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Risky Business: Are You a Gambler or an Investor?

by Chris Patterson - Sales Representative - North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin


Risky Business: Are You a Gambler or an Investor?

Risky Business: Are You a Gambler or an Investor?

No one wants a call back because of an issue with the floor they’ve installed. The contractor knows it could cost them money and/or reputation, depending how they handle it. Often, the manufacturer of the material knows they will be blamed for the issue before they even arrive. Meanwhile, the facility owner’s stress goes up, the flooring contractor’s stress goes up, product representative’s stress goes up… you get the idea. Nobody wins in this scenario. 

Sure, as the contractor, you could end up getting some help from the manufacturer and consider that a win. But, that’s really like winning $500 at 2 a.m. in a casino after spending the previous six hours running amok because you started with $1,000. You still lost six hours that could have been spent elsewhere, as well as $500.

I often joke that we, product representatives, feel like detectives rushing to a scene after a crime has been committed. Luckily for the manufacturer, there usually isn’t a shortage of clues and data to help us out.  Plus, we can cross check the material with other in-house batches sold at the same time. More than 95% of the time, it is not a problem with the material/product but rather surface prep, environmental conditions during time of install, improper mixing or lack of proper job setup that leads to other problems during application.

Most contractors know that no two jobs are the same, yet many act like they all are. Product representatives are often called out to an issue and told, “I’ve always done it this way and never had a problem before.”  Without documentation that is a gambler’s mindset. Let’s work together on getting you prepared like an investor. 

Transitioning to the Investor Mindset

The gambler is often someone who takes high risks with their money in hopes they make more, whereas an investor looks for ways to reduce risks through tools, research and a plan to make more money. With your personal money you could be a gambler, but with your business you should never gamble; you should invest.

How do you act like an investor for each project? You prepare with a goal to reduce your risk on each investment/project.

How do you reduce your risks on each project?

  1. Have a jobsite checklist for every project (Contact your representative for sample checklist)

  2. Testing Equipment

       a. Moisture tests - RH and calcium chloride
       b. Infrared thermometer - to document substrate temperature during install ($25-$200)
       c. Relative humidity and temperature meter - to document surrounding environmental
           conditions during install ($100-$200)

  3. Daily Documentation

       a. Environmental and substrate readings from test equipment
       b. Start and stop times
       c. Project role documentation - initialed-mixer, pour guy, squeegee, roller, etc.
       d. Products used and quantities
       e. Application tools used

  4. Customer Signoff Sheet

       a. Can either be used to sign off after each phase has been completed, or if the conditions are not within
           manufacturer’s recommendations, it can offer protection

Taking the steps above has multiple benefits:

  1. Creates excellent habits and professionalism for your crew(s).

  2. Can be used as a selling tool with your client because they also want to reduce risk of flooring failures.

  3. Your product representative will be extremely grateful and accommodating in the future.

  4. If there are any issues that come up, you will have detailed documentation that should help
      identify the cause and solution quickly.

  5. Reduced call backs, which will result in your time being freed up for revenue generating activities,
      more referrals, and more profits!

If you want additional ideas or resources on how you can reduce risk with your next project, reach out to your technical representative.