool and told to swim. It is simply unfair to expect people to self-motivate and self-train in any industry.

As Mary Kay Cosmetics founder Mary Kay Ash famously stated: “Praise people to success.” She realized she was selling her associates on the concepts of beauty and self-confidence. Once her staff believed in their mission, the cosmetics sales would follow. Selling beautiful flooring is no different. With each new associate come fresh ideas and a new avenue of growth. Having the opportunity to build a better staff is exciting—don’t waste the opportunity.

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Al’s column: How exactly does working capital work?

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22

By Roman Basi

 

Working capital is an important concept for every business to understand. At its heart, working capital is defined as the amount of a company’s current assets minus the amount of its current liabilities. More simply, it’s a company’s available capital for daily operations at any given point in time. Thus, working capital provides a measurement to determine a company’s operational efficiency and short-term financial health.

At the basis of working capital is the calculation, which is generally the difference between the current assets
and the current liabilities. Current
assets can be converted into cash
within one year or
less. This would
include assets such as cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventory and prepaid expenses.

Meanwhile, current liabilities include short-term debt such as accounts payables, accrued liabilities and other similar obligations. Subtracting the current assets by the current liabilities will provide the working capital figure. This figure is “positive” when there is an excess of current assets compared to current liabilities. However, a working capital calculation not only plays a role as a financial measuring tool, but it can also figure in merger and acquisition transactions.

While the working capital calculation is fairly straightforward in most applications, it can be vastly different in cases involving mergers and acquisitions, where the formula will be dictated by the asset or stock purchase agreements. Some transactions will involve cash or debt in the working capital calculation, while others may exclude certain assets. Some transactions may exclude certain liabilities, thus creating an impact on the seller that can vary on a wide spectrum. When the working capital determination is made, a target will be set and the operations of the selling company prior to the target date can have a drastic impact on the closing funds.

For example, the working capital language of an asset purchase agreement may state, “a purchase price of $5,000,000minus the amount by which the working capital as of the closing date varies from the six-month trailing average of the working capital.” The agreement will then go on to describe the calculation methodology of the working capital. Therefore, a working capital target is set by a 12-month average trailing the transaction’s closing date. If the working capital at closing exceeds the average monthly working capital balance for the 12 months prior to closing, the seller generally walks away with more funds at closing.

However, if the working capital at closing is less than the average monthly working capital balance for the six months prior to closing, then the purchase price may be reduced by the amount equal to the difference of the 12-month working capital average.

The purpose of such clauses in asset purchase agreements is to ensure the buyer and seller are both getting their due pricing. Imagine buying a company that initially shows solid working capital, but upon looking at the averages over time it shows a steep decline. This may indicate you are buying a company that is hemorrhaging money. Requiring an adjustment of the purchase price based on average working capital ensures both parties are protected in the transaction.

Working capital is a key component to analyzing the efficiency of a company. The general rule of thumb is a company with positive capital is typically in good shape for expansion. However, it is important to remember that some businesses operate with a negative working capital due to the nature of their business.

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Al’s Column: Change is right in front of you

March 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 21

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

 

Have you ever looked in the rear-view mirror of your life? As I move through life, I realize I have less time in my future and more in my past. Yes, it’s scary, but I’m realizing I shouldn’t waste my time on meaningless things. Whether I clean up my desk or not today really doesn’t matter. I need to focus on the change necessary in my life to continue moving forward.

I recently spoke at the Starnet meeting in Las Vegas. The two-day conference included presentations from their vendor partners. In addition to vendors showing their products, they talked about how they could help by supplying blogs and video content. The group had such energy and curiosity about building their businesses.

Eric Boender, vice president of business development for Starnet, kept the group on track and provided useful information. I was impressed with the group’s positivity and time spent brainstorming and sharing ideas on how to acquire more business. He suggested members work closely with each other and their vendor partners. He also suggested a couple of motivational books. I came back psyched.

How often do you measure your success with past accomplishments? That’s when we start talking about the “good old days” and “how we used to do it.” No, change is not behind; knowing we are capable of success can move us to change. If you could do it when times were tough, you can do it now.

We get inspired by seminars and often come away with good feelings. The environment itself can be inspiring. Motivation is often controlled by the environment, who you hang out with and the books you read. The more we surround ourselves with people who are on our same track the better. The key is to figure out how to take those positive bursts of motivation and keep them going. To keep this momentum, we must design an environment that sparks self-motivation and gives us energy from others. Research says it takes 66 days to form a habit. When something is a habit we don’t have to think about when we do it—we just do.

I believe we spend too much time thinking about what might happen. What’s the absolute worst that could happen with anything you try? Yes, it might not work but history is filled with people who failed their way to success.

If change is what you want, define it and determine how it fits into your core values. If it’s more business, ask yourself, “What am I willing to do to make it happen?” What about this goal will enhance my life? If being successful is on your radar, you will have to see life on a continuum and keep changing.

It’s easy to get caught up in negativity, especially if you surround yourself with people who are too frightened to make changes. That’s why you need a support network, a tribe of like-minded individuals who will support your effort and help move you along the way. Take baby steps and celebrate the daily wins. I know, it’s slow and hard. Try to imagine the outcome and not make the process stressful.

Change can happen a little bit at a time. If you think of completing the entire task at once you will get overwhelmed. Think about life as a game and a big puzzle. As the pieces connect, the task gets easier.

 

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

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City of opportunities: Living and working in NYC

This column was written and sponsored by Outpost Club.

 

New York City is known as one of the greatest cultural hubs in America. Every year the city sees millions of young graduates and professionals move to the city with hopes of fulfilling an exciting career journey. Studies indicate that 25% of the city’s labor force is from outside of the United States. Following are a few things you need to know when considering moving to NYC for work.

Traveling. People who live in NYC spend nearly seven hours per week on travelling to and from work. Because of this, New Yorkers have the longest working week in America, which is almost 49 hours per week. Many travellers commute to Manhattan from the boroughs for work and this means the population doubles on a daily basis from 1.6 million to 3.1 million. People travel via the subway—which is the most common method of transportation—as well as by bus, train, ferry and kayak.

Average wage. A full-time worker in NYC earns about 16% more than the average full-time workers in other parts of America. Statistics show that Manhattan has a weekly average wage of $2,954.

Rent. Rent in NYC can be very expensive. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in NYC is $2,662 per month. However, you do have other options like co-living. You will find many apartments to share on the Outpost Club website. These apartments offer you the opportunity to live in a fully furnished apartment, with many great amenities (Wi-Fi, gymnasium, pool, etc.), at discounted prices. It also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make lasting friendships.

Cost of living. It is not easy to live in NYC but it is also not impossible especially if you live on a budget. There are many ways you can save money and make your stay in the city more affordable. One of these is opting to eat at home rather than buying food daily.

Tips for expats. The following are a few tips from people who have moved to NYC and thrived in the city:

  1. Take the subway. Rather than buying a car, taking the subway is the most economical and saves you time that you would ordinarily spend in traffic.
  2. Get to know the city. There is no better way than exploring what the city has to offer. This way you can acquaint yourself with regular specials and be more knowledgeable of how you can save money on necessities.
  3. Invest in a good pair of shoes. This is important as you might find yourself walking a lot, especially in your first few weeks in the city.
  4. You should try to build up social contacts before moving. This will ensure that you have contacts in the city when you get there. You can reach out to them once you are in the city and they can help you adjust and settle in.

Embrace the change that NYC offers and be sure to take advice from people who have successfully managed to live and work in NYC from other parts of the world.