Dave Griggs’ Flooring America, a retail and wholesale floor covering business, has been around for 40 years, headed by owner Dave Griggs. They sell and install all sorts of flooring products, as well as the proper materials to install and care for those products. They also have a ProShop, which caters to the installation contractor market and has virtually every tool or material needed to install flooring.
Mr. Griggs states that the key to his business’ success is having a great team of associates. Together, they have over 300 years of experience in this business, which makes them a great resource, no matter what a project might be or how large or small it is. However, every business faces challenges, and Flooring America is no exception. They are continually challenged by the mass merchandise market and its ability to purchase a few products in extremely large quantities, which makes Flooring America look more expensive than they really are. Fortunately as a small, locally owned company, they can make buying, marketing and service decisions in hours as opposed to months. This gives them a real advantage in bringing new products, tools, and service to their customers. “We will never be on the “bleeding edge” of product introduction, but we strive to bring the best of the best new products to our market and only after we are confident that they will perform for our customers,” said Mr. Griggs.
Another challenge not only Dave Griggs Flooring America, but the whole flooring and installation industry faces is a lack of qualified installers. Mr. Griggs is fortunate to have extremely well qualified installation teams, but he says that the main issue is that younger people are not interested in learning the business. Even if they are not attracted to the flooring industry, though, Mr. Griggs wants to share his experience and impart words of wisdom to the young. He does some guest lecturing at the Trulaske College of Business at Mizzou, where he gives students some advice:
The first constant in any business is that there is no constant other than change. How you manage change will have a major impact on the long term success of your business. My second main point is that every business and every business person must learn what their “compelling competitive advantage” is. What separates you from your competition? Why should your prospect buy from you as opposed to your competitor? How does YOUR product or service SOLVE the issue your prospect has that caused them to seek you out in the first place? If you can’t explain your compelling competitive advantage you probably won’t close the deal! Lastly, there are numerous resources in Columbia to assist you in planning, starting and growing your business and most of those are available through REDI – Regional Economic Development.
Aside from his business, Mr. Griggs is passionate about economic development and job creation in central Missouri. “Not everyone has a college degree but that doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t have a good work ethic or are unwilling to learn how to do whatever job to earn a good living and support their family.” People that earn a living pay taxes, as well as buy products which have sales tax, and those taxes pay for our streets, trails, public safety, etc!
Back to business, Mr. Griggs is quite ardent about making everyone in the construction industry aware of the tedious new regulations relating to “subcontractors”. These regulations will have a major impact on the construction industry and may well put many folks out of business. Mr. Griggs has been partnering with executive advantage to hold a DOL Symposium to talk about these changes.