Many flooring materials have been developed for new construction or remodeling projects. Traditional flooring materials such as carpet and vinyl are still widely available. Hardwood flooring continues to be popular for many applications, including upscale homes and businesses. Laminate flooring, designed to look like hardwood flooring but extremely durable in nature, can be used in almost any area of a home or business. Finally, ceramic tile continues to be used for bathroom applications.
Structure your flooring business. Choose your business structure with help from a Certified Public Accountant experienced with product and service businesses. Consult with a commercial insurance agent with similar background, and with liability experience as well. Finally, visit your city or county clerk’s office for a business license.
Select a convenient location. Choose a spacious building accessible from major highways and main roads. Ensure that the site has at least two entry and exit driveways, and plenty of parking for busy days. Install a display window to showcase room scenes that include different flooring products.
Design the store interior to allow customers to browse the entire selection of flooring samples. Provide space for customers to spread out flooring samples and choose the best one for their needs.
Define your target markets. Flooring products can be used by several types of customers: homeowners, commercial businesses, institutions, and multi-unit buildings such as apartments and retirement communities. Each market may have different flooring needs and preferences.
Examine your competition. Look for several types of competitors: other flooring businesses, big box home improvement stores, discount flooring stores, and online flooring suppliers. Differentiate your business by focusing on expanded product selection and superior service.
Order your flooring products. Examine each type of flooring customer, and list products commonly used by those buyers. Choose a well-rounded selection of colors, textures, and styles for each market. As an example, retirement community residences might feature the same carpet grade and material throughout the facility. Individual unit owners choose their own color (See Resources).
Hire flooring sales and service professionals. For your showroom, hire friendly employees who can meet both residential and commercial customers’ needs. Ensure that your sales staff can correctly calculate flooring dimensions and product needs. In addition, hire an outside salesperson to sell to commercial and institutional accounts.
Hire installation personnel with a good work ethic and attention to detail. Because your finished product reflects upon your store, make sure your installation crew shares your dedication to your customers.
Schedule a Flooring Festival. Hold a month-long Grand Opening event that features the latest flooring materials for each market. Dubbed a Flooring Festival, the event can feature flooring installation demonstrations, decorating tips from interior designers, and prize drawings for flooring materials.
Create a new theme for each week, and feature décor and refreshments to match the theme. Keep interest high by offering new bargains each week. Advertise the themed events in local newspapers, and schedule a remote radio broadcast to stimulate customer interest.
Based in North Carolina, Felicia Greene has written professionally since 1986. Greene edited sailing-related newsletters and designed marketing programs for the New Bern, N.C. "Sun Journal" and New Bern Habitat ReStore. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.