Editor’s Desk: Tougher Times and Tougher Solutions
September 1st, 2011


Janet Arden

Today one of the economic headlines reports that home prices are up for the third month in a row. But, the analyst cautions, this is at least in part a seasonal effect. Good news, it seems, is always delivered these days with a dose of caution. And there have been many days when good news has been hard to come by. I would be tempted to hide under the covers or, as a favorite children’s book recommends, move to Australia.

But the fact is the best way to deal with tough times is often to meet them head on. This issue of TileDealer has a few suggestions:

1. Give your customers great style. Manufacturers are tapping into technologies like high definition printing to produce tiles that mimic stone and wood so perfectly, even the experts need a second, closer look. Florida Tile has introduced a number of remarkable new lines using this technology, and in this month’s One-on-One, Director of Marketing Sean Cilona describes some of that company’s development process and aspirations for the future.
2. Give your customers affordable luxury. Underfloor heat has moved from the high-end marketplace to a mainstream position. It’s affordable, doable and homeowners love it. If you aren’t making it available and promoting it, you are leaving money on the table. It should be an upsell with every installation.
3. Give your customers a great installation. When it comes to the latest in tile trends, bigger is often better. Large format tile is among the fastest growing trends, and the formats are getting larger with each installation. But sellers and buyers need to beware: large format tiles have specific installation demands. Tile consultant Dave Gobis talks about why large format can fail and how to avoid it.
4. Give yourself the tools to succeed. Total Solutions Plus is November 7-11 in Chandler (Phoenix), Arizona. Jointly sponsored by CTDA, NTCA and TCNA, TSP offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet and network with industry peers, learn about the latest trends and techniques, sharpen your business skills at industry-specific seminars and, most importantly, shape your business for 2012. Attendees in 2010 called it one of the best business investments they made. Expect an even better event in 2011! For more information and to register, please follow this link: http:// ctdahome.org/tsp/2011/

There are no easy answers in today’s marketplace. The ideas here share traditional values like quality, customer service, and industry knowledge. These may not be short-cut solutions, but they are “tried and true.”

See you at Total Solutions Plus!

Janet Arden

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