I'm sure, if you're like me or anyone else, you have thought about some New Year's Resolutions. And, like me, as the months or weeks go by, some of the resolutions you've outlined simply are not going to be implemented. Well for 2001, let's all try as an industry to set some achievable New Year's resolutions.

Here's my list, which also includes some strategies for implementation.

1. Increased business and prosperity. No matter which segment of the floor covering industry you're involved in - whether it be retailer/contractor; designer/architectural specifier; distributor, sales agent, importer, or manufacturer - make a concerted effort in growing and expanding your profit margins. Evaluate last year's numbers and consider the opportunities you can seize by expanding into areas in which your competitors are excelling.

2. More staff training. Whether it be sales, management, product, or installation training, a wide array of courses are available to train your personnel and boost your bottom line. And when you invest in your people, they enhance their importance in your operations. Courses are available, both nationally and locally, at little or no cost. Your investment of time and a small amount of money will definitely pay out handsome dividends. Wouldn't you rather have your business running itself with key staff being able to make decisions instead of you being required to make all decisions and never being able to be away from the business?

3. Plan and take a vacation. Yes, it does sound simple and desirable, but most retailers don't take a vacation. Retailers, you must get away from being at the store each and every day, 365 days a year. Train your staff and allow them to make decisions. They will soon become valuable assets to your business when they see the opportunities open before them. Vacations are definitely a healthy release from the daily decision-making everybody performs in their jobs.

4. Dream about the future. And, no, I'm not talking about daydreaming. Rather, sit down and write out where you see your business in one, three and five years. Consider your products, personnel, locations, etc. It's most important that you actually commit your dream to paper so that you can use it as a business plan and roadmap to future success. And, just don't write it and forget it. Make sure you re-visit your plan regularly to ensure that it gets implemented.

Telephone me at (800) 835-4398 x218 if the National Floor Trends staff can assist you in achieving these truly achievable New Year's Resolutions. I hope we can all work together and make 2001 a very special year for the floor covering industry.