Kronotex Interviews Margo Locust

ImageMembers of the industry all know that Fabulous Floors is the only magazine about flooring that speaks to the consumer. With its finger on the pulse of interior decor trends, the publication is so much more. Publisher Margo Locust spoke to Kronotex about a number of topics. Check of the excerpts below and click the link to see the full interview.

Are you familiar with Fabulous Floors Magazine? It is the only magazine devoted exclusively to the inspiring beauty, design, variety and quality of today’s floor coverings for the home. It’s part wish book, part idea resource, part educational guide and part decor gallery for laminate flooring, as well as all other flooring types.

Recently, the Kronotex USA Blog Team interviewed Margo Locust, publisher and editor-in-chief of Fabulous Floors, about her magazine and her perspective on an industry she loves dearly: floor covering.

KX-USA: So floor covering retailers also use Fabulous Floors?

Yes, floor covering retailers tell us that Fabulous Floors is an invaluable resource to have onhand to share with their customers. Since each issue covers every type of flooring, there’s no limit to its value to both consumers and sales associates.

KX-USA: Sounds like Fabulous Floors is everywhere!

Yes, the primary goal for me is to take it to the next level, to continue to remain the leading consumer magazine dedicated to flooring.

We’ve  launched into the digital world by putting Fabulous Floors in an electronic format as well as developed digital apps for smart phones on both Android and IOS platforms. These digital editions go along with the print editions, but not the same information… with video, voice over and animation. We’re not just a publication that puts a magazine on the newsstands. 

KX-USA: What is your perspective on laminate flooring?

I think laminate is a category that has become very misunderstood. When Pergo came out in the mid-90s it was a hot new product. In fact many consumers still think that all laminate is called “Pergo” kind of like “Band-Aid” or “Windex.” Since then, laminate flooring has become known as a do-it-yourselfer product and frankly, I think nothing could be further from the truth!

I think laminate flooring is truly an affordable luxury flooring option. Often, you can’t tell it from real wood, tile or stone. Now, with the new looks and advanced manufacturing technologies like hand-scraped looks, beveled edges, wider planks, it’s become even more fabulous.

Consumers want it all. And laminate flooring gives them the styles they want at a budget that’s affordable.

Click here for the full interview!

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The International Surface Event Gets Better and Better

Surfaces 2014 is only two weeks away.

Surfaces 2014 is only two weeks away.

Once again Surfaces is around the corner. You would think that since I’ve been going for over 20 years that it would get old; quite the opposite, it never does. In fact, the vendors get better, and the events are more exciting. Hanley Wood announced today the launch of two events designed to bring the flooring and surfaces industries together. TileExpo, a new trade show focused on the tile industry, will launch in conjunction with SURFACES and StonExpo/Marmomacc America (formerly S2). The International Surface Event will be held January 27-30 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas. NV. Exhibits will be open Tuesday-Thursday, and the Education Program opens Monday, January 27 and continues through Thursday.

I speak with many people who have attended past shows. I’m always surprised when they say, “Why should I go this year? I’ve been going for 20 years.”   Isn’t it silly to think a trade show this size wouldn’t have anything new? I’m actually astounded at what changes each year.

There are always new exhibitors as well as educational speakers with different topics.  As a speaker, I’m delighted when I have the opportunity to listen to another expert. I know I’m always looking for new material to share with those who attend my seminars. These days’ social media is  the hot topic on everyone’s mind. If you’re like the rest of the world, you are either catching up or really haven’t a clue. If I were you, I would bring plenty of staff and have them attend as many seminars as possible. This way when you get home, you’ll have lots to share and new ideas for your business. If you need more information, why not hire one of the speakers to work with you and your staff? Most of the speakers are from the flooring industry and know as much about your business as you do! Consider this might be an opportunity to get some profitable ideas for your business.

One of the things that is always amazing is the flooring installations. This is what makes our industry magnificent. Again, you will find some ideas for your business and get tips on the latest installation products. Consider bringing someone from your installation division to source  ideas to improve your department.

I suggest you take photos of the installation and post them on your social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz. Find ideas that encourage your salespeople to sell more products and excite your customers. As retailers, you take products and turn them into solutions.

I suggest you talk with your manufacture’s marketers. What are they doing to drive customers to their web site and how are they utilizing social media? Can they give you some ideas for utilizing their social media and web site to drive traffic to your store?

With social media being the buzz word, you have a perfect opportunity to get great ideas to improve your online business. If you don’t “talk the talk” that well, bring someone with you who can.

Surfaces is more than about products. It’s about business solutions from some of the smartest manufactures in the world.

And the solutions are free.

Lisbeth Calandrino is the Associate Publisher of consumer publication, Fabulous Floors Magazine and has been providing custom training solutions for the flooring industry for the past 20 years. She is conducting two seminars at Surfaces: “How to Build Motivation and Eliminate Stress in Your Business” and “Ten Ways to Use Customer Service to Make Your Business More Profitable.” Please check for rooms and times. Lisbeth can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

Businessman Helping Businesses: Overnite Capital

 

 "Building a profitable business involves having good judgment, which are part of an owner's business skills," says Brian Battaglia.
“We take a good look at the growing potential of a company and one of those indicators is having strong customers.”
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Battaglia, President of  Overnite  Capital. Overnite Capital helps businesses obtain financing through a process called factoring. Factoring isn’t new, but unlike traditional lines of credit that focus on a company’s credit score and profitability; factoring focuses on receivables and the customer’s ability to pay.

The first thing you notice about Brian is his enthusiasm and excitement about business. Brian is a CPA by education,  but you instantly know that Brian is more than what we call a “numbers guy.” Brian is a smart business person with a background in building successful companies. This is one of the things that separates Overnite Capital from other similar businesses. Of course, a company must qualify to benefit from Overnite Capital, but Brian is concerned about the success of the whole company.

Brian has experience since 1990, providing financial services to companies on some level. At one point, he realized it was time to take his entrepreneurial skills and open his own business. Brian realized he not only had the skills to provide the financial services, but his overall business acumen, gave him a background to understand his client’s perspective.

Traditional lending agencies, such as banks, are reluctant to loan  money to businesses that are new, aren’t  yet  profitable and maybe the business owner’s personal credit is weak. If a business has good receivables, it shows that they are growing and might be a candidate for factoring. It’s simple. In the factoring process, you are, in essence, selling your receivables to Overnite Capital. Typically, your company will receive 80-90% up front money of the value of the invoice before to the customer has paid the invoice. The remaining 10-20% balance (reserve) is also your money after customer payment less Overnite’s fees. “All businesses start out small, says Brian; if the business doesn’t meet our qualifications when they apply, it doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. We take a good look at the growing potential of a company and one of those indicators is having strong customers.

Brian views businesses from the eyes of an owner. It’s important that the business has a viable product and can build good relationships with their customers. “Receivables are indicative of a company’s worth, continues Brian; significant receivables means the company is doing business, and sales are the lifeblood of any business.”

At one point, any business can experience cash-flow problems. Unless they’re selling to customers to marginal credit, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to collect their receivables. Companies like Overnite, use this information to determine companies “factorability.”

“Building a profitable business  involves having good judgment, which are part of an owner’s  business skills, adds Brian. Business is all about risk taking, and  if you’re going to extend credit to your customers, you have to know they have a sound business.  We can help our clients make sound credit decisions.  That’s part of being partners with our clients, if they succeed we succeed.”

Real customer service is caring about your client’s success.

If factoring is new to you, Overnite Capital has five questions on their home page to help you determine if factoring is right for your company. Call TOLL FREE @ (800) 957-4309 or visit www.OverniteCapital.com

Lisbeth Calandrinois Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine and  helps businesses’ build loyal customers through customer service and sales training. She can be reached at www.lisbethcalandrino.com.