Thursday, October 10, 2013


Do you remember the spring and summer of 1993?  Maybe you'll recall when you received your first or second or tenth AOL floppy disk?  That was only 20 years ago!!  The dial-up connection and that voice saying "You've Got Mail!"  Then the movie "You've Got Mail" in 1998 hit as families were purchasing their first computer and everyone was signing on to AOL. For a few weeks AOL's launch of 4.0 used the entire world's production of CDs to market their portal to the rest of the web. That was only fifteen years ago and in one year their 8 million users increased to 16 million! E-Bay and Amazon joined in and showing us what online marketing might evolve to. Five years ago, my guess is that you never would have had a business page on Facebook and if you had a cell phone it would never have been a "smart one." 

The first time you meet your customers isn't when they walk into your store, you probably met them online somewhere.  They might have seen a tile they liked and searched for a showroom that carried it.  Are your links with all your suppliers active? Is your website inviting? Are you making a personal connection or just listing what you carry? Are you aware of what customers are saying about you on Yelp or Google+? Do you know what your online strategy is for the next year or three years?  How do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the marketplace?  Look at the big companies that stumbled on the start line of the internet; Blockbuster and Barnes and Noble and decide to look ahead with some purpose.  This is not something that's going to reap immediate benefits, it's a two or three year process to build a real presence which is why you need to start now.  Don't play catch-up. Be Netflix and Amazon rather than Blockbuster and Barnes and Noble.  Your choice.

Friday, October 4, 2013


How much $ money $ are you leaving on the table when your efforts to build your social media profiles don't match your calls to action.  Here's what I've discovered as I go through website after website of stone and tile shops.  You write the "about us" section telling the story of the family business and how it was started by your grandfather or father and you give his name and then you ask them to email you to sales@yourwebsite. You've just broken that social connection. You talk about your customer service being the best and if they have any questions email showroom@yourwebsite.  You've just broken that connection that is so valuable. Here's the bottom line, people want to do business with people not websites! So make your website personal and use your names. Let your future clients know who your designers are and what they've done and how to reach them. If they are going to pay $5,000 or $50,000 on a remodel of a bathroom or kitchen, don't just tell them, show them! How do you differentiate yourself in the market? EVERY website says they put customers first and don't have ANY testimonials from satisfied clients.  

In a random survey recently 66% of homeowners questioned are comfortable with the upturn in the economy and are ready to invest in their homes.  If they are going to spend money with you chances are they are going to check you out online. It's all about strategy in social media. Do you have negative reviews on Yelp or Google+? Have you Googled or Binged your store lately? What your customers are saying about you is out there in an internet cloud and you have to know what the conversation is and you have to participate.  Maybe two years ago the website being up was just enough.  It's not enough now. How far would you drive to visit a friend? What store might stay open late to design your project because you don't get off work until 6PM? Again I'll ask, what are you going to do to be different and special in the marketplace? My educated guess is that you'll be rewarded with lots of business if you make the shift from impersonal to personal.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Are you ready to go from survive to thrive??  Join me for the Rock Your Tile Shop Mastermind beginning on October 29th, 2013.  It's time to Rock your shop, examine your brand and get the feedback you need from 30 like-minded entrepreneurs!  This is your wake-up call for profits and you need to decide right now that you're worth the investment in yourself and your store.  If you're waiting for the market to change, believe me, it has!  There is more competition on-line and in big box stores than ever before and if you're looking for resources, new ideas and support, this is your golden opportunity.  Email me now for an application, there are only 30 spaces available and are limited to one space per city or town.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The absolutely most confusing thing about business right now is rooted in social media.  Do we blog, use twitter, have a fan page or a personal page on Facebook, and then there is LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram and a ton of other places where you can spend your day!  My feeling is that what you do first is what you feel comfortable with and then test your limits and move onto something new.  I like pinning on Pinterest, it's all about patterns in stone and tile, but I also add carpets, clothes and wall coverings in the same pattern.  For me, it's about inspiring designers, homeowners and shops what a great floor they could have, or mosaic wall.  CJ Dellatore recently posted an interview with Irene Turner who started pinning three years ago and now has over 4.5 million followers, that's a lot of potential clients, but Irene likes to pin and a few minutes in the morning and late evening is relaxing.  I used to get lots of emails from clients with photos of their finished bathrooms, backsplashes and floors.  Had them all saved on my company computer and when the system crashed they were gone.  Now you can have clients post on Pinterest and look at all the testimonials that you could have to re-post on Facebook or any send an email to that list you've been building for awhile and have never used.  Not everything has to be done at once, so find a place to just begin. It's not about advertising, it is all about connecting with your current clients and future clients in a new way.  Vote on the bathroom of the month, or the top ten backsplashes, make it fun.  If you want to be part of an intensive class on waking up sales, join the mastermind beginning on October 29th, 2013, for more information visit and call me.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coming up with lots of new ideas for tile shops to increase their business.  Best advice seems to be ENGAGE, reach out into your community and fill a void.  Become a weekend art gallery for local artists, sponsor a fashion show for local charities or have a mosaic party and spruce up a fountain or benches at your local park!

For a street fashion show contact your local high school or community college and see what ideas all of you can do to support your future models, dress designers and music geeks.  Everyone wins and the name of shop is all over the community!

Thinking outside the box is great for everyone!!  Want more ideas??  Sign up for the class starting on October 29th and kick off your best year in a long time.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


In the past few weeks I've been visiting tile shops to see what's new and have found the same mind-set. Sales are picking up but things are still slow and everyone is doing the same old things that they have been doing for years and getting the same results!  What if you could join forces with thirty other tile shops that want to catapult their earnings for the coming year. Be a part of a tile sales revolution and share what is working for you and what isn't without making costly mistakes.  It could be a change in your window display, partnering with your neighbors to have a Saturday Special; there are lots of possibilities but they have to work for you.  The best part of this is that once you sign up you'll be the only store in your town to be a part of this group.  As an early bird special before October 20th, you will receive a free one year membership ($839.00 value) to Easy Tile Design which is launching in January 2014.  Check out my website for more details.  Unique Design Resource

Monday, August 5, 2013


It's been a long time since I've written a post and for that I am very sorry.  As I learn more and more about this techno world I discovered that over 27,000 of you have visited my blog and not only have I not thanked you for coming, I didn't even know that you had been here before now!  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  For the comments that have come in lately for me to keep writing, I heard you and here I am.

My goal is to build a community for tile layout patterns.  Movies are a great place to look at floors, actors crossing a room usually have a great floor to walk across!  Just watch Angels and Demons and see the beautiful floors of the Vatican.  Actually most of them were recreated on a sound stage... but you get the point.  This octagon and dot pattern is absolutely timeless.

I see the floor as a canvas onto which all other design flows.  Floors set the tone, backsplashes in kitchens can tie all the elements in a kitchen together and bathrooms can allow you to feel as if you are walking on water, feel crisp and clean or surprise with a wow factor.  It's all in the choices you make as a homeowner or designer.  

So stay tuned and there will definitely be more to follow.  I am truly grateful to all of my visitors, you won't be disappointed. For more tile layout pattern ideas please visit my Pinterest site or Unique Design Resource.