Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 28

Dealer Dish burned or burned out doing design and want regular hours, a reliable paycheck and benefits. Often, the more experienced employees who have given up their design careers will stay on the job longer. Staying Power EXPERIENCE AND REWARDS MATTER How to keep good designers working in showrooms HAVING DESIGNERS ON staff in your showroom is good for business, and designers like working with salespeople who have design experience. They know the salesperson will understand their needs, terminology and pertinent information about a product they need. When designers have a positive experience with a showroom - especially with the staff - they tend to come back again and again. Keeping designers on staff, however, can be a challenge. By nature, designers are creative folk, and showrooms provide limited opportunities for them to put their passion into practice. Many new designers take jobs in showrooms to learn that side of the business and various product lines, but they may not be comfortable with all the duties required of them and eventually lose interest. Or, they believe they can earn more money doing design or some other kind of work. THE SOLUTION TO THE REVOLVING-DOOR ISSUE Turnover is a constant problem for showrooms. On average, a designer will stay two, maybe three years at most, often less. "It's rare to keep them for very long," says Doug Hartsell, vice president of corporate showrooms for Duralee Fabrics in Washington,D.C."We plan on that.For us,if a designer stays for two to three years,we consider that a good return on our investment in hiring and training them. If they only stay for six to eight months, that's not so good." Hartsell worked as a designer for 10 years before taking a position with Duralee. He knows the business from both sides and understands why designers choose to move on. "There's a lot of grunt work in a showroom, and many designers don't like selling," he said. "What they really want to be doing is designing, so when they have an opportunity to join a firm, they go for it." A position in a showroom is a good stepping-stone to a first design job. This is especially true for designers who haven't decided on what they want to specialize in or what kind of firm they want to work for. Employees gain valuable experience and knowledge, and they get inside information about who's hiring in the design community. "Working in a showroom is a great starting point for a new designer," said Hartsell."It teaches you the business - something most of them lack - and it gives you hands-on experience dealing with a lot of issues designers have to cope with." What attracted Hartsell was having a more stable lifestyle. His showroom has hired a number of experienced designers over the years who, like him, got 28 BY LLOYD J. PRINCETON, talent search expert in the interior design and home furnishings industries Connie LeFevre, a Houston interior designer who also owns and manages two showrooms all under the name of her firm, Design House, says she prefers to hire more experienced designers who know product, as many new designers still have a lot to learn about how designers work and the various product lines she carries. "It's a lot of work to train someone new to the industry," she said. "In our fabric showroom, for instance, they need to be able not only to show the inventory and take orders, but they also have to be able to answer questions about whether a particular fabric meets code, fire safety and abrasion requirements." More experienced employees sometimes are more reliable, but there are no guarantees. "These days, new employees sometimes don't last more than a few weeks or even days," added LeFevre."If they think they have a better opportunity somewhere else, they're gone. It's the biggest problem we have in our business now." Still, the designer has managed to maintain a loyal core of employees - one former designer has been with her for 10 years. For starters, she pays them a salary instead of commission and rewards them with raises when they perform well. To feed their passion for design, she has them create vignettes in the showroom and provides regular updates on the latest products and trends. She lays out a career path,starting in the memo room and works up to sales and a stable of their own clients. If they show an interest,she mentors them in other areas of the business. In addition to raises, she rewards and incentivizes them in other ways, such as accommodating an employee so she could work part-time for a while after returning from maternity leave or taking an employee along to an industry trade show. "We work as a team," she said. "I invite their feedback and listen to their insights and opinions on what products we should sell. It requires constant vigilance to keep the chemistry right." The way to keep good designers in your showroom, as these experienced pros have learned, is to treat them well, pay them well and respect their knowledge. Make the workplace challenging and welcoming. Give them the opportunity to learn and to contribute, and - like your best customers - they'll keep coming back.  Kitchen & Bath Business / JAN. 2016 / KBBONLINE.COM / The official sponsor of KBIS (KBIS.com) http://www.KBBONLINE.COM http://www.KBIS.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016

Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016
Contents
Editor ’s Note
Show Director’s Note
Happenings
Hot Topic
Trends
Industry Outlook
Dealer Dish
Better Business
Sustainable Design
Tech Savvy
Design With
Solutions
Balanced Budget
Universal Design
KBIS Coverage
What’s Hot
A new build embraces its stunning seaside views with unobstructed window spaces and natural lighting
A client takes a hands-on but noninvasive role in a family kitchen redesign.
Boring master bath transforms into spa-like space with ample amenities.
Luxurious bath showroom design reflects the various brands it carries with unified elements
Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Intro
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Editor ’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Show Director’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 16
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 18
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 20
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Industry Outlook
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 23
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 24
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 26
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Dealer Dish
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Sustainable Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 34
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Design With
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 39
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 42
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 43
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 44
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 45
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Balanced Budget
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 47
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 48
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 49
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Universal Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 51
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 52
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 53
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 54
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 56
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - KBIS Coverage
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 58
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 59
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 60
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 61
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 62
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 63
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 64
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 65
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 66
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 67
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 68
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 69
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 70
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 71
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 72
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 73
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - What’s Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 75
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 76
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 77
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - A new build embraces its stunning seaside views with unobstructed window spaces and natural lighting
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 79
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 80
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 81
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 82
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 83
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - A client takes a hands-on but noninvasive role in a family kitchen redesign.
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 85
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 86
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 87
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 88
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 89
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Boring master bath transforms into spa-like space with ample amenities.
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 91
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 92
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 93
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Luxurious bath showroom design reflects the various brands it carries with unified elements
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 95
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 96
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 97
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 98
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 99
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 100
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 101
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 102
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - 103
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business - January 2016 - Cover4
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