Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

How to Talk to Your Spouse Who Says You Work Too Much

Strong marriages and relationships require attention from both partners. This balance of attention to spouse versus earning a living or furthering your career can be difficult to find. And, once you have found a balance that works in your relationship, things change and you have to find the balance again.

Why do some people overwork? The Overworking Spouse may be under considerable stress on the job, or may have a boss that demands long hours. Or maybe there are layoffs coming up and the less productive workers are the first to go. Maybe one partner has to work long hours just to support the family. On the other hand, the overworking spouse may be strongly identifying with career advancement to the exclusion of the marriage. Of course, we should be involved in work that is worthwhile, fulfilling and financially rewarding but over focus can put the marriage at risk.

What can happen when you put your work/career first? Your spouse may be feeling emotionally disconnected from you and lonely. There may be a buildup of resentment which can lead to anger and finally bitterness-towards you. This situation often leads to unhappiness and discord for the entire family.

As a psychologist who has worked for 20 years counseling couples in my therapy practice in North St. Paul, MN, I met with Amy and Josh with just this complaint. Amy was complaining that she was overburdened because Josh worked too much and left her with the responsibilities of home, children, and her own 40-hour job. He knew she was right but he felt defensive when she tried to tell him how to manage his work schedule. He’d started complaining that when wasn’t very affectionate lately and always blamed her disinterest in their physical intimacy on fatigue. He asked to meet with me individually after Amy had had a session to talk about her “side”of the problem. He was appreciative that she was not as naggy as she had been in the past, but he still felt blamed and criticized.

When Josh and I met, we talked of the reasons that he was spending so much time at work. The usual reasons people overwork is that they are feeling under considerable stress on the job, or may have a boss that demands long hours. Or maybe there are layoffs coming up and the less productive works are the first to go. Maybe one partner has to work long hours just to support the family. On the hand, the overworking spouse may be strongly identifying with career advancement to the exclusion of the marriage.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman, in their book 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, suggest the following questions:

1.What does your work mean to you?

2.What pleasure or satisfaction does work bring to you?

3.What need does working fulfill in your life?

4.Does your work related to some personal legacy you would like to contribute to the world?

In a discussion with Josh, he pointed out that he was trying to make headway in his career now, while he was still young and had the energy. He knew his wife was doing a good job parenting their two small children (3 years and 9 months) so he wanted to focus on earning good money for his family. At first, he couldn’t understand why Amy was complaining so much because he was doing all this work for her and their children. He felt it was his responsibility. He wanted to provide his children with a fund for their education.

I suggested he consider the questions listed above. He said that his work is very satisfying in that he felt very confident and capable at work. He also wanted to meet his father’s expectations who had had a successful career. His older two brothers had moved from job to job and he knew his father was disappointed that they had difficulty supporting their families.

It was important for Josh to understand the underlying reasons for his excessive hours at work. He did not have a demanding boss and he was in no threat of a layoff. He just wanted to do the right thing. He had not thought of himself as having value over and above that of a worker and wage earner. He resigned himself to have a discussion with Amy. He said he would try to listen carefully about what Amy was longing for when she complained to him. I suggested he try to imagine the experiences she wanted to have with him and not to focus on her criticisms.

When Amy and Josh came for the next couple’s session, they wanted to further discuss the overworking situation. (They no longer saw the problem as residing inside one of them but as a problem the two of them need to figure out.) Any was able to explain to him what she missed when he work so much. He came to get a sense that his contribution to their family was not solely a financial responsibility. He heard her tell him he was also loved, appreciated, and needed as a friend, confidant and co-parent. She especially enjoyed his easy humor with their children and felt he was the only one who would be able to provide that.

This was a difficult issue for this couple and it was not resolved quickly. They were able to discuss their needs and wants in a different way when they addressed the questions about the underlying reasons for their positions.

Clothes Dryer

There are two types of clothes dryers one is gas the other is electric. The gas dryer is half gas and half electric, the gas is used for lighting a flame to create the heat to dry the clothes, the electric is used to operate the motor, timer, ignitor, coil kit and thermostats.

The gas dryer has more working parts than the electric dryer, when there are more working parts there is a greater chance of something breaking, the gas dryer does break down more frequently than the electric dryer.

The electric dryer use 220 volts to operate the heater element only, all the other parts use 110volts. Both gas and electric dryer have some basic parts: motor, timer, belt, thermostats, and thermal fuse.

These are the functions of each part.

The motor turns the belt that is on the basket, the timer sends the desired voltage to each part for the desired time that it is set on, the thermostat maintains the desired temperature and the thermal fuse shuts down the dryer if the thermostat fails.

A common problem with both gas and electric is clothes taking a very long time to dry, lint building up in the exhaust vent hose is sometimes the reason. The best way to check if the exhaust is partially blocked is to turn on the dryer. Then go outside to where the vent is, put your hand close to the vent, if there is little or no hot air coming out out, your vent hose is blocked. There should be a strong flow of hot air coming out. Sometimes birds build their nest at the vent opening because of the warm air they find coming out of it. Also if the vent comes out near the ground it sometimes get covered by snow.

Why Holiday Villas Are Popular in Most Holiday Destinations

Holiday villas with swimming pools are becoming a very popular form of holiday accommodation with holiday makers going on a family holiday. You are now able to stay in a villa in most countries in the world.

These holiday homes are especially popular in countries with a warm climate. There is nothing better than sitting outside your holiday villa by the side of the swimming pool with a cool drink.

When choosing a villa for your vacation you need to consider very carefully what sort of holiday that you want. The first thing to consider is what sort of climate that you are looking for. There are typically holiday villas in most climates but there is a much greater selection of villa in the countries that have a warmer climate. You must decide how hot you want it to be and what time of the year you want to go away on your villa holiday.

Having decided on the climate, you must then look to see which country can offer you that climate on your vacations. Some countries may require you to get a visa to spend your vacations there and other countries that you consider for a villa holiday may require certain vaccinations before you go there. Then check how long it will take you to fly to your chosen destination and also if there are flights available.

Once you have done this you can start thinking about what sort of villa accommodation that you are looking for. There are some superb villas available around the world and they vary in price to suite just about every budget.

For holiday makers looking for a relaxing holiday by the beach it is possible to find some stunning villas with swimming pools right by coast. For families looking for a villa in the mountains there are also plenty to choose from with some offering spectacular views over the local countryside.

Most holiday villas have swimming pools. You must check to see if you want a swimming pool with your holiday villa and what size the swimming pool is. Many holiday villas also have outside barbecue areas and outdoor seating areas. In some countries that have mosquitoes you will find that some of the holiday villas have mesh screens around them to keep the bugs out.

It is possible to find holiday villas to suite almost every budget. There are some small two bedroom holiday villas and also some huge holiday home with seven or eight bedrooms. Some families like to go on a villa holiday by themselves and others like to stay in a larger holiday villa and take friends with them.

Atypical villa will have bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Typically the master bedroom or suite will be much larger than the other bed rooms in the villa. It will also have the best bathroom in the villa. Typically it will have a walk in shower, large bath and his and hers washbasins and a toilet. Above the washbasins will be a large mirror and below there will be plenty of storage space.