Category Archives: Flooring business and technology

Social media and the retail flooring business

I’ve been involved with social media since the early days and have nearly 15 years of experience using the internet for business.
Why?
Thanks to Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC for short), I started college late and once I graduated there was no time to waste… I’d just gotten married.
In my effort to secure a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, I found myself surrounded by guys younger and more tech-adept than I.
But we got along great and since the Usenet groups and ezines in their earliest forms were what I cut my teeth on.
It was this early access to emerging tech that proved the biggest assett as I grew my flooring business and eventually was able to sell it.
Frankly, the flooring industry is behind in using social media and many websites still look like ads… silent, still ads.

If you have a retail flooring business and need help, send an email and we can talk.
Some of the things I do are so effective, I’m just not going to share them with some folks.
But, odds are you’re not one of them 🙂

All the best,

Chris

A bright, US-made, light in the LED industry… an eco-geek’s hot spot

In this video, Robert Scoble interviews the CEO of BridgeLux, the only US-based manufacturer of LED lighting.

Easy-Eco-Blog-LED-Light-Bulb

Image by EasyEcoBlog via Flickr

If you’re familiar with LED’s, you’ll know how cool this is.
If not, let me help with your education curve.
LED is an acronym that stands for Light Emitting Diode, and it represents the most efficient way to generate artificial light.
CFL’s (Compact Flourescent Lights) are the more widely-known counterpart to energy-hogging incandescent bulbs and are a fanstastic way to reduce energy use.
For instance, a typical 100-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a CFL that uses only 20-30 watts yet still produces the same amount of light (lumens).
An LED can produce the same amount of light using less than 10 watts… now THAT’S cool!
Add to this the lower overall carbon footprint of the product by not having to ship them across the Pacific Ocean.
I truly believe, as many others in my field do, that every light in the near future will be LED. It’s just a matter of time.
All the best,

Chris

Using technology to improve the flooring business process… and social media to tell you about it

Sometimes I take for granted all the tools we have at our disposal.
But since we operate worldwide, we need the latest technology (or the greatest if the latest isn’t fully vetted).
In this case, we’re using a tool called “the digitizer” in concert with measuring software by RFMS, on whose platform we operate our entire operation.
We’re using it today to convert images to a scaled digital format for Chris Pirillo… someone you may have seen if you watch CNN Live Tech or are at all involved in social media.


What are we doing?
Well, I’ve been involved in using the internet for business since I launched my first startup in 1996. Social media in its many forms has played a substantial role in moving forward at a solid and fast pace. Just recently, social media, specifically Google Buzz, was the avenue where I learned about a predicament Chris (the other, far more popular Chris) was in.
A painter had allegedly done some sub-par work at Chris’ Seattle home and he was venting on Buzz. I say “allegedly” because it’s an old habit from journalism school. I caught that “Buzz” and immediately touched base with Chris to let him know I could help.
Hey, ready, fire, aim, right?!
Actually, through our network of Carpet One retailers, I knew I could contact a Seattle-area business owner and find a fantastic painter to help Chris, so I “assumed the sale” and made it happen.
Then Chris and I started talking about his floors.
The thought hit me to leverage our expertise with his – flooring (high-end) and social media/all things “web.”
Chris has allergies and wanted to get rid of his carpet.
I had the key.
What was the key?
Dust-free refinishing of hardwood that we would supply and install, all coordinated from my office outside Washington, DC for his home in Seattle, WA. As a US Green Building Council LEED AP, I push this system because it’s very IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and user-friendly because of the high-efficiency dust-containment system and water-based, low-voc finish that dries very quickly and is extremely durable.
And here we are, pressing on and getting this ball rolling.
Check back for updates because we’re going to document the entire process online through different avenues of social media – this blog, YouTube, facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Buzz, etc…
Hang on to your hats!

All the best,

Chris

Using Skype video for a virtual flooring showroom tour and product selection

I’m embedding a video from YouTube here and… I’ll apologize… it’s sideways, but you’ll get the concept.
I took my trusty laptop and used an external USB webcam to Skype my wife at home.
She’s looking to re-do the flooring in our laundry and furnace rooms (I don’t ask why, I just do:)
Instead of having her come all the way to my office and Alexandria showroom, I asked if she’d be open to video conferencing with Skype video.
Since she’s quite cool and tech-savvy, she said, “Yes!”


The images were nice a clear and she was able to narrow down to three of thousands of selections.
When all was said and done, I asked her if she liked the process.
What was the verdict?
She absolutely LOVED it.

I hope more clients will as well, because we’re sprinting into the 21st century and having a blast 🙂

All the best,

Chris