15-Minutes of Fame?

business of furniture Nov 18, 2020

15-Minutes of Fame?

Last week, I got a call from a dealer salesperson asking for my help, which is something that happens on a regular basis these days. This salesperson was facing a challenge that’s familiar to many of us right now, especially as we all navigate today's tricky, mid-to-post-pandemic sales environment — and that’s how to get in front of local design firms and present to them.

She had been building and nurturing her relationship with the design firm for some time, and as our industry opens up, she requested a presentation time slot and finally got it confirmed. When the meeting invitation came through, she was really surprised to see the meeting’s time frame. After all the work and effort to get the appointment, she was given a whopping 15 minutes!

Really? Just 15 minutes? Look, I get it — we’re all busy (or at least we claim to be), and a salesperson, who is also a designer, asked for an opportunity to share her story and how she...

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Selling on Social Media

business of furniture Oct 28, 2020

Selling on Social Media
Using The Power of 10 to drive engagement

According to Broadband Search, a deepdive into the research of social media simply underscores the importance of having an active, online presence — especially in today’s market. In 2008, only 10% of Americans had a personal social media account, while today in 2020, 79% of Americans are active on social media. Add to that, of the 7 billion people in the world over 3.8 billion of them use social media — daily! That’s a lot of people engaging with a lot of different content — and a lot of opportunities to sell to them, right?

Well, the answer to that question is two-fold. Yes, you have the opportunity to reach a lot of people, but NO, it’s not the right decision or strategy to sell to them! In fact, I would recommend that you STOP selling on social media altogether. Why? Well answering that question is my main purpose in today's column, so read on and let’s look at a better way...

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Frustrated?

business of furniture Oct 14, 2020

Frustrated?
How to change your perspective when you’re ready to give up

Are you frustrated? Who isn’t, right? Think about it 2020 has not been the most idyllic year of the century, that’s for sure! We all had plans, dreams, and things we wanted to do, accomplish and become. But 2020 had a different plan and how we respond to that frustration is critical to our next steps and our future. 

There are lots of ways you can respond to being frustrated and one of them is to give up which is the most common response. I remember a time in my career when I was super frustrated with the company I was working for, the owners, the people on my leadership team, and other aspects of my job circumstance. So much so that, after a really challenging day I decided I’d had enough!  I just couldn't take it anymore. My response? I gave up. Literally the next day, sitting in a meeting with the owners, I gave my notice (a generous 4 weeks mind you) grabbed...

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Building a Dynamic Leadership Team

business of furniture Sep 09, 2020

Building a Dynamic Leadership Team
Incorporating the 3 Be’s to create cohesive leadership team 

Building a dynamic and effective leadership team is a feat that a lot of businesses, no matter their size, struggle accomplishing. Based on the significant number of books, articles, videos, and posts circulating around these days about leadership, I’d say the concern for cultivating leadership and the desire to lead well permeate throughout the business world, regardless of industry. In fact, if you Google the phase, “evidence of bad leadership teams” you get 40M+ responses in 0.55 seconds… that’ a lot of information to sort through!

The Small Business Chronicle indicates some of the key traits of an ineffective leadership team, including: no chemistry, no communication, high employee turnover, no vision, micromanagement, lack of clear expectation for employees, the leader(s) has favorites, and the leader(s) is perceived as a bully. If I...

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P.I.V.O.T

business of furniture Aug 19, 2020

P.I.V.O.T
A different perspective

Right now, there are a lot of conversations happening around the concept of how you should pivot your business, and if you know me and you know my focus on service and community — you know I am a big proponent of pivoting your business in a time of need. In fact, I’ve talked about it a few times in recent columns and Rob mentioned it in his opening letter of BOF a couple weeks ago, “Blockbuster vs Netflix.”

What it means to pivot your business is to change your customer segment, your channel, revenue model/pricing, and any other business component to create a substantial change in how you do business. And when I talk about pivoting in a time of need, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting you do right now take an honest, critical look at your business and consider what new opportunities might be possible in your organization, given the current state of our industry and today’s economy.  ...

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What Zone Are You In?

business of furniture Aug 05, 2020

What Zone Are You In?

Understanding the 4 Zones of Your Life, Overcoming blocks, choosing new challenges, & pushing yourself to be your best 

To say things are a little unsettled right now is an understatement. Most people are still working from home, with limited-to-no in-person contact with their co-workers and friends. We’re Zooming more than we want to, but our commutes have gotten a lot easier. 

When all this started back in March, we thought it would all be over soon and life would return to normal before summer we’ll that didn’t happen! So, we settled in, got comfortable with our “new norm” and pushed forward. For a time, we were outside our Comfort Zone, then redefined what comfort was during such a crazy time and jumped right back in! Though it’s strange, this new normal feels good to us now kind of like a cozy blanket on a cold morning!

In all aspects of our lives, being in our comfort zone is safe and easy....

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Make It Count

business of furniture Jul 29, 2020

Make It Count
Intentional Connection & Making Your Biggest Impact Yet

This past week, a former customer and someone who I had become friends with over the years died suddenly of a heart attached. He was in his mid-40’s and left behind a wonderful, loving family, along with a beautiful teenage daughter. My heart sank when I learned the news, and my thoughts went directly to his daughter and how she is dealing with this sudden, unwanted, and traumatic grief.

As I read the tributes to him and his life on social media, I found myself pondering the one life we have and how we need to make it count each and every day. And my friend did this! He lived life to the fullest, loved openly and powerfully, and not only touched, but impacted those around him. The tributes from his coworkers, teammates, bosses, employees, and friends speak to the type of person he really was he made each day count!

Do you? Think about that for just a minute do you really make each...

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Networking The New Way

business of furniture Jul 15, 2020

Networking the New Way

How professional relationships have changed and how to make them work for you 

Currently 20 million people are unemployed in the U.S.,  and if I asked any one of you, I’m sure you personally know 5 or more people that are job searching right now. And if you’re like me, you want to help them in some way, right?   

But how? The job market is soft, layoffs are continuing, and companies around the world have instituted hiring freezes. However, believe it or not, some industries are thriving right now, and those companies ARE hiring! So, how can you beat unemployment right now? The answer is simple — good, old fashioned networking (with the help of some 21st century, Covid-appropriate technology, of course). 

Networking is changing because of COVID — quarantine is still a necessity for some and may be a reality for a long time, the lockdown has closed several businesses and halted entire industries, and...

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Innovation

business of furniture Jul 08, 2020

Innovation is HERE

How to embrace innovation in your business 

One of the many things our industry is known for is innovation — we’re constantly adapting and evolving the ways people work, how spaces are built, designed, and furnished, all with the goal of increased productivity and employee engagement for our clients. Innovation is a necessity in our industry. 

Think about it for just a minute, what are some of the most recent innovations in our industry?  Which pivot has impacted you and your business the most? Was it a product, program, process, technology, manufacturing switch, or something else? 

I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years, and I can confirm that the innovation just keeps getting faster, better, and more customer-focused each year. For me, most of my favorite innovations are in the product category, which is perfect, since I’m a self-proclaimed product junkie — and you’d have to admit, there have been...

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2020 Cancelled?

business of furniture Jun 24, 2020

2020 Cancelled?

One of the toughest years could be your best year 

It started out as a great year. The economy was rolling, the stock market was breaking records daily, unemployment was at its lowest. People, the economy, business — everything was thriving. We were riding the wave, spending money, having fun, and living our best (or so we thought) life! 

Then it all stopped — as if in slow motion, everything we knew, loved, and enjoyed came to a screeching halt. We were in lock down. What started out as a few weeks, turned into months — and for some, quarantine isn’t over yet. People lost their jobs, businesses have closed, the economy sank… and more. All right before our eyes. 

Then, things started to get cancelled. I could list all the cancellations, but that would take up way too much space in this column and, you’d get bored reading it — not to mention, you’ve lived the cancellations! Weddings, graduations,...

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