This month, Floor Trends’ digital editor Katie Rork had the opportunity to spend a day with Joe Zago, founder and CEO of the Carpet Guys. The retailer, who has built a business with annual revenues around $20 million, has developed an innovative plan to develop more qualified flooring installers. 

“Skilled trade offers a roadway—a vehicle for somebody that may not necessarily want to go to college or might not want to join the military for four years to start their career,” Zago said.  

Zago said most of his installers make at least $100,000 per year and he and his team put a program in place that incentivizes pros to develop other installers. If an experienced installer trains and develops a newbie, the seasoned installer gets 25 cents a yard for everything that the new installer puts in for the rest of their career at the company.  

“If that guy sticks with us, he’s making 25 cents a yard as long as they’re both active and ongoing,” Zago explained. “If that one person retires, we drop that 25 cents down to 15 cents for every yard…I think we can really shift the way that this trajectory of our industry is going.” 

We’re inspired by leaders coming up with creative plans to make business happen. A format like this can help the industry inspire more installers to develop the skills they need to install beautiful floors.