Understand your customers’ personalities for better sales

July 1, 2017

Elemental keys to staying in sync and making the sale. The first thing you need to know is that your customers are different—from each other, and from you. You may feel that you already know that, but I can tell you that many business owners and professionals have lamented to me that the client they …

Driving business during the slow season: entertaining clients

June 1, 2017

Everyone appreciates the time of year when things start to slow down. But after a recuperation stage, tent rental companies may find themselves twiddling their thumbs, waiting for clients to call. What do you do to drive business at these times? Many operations host a showcase or an open house, blending strategy and celebration. One …

Handle with care

May 1, 2017

Layoffs or firings can mean trouble for everyone involved. It’s an unwelcome responsibility, but almost every business owner and manager will eventually come face-to-face with the disagreeable task of terminating one or more employees. “Firing people is one of the toughest, most unpleasant things you do as an employer,” says James Walsh in his book …

U.S. trade policy

April 1, 2017

Last year was both a momentous and a productive year for the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and the Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) divisions’ efforts in Washington, D.C. The text of the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) limited damage to the U.S. textile industry to the greatest degree politically achievable; now the election of Donald …

Pre-employment background checks

You may need them, but be careful. These days every new employee brings a possible threat to your business, including theft, sexual harassment, physical violence, identity theft, fraud and drug use. The potential for ruinous legal actions is higher today than ever before. That’s why a background check before you hire an applicant could save …

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

Fewer, faster, finer

March 1, 2017

How U.S. manufacturers can adapt to changing expectations of customers. Back in 2007, Trans-Tex LLC, based in Cranston, R.I., was struggling to survive. Management quickly concluded that the company, a dye sublimation heat transfer printer of narrow web fabric, could not compete against overseas competition by attacking their strengths. Those competitor strengths included manufacturing long …

Creatively Pleasing

February 1, 2017

Phyllis Mitchell is the owner of Phyllis Mitchell’s Island Style Marine Canvas & Upholstery in Kemah, Texas. Since its opening in July of 2013, the company has been specializing in the design and fabrication of all things sewn on a sail or powerboat. Here, Mitchell shares her thoughts about the industry, the challenges her company …

Tax law changes

How the Trump Administration may affect businesses. Any change in Washington, D.C., brings the possibility—and the likelihood—of tax law changes. The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States is no exception. In his campaign, President Trump highlighted several goals of tax reform that included reducing the official corporate tax rate …

Keeping up with the Joneses

January 1, 2017

Stephan Kåmark is president of Oxnard, Calif.-based Advanced Canvas & Upholstery Services. The Channel Islands Harbor shop specializes in flooring, enclosures, covers, solar power and repairs in the marine, industrial, aviation and military sectors, offering quality fabric and hardware from the U.S. and Europe. Here, Kåmark talks about his biggest influence, the rewards that come …