Macro world events such as COVID cut across all industries, however the rug profession also presents unique challenges that a trusted colleague may help unravel. Candid conversations spark the mind, and sharing the journey with colleagues strengthens our profession. In the best of circumstances, positive industry relationships enrich our personal lives as well.

It’s in this spirit of sharing that Rug Insider launches a series of dealer interviews between Brian Robins, co-owner with Rebecca Lurie of Kush Rugs, Portland, Oregon and premier showrooms across the country.

I can hear the frozen droplets of water bouncing off the window outside as I type this article. Another reminder winter has not yet accepted it must eventually yield way to spring. Until such time occurs, we wait patiently for the new weather alteration to arrive. Four seasons of predictable patterns annually provide a gentle nudge on the shoulder for each of us; like it or not things are going to be very different soon.

It seems just yesterday the leaves were falling as we all began to bundle up nightly for the eventual temperature drop around here. Slowly our mind began to reconcile with our body, winter was marching toward us gaining more and more momentum each and every day. Instead of trying to resist the inevitable, we accept, prepare and pivot. And for the next three months, the frigid cold becomes our new norm. Snowy roads are a part of the scenery, and outdoor activities are altered accordingly.

It seems like yesterday my child was still sitting on my lap while watching cartoons. Though it saddens me to be helpless in slowing the clock hands of time down, I find new pleasure hearing his future thoughts and plans. Today he is a fine young man ready to enter this next phase of life. The business guy within me can already see the emerging marketing campaigns geared specifically in his direction. For those risk-takers, I offer up great kudos. They are the ones who realize today’s casual spending youths are tomorrow’s growth sustainers.  

In most industries, targeting and forecasting comprise the foundation for potential spending, both planned and unplanned. Actually, there is a certain excitement when we peel the various layers of potential back from two current generational sales onions. 

I woke up today thinking, for some reason, the new day, the new week, the new month were all going to bring some different kind of stability not yet seen in the preceding six. Predictably, my current world has still been turned upside down—nothing new here—my freshly poured cup of coffee next to me probably my only constant during this remarkable “time of transition.” I refer to this year by that moniker, simply because it makes perfect sense to do so all things considered. Lest anyone think we are going back to the way things were, you shall be sadly awoken to a new reality. The business world has changed forever in 2020 in every way possible. We are living in the current version of a new normal right now. As for the future new normal… 

There is an old saying which still rings true today—“the difference is in the detail.” As a businessperson, I subscribe fully to the notion of using this tactic to my advantage. We often tend to lose sight of the concept of placing our own business operations under the microscope, but there has never been a more opportune window to do so. It may seem a bit odd, but time will tell how fine the clarity was to your lens.

Various channels of business are slowly starting to ramp back, and with them, perhaps a golden chance exists for additional development. Time to grab hold of the figurative business mirror and place it in front of your current methods. Could it be after having been in forced hibernations for so long the perception you have of your organization is no longer reality, as viewed through the eyes of your customer base. Why not utilize this sudden awakening, to re-introduce or reposition your operation? It all starts from first possessing a willingness to do so.

What an incredibly strange world we live in currently. While it is true that among public health officials and epidemiologists the dangers of a pandemic have long been feared, who amongst the general population might have predicted one year ago that getting a haircut wouldn’t be possible?