Final Coat: 10 Tips for Growing Business in Slower Times

All indications are that we are going to have a slower summer than the last few. With pandemic level big spending becoming a memory, a new, slower normal seems to be coming into play. It is also typical in uncertain presidential election years to see the economy slow in the weeks leading up to November’s voting action.

That said, everyone waits for a slower time to build business. And if you haven’t had to do so in a while, here’s a handful of ideas to keep the cash flow coming steadily.

It Pays to Be Charitable. Think about the charities you like to support and find ways to get involved. One way to create a win-win for your business and raise money for a cause you genuinely care about is to donate to silent auctions. If you happen to have a couple hundred square feet of flooring left over, auction it off. Whether it’s for a charity, school, a community sport, church, or someone in need, providing an item to bid on can provide word-of-mouth about your company’s culture.

Feed the Pipeline. The best time to focus on building a pipeline is before you actually need new customers. People have learned to wait for quality work over the last few years with the labor shortage. In fact, having a wait actually may make you more attractive and create the ability to charge more for your services as everyone wants a company that’s in high demand.

Work that Network. When was the last time you called an old friend, customer, or business associate to have lunch? Simply finding out what’s going on in your network often leads to new business, or reminds people that you’re out there when they need you in the future.

Don’t Be a Wallflower. Get out there and speak about general business, attend a Small Business Administration or other local business community meeting. Volunteer to serve on a board of directors in something you’re interested in. After all, everyone needs flooring, you don’t have to just network within the construction and renovation markets.

Lunch and Learns. Show potential customers that you are an expert in your field. Host a meeting or lunch and learn for local offices or chapters of builders, renovators, designers, or architects, in a convenient location like their own offices or nearby. In fact, if you become an NWFA Certified Presenter, we have 14 courses approved for credits for several A&D organizations. Go to for more information.

Incentives for Existing or Lapsed Customers. Focus on retention by creating repeat customers as often as you can. If you take the time to develop a formal system, you’ll be top of mind when that next project comes along. Consider offering a VIP incentive for returning customers or a referral bonus.

Light Up Your Social Media. Engage with prospects and existing customers with consistent social media. Even a simple installation job can provide tips and consumer education that leads to new business. And, take the time to research the best places to spend your advertising dollars on social media.

Training. Identify your own business weaknesses along with those of your team and crews. Find ways to bring new training opportunities to your company or send employees out for training. For hands-on technical training, there’s no better source than NWFA. If you can’t send people away, or they need more business-oriented training, check out the NWFA Online University. NWFA also hosts a series of free webinars featuring both educators and products. Learn more at

Keep You Coming Back. Make sure you provide a maintenance package that allows you back in the house to take care of minor maintenance and schedule your crew to do these jobs when times are slow. Once you’re back in the house, you can assess when it will be time for a recoat or refinish. Plant the seed that you are a lifetime partner who will take care of your customer.

Attend Live Events. If you’ve read this far, then you already know the NWFA Expo is coming up. When times are good, it’s hard to get away. So if things are a little slower, don’t miss
an opportunity to invest in yourself. If you can’t come to Expo this year, put Charlotte on your calendar for 2025. Growth doesn’t come from being comfortable, it comes to those who are willing to build new pathways and by being comfortable in the uncomfortable.

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