Alpharetta, GA — 10/2/15 After setting strategic objectives, defining vision and building culture, CEOs have little time left over for much else. But one executive has managed to add a very helpful task to his to-do list: getting into the field.
Beginning August 18, Ron Dunn, co-CEO of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, and his wife Sandy, hit the road in their RV visiting member stores for a fifth straight year. Dunn believes what he learns on his visits can strengthen other members through his in-store networking. He is a strong believer of supporting members through networking, education and sharing of best practices.
Dunn said, “We’ve developed a nice three-part rhythm to each stop: meeting staff, touring the store, learning how each business evolved and is currently running; then reviewing key products, suppliers, best practices, new marketing initiatives and growth opportunities; and then, with those who are willing to get in front of the camera, we interview owners and staff members. They are sharing great insights on how to be effective and how to lead.”
Since he visits stores personally and discusses topics first-hand, he can take his findings back and add them to the group’s collection of best practices which they publish in their Proven Ways books and videos. The yearly store visits also help Dunn keep the group in touch with front-line marketing and advertising practices as well as what’s selling and how members are selling it.
Member reactions about their visit with the co-CEO:
Joe Burdick, owner of Mathews Floor Fashions in Marquette, MI, said, “Ron making the effort to get to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was a real treat. It just goes to show the family feeling of Alliance Flooring for him to take the time for such a trip. I met Ron years ago at one of the conventions, and it was great to see him again and meet Sandy.
He continued, “My favorite part of the visit were the compliments on my showroom. We have invested a lot of money in our showroom to provide a pleasant shopping environment and customer experience. To hear affirmations that our showroom was one of the best they have seen felt really good; it made the investment feel worthwhile.”
Derick Eitrem, manager of Weir Furniture Center, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, commented, “My favorite part of Ron and Sandy’s visit is the fact that they traveled to the end of the road, literally the end of highway I-75 at the Canadian and US border. I enjoyed talking with them about our business and listening to their suggestions about ways to improve it.”
Eitrem continued, “We must continue to take advantage of learning opportunities provided by CarpetsPlus at our annual conventions and Alliance Academy training, as well as training provided for Alliance Web Pro, our customizable, state of the art website. This website training seminar was a tremendous help to me.”
Kim Bloomfield, owner, CarpetsPlus of New Boston, OH, enjoyed their visit, “We absolutely loved having Ron and Sandy here! It was a real pleasure spending time with them. I will tell you that we were a nervous wreck because we are in this tiny little, rural area and here the owners come. We thought they would be so disappointed in us, but he made us feel just as great as everybody else. We were just tickled to death at how special he made us feel. He was pleased with our store and our showroom; he even commented that he never dreamed our showroom and store would be as big as it was. I am thankful for everything that we get, but I know there are those stores that sell millions of dollars a month and here we are this tiny little store with sales well below a million dollars a month. Ron and Sandy made us feel just as important. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the visit!”
Eric Langan, owner of nine Carpetland USA locations in Iowa and Illinois, said about their visit, “I appreciate Ron taking the time to come visit us in Davenport, IA. I enjoyed giving him a tour of our Davenport location and showing him some of the updates we’ve already made and are planning on making within our store. I feel that Ron and I share a lot of the same philosophies regarding leadership and vision. We were able to discuss these items, as well as, a lot of other topics during his visit.
Doug Bertrand, executive vice president of Carpetland USA, Davenport, IA said, “I really enjoyed Ron and Sandy’s visit. They visited us at our largest volume store in Davenport. We were able to show him the recent investments in the store and our vision going forward. I think the biggest thing I took away from the meeting were the questions he asked during our interview. It was gratifying to know how much he knew about my position in the company and our 9 stores. I have been reflecting on his questions and comments daily, which is pushing me to look for ways to improve and motivate our team! Ron is a true professional and we thank him for making the trip.”
Jim Brown, co-owner of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE of Bloomington, IL, said, “The visit from Ron and Sandy was very exciting as well as a learning opportunity for our store. They bring so much industry-wide knowledge to our business. They are truly inspiring and very motivated people. It was great to see how much they care about the success of our business by taking the time to visit our store during their Drive Across America 2015. Their sincerity in the success of our business is second to none! Thanks much Ron and Sandy for all you do for the CarpetsPlus family!”
After returning home, Ron reflected on his fifth trip, “These trips are without question one of the highlights of our year. Sandy and I enjoy seeing each of our member’s stores and learning more about their stories. Everyone has ‘here to there’ moments. Times in the evolution of their business and their own personal leadership when they were ‘here’ and needed to get ‘there.’ We captured some of this on film and I look forward to sharing the insights and best practices that came out of the interviews during our next convention in Tucson. This type of networking is educational, inspiring and a whole lot of fun.”