It's the new year and most of us probably made a variety of resolutions. Maybe it is to exercise more, eat less, or read more, but often we focus on personal improvements. While personal resolutions are great - why not make some professional resolutions as well? We believe a major component of any business's success is to always make efforts to improve. This year we suggest the following resolutions to make your general contracting or tile installation business better than the year before: #1 - Focus on Continued Education There's always somebody on your heels trying to outperform your business; therefore, continued education helps you stay ahead of the game. And let's not forget how quickly new products, technology, or learning can change the best ways to do things. One of the best ways to continue your education starts with becoming a Certified Tile Installer. If you've already achieved that, D&B Tile also offers continuing education courses and workshops at all of our nine locations. See our upcoming tile events in South Florida. Plus, you'll even find events from other industry resources such as Associated Builders and Contractors. #2 - Manage Job Expectations A common complaint we hear from homeowners or commercial property managers is that the installation did not come out as expected. Whether it is not having enough material, efflorescence after install, grout color coordination, or something else - most complaints could be easily avoided by managing expectations properly. A great way to manage expectations from the beginning is to start the project with a walk-through in the tile store to discuss tile color range, grout options, and more. Then completing an installation mockup will help confirm the material needed as well as the installation pattern and overall look of the installation and colors chosen. Ultimately, this process saves time and money because any missed communications or changes of mind can be done before the installation has started. #3 - Prevent Issues Before They Occur Just like a mock-up, preparation and planning can take you a long way. For example, knowing whether you need a flat floor or a level floor for an installation can be the difference in a big failure or a big success. You'll also want to ensure the substrate is ready for tile. You may have to prep the floor with an underlayment or crack suppression. #4 - Refresh Your Knowledge Throughout the year it's good practice to refresh your knowledge of the best practices for proper tile installation. There are three major sources of information every installer should refresh with and keep around. First, there is the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation. Next is the ANSI Standards for the Installation of Ceramic Tile. And finally, the NTCA Reference Manual, which is the companion piece to the previous two. #5 - Finish with 5 Stars Complete each job with five stars in mind. But what does "five stars" mean? It's a focus on delivering a five-star experience to each and every one of your customers. Your customers not only help get your business where it is today, they also feed your business for tomorrow. Ensuring that each customer walks away feeling like they were at a five-star resort will lead more referrals to you and earn your more repeat business. Ensuring that experience goes beyond doing everything right. A great experience is a job well done, with good communication and great customer service. Even if your team makes a mistake, the customer will most often understand when the right steps are taken to remedy a situation. As always, here at D&B Tile Distributors, we strive to help you not only with tile but also with growing your business. Our team of tile experts can answer your technical questions, find the right tile match, introduce you to architects and designers, and much more. Stop in one of our nine South Florida locations and chat with us today!