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Monday, March 08, 2010

Meet Troy Aeby, Duralum Carpets Inc.

Duralum Carpets' Aeby familyMeet Troy Aeby. He is president of Duralum Carpets Inc., located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and has been busy repositioning his business to better connect with customers.

Not only has he been modifying his in-store retail experience to make it more engaging for women customers, but he has also established a stronger online presence via an updated website and through participation in social media.

More specifically, Duralum Carpets can be found on Facebook, as well as on Twitter, and Troy launched the Duralum Carpets Blog on October 27, 2009.

Troy has been a faithful subscriber and commenter to this blog. I recently caught up with Troy and asked him a few questions.

C.B.: Troy, tell me about yourself and your company.

I own and operate Duralum Carpets Inc, a 3rd generation [see photo above with all 3 generations: from left to right, Lance Aeby (my son), James Aeby (my dad) and Troy Aeby (me)] floorcovering retail business since 1962 in Stevens Point, WI. We provide both full service (materials & professional installation) and cash & carry. Our product selection includes: Carpeting (residential & commercial), Hardwood flooring, Ceramic & Glass tiles, Cork flooring, Bamboo flooring, Laminate flooring, Carpet & Vinyl remnants, Vinyl flooring, and Area Rugs.

C.B.: How did you get involved in flooring?

I remember many times at the kitchen table my dad would talk about his day and the various aspects of the floorcovering business. I got a lot of training at that table that I found would really come in handy later in my life... little did I know it at the time. The great thing about my dad was that he encouraged me to be in the business but never made me feel that I had to do it if it was not right for me. I was introduced to floorcovering professionals who further aided my knowledge of how a successful business should be run. My main focus now is to apply the best of the past with the best of the present.

C.B.: So, how did you get involved in social media?

We have made some major changes to our website thanks to John Simonson of Webstream Dynamics. He has been a trusted vendor for many years and when we spoke of upgrading websites, adding a blog, Facebook etc., he mentioned your name as someone who has a great grasp of social media and how it can help any business. I checked your blog out and really liked the way you present the rather complex issue of social media in an understandable way. Your views on looking at your business presentation from a female perspective have really helped.

C.B.: How do you personally and your organization use social media for business?

We currently interact via social media in a variety of ways: Facebook updates via pictures and videos, our weekly blog that deals with a variety of topics, our website that combines various media forms and also serves as a link to our Facebook Fan page and Blog, and just recently I have gotten involved with LinkedIn for business contacts.

C.B.: What have you found most effective?

Currently our website and Facebook presence have yielded the most response.

C.B.: What do you like most and least about flooring?

I truly love working with customers and the social media aspects of the floorcovering business. I would have to say that the managerial aspect of business payroll, taxes and the like are my least favorite part.

Duralum Carpets Inc.C.B.: What suggestions do you have for improving the flooring retail experience?

Go out and see what others are doing in your industry and other related industries. I make it a point to visit other stores when I'm on vacation to see how others do things. It's amazing when I stop in. I'll introduce myself to the owner and tell them why I'm there. Truly successful people are more than willing to share insights and ideas to those who are truly interested, and because we're not in direct competition, we can help each other out.

We have been using the Nov, Dec, Jan months which are typically slower to revamp and retool our showroom and make it more interactive for our clients. We've added a walk in shower, whirlpool and backsplash displays to further enhance the experience. We always try to involve trusted vendors in our showroom and displays. Our new website has been getting a lot more views and has been yielding more home measurement requests.

C.B.: What do you like most and least about social media?

I like being able to reach persons that I may never have been able to otherwise and give them a view inside my business. On the down side, there is a lot of information overload out there.

C.B.: Is everyone in your business involved on social networks?

Currently I manage the social media at Duralum Carpets Inc.

C.B.: How do you manage all of the different channels?

I set aside a small amount of time daily to manage social media. Once you get your ground work done, maintenance is easy.

C.B.: What advice do you have for others wanting to get involved with social media for their business?

Follow sites like yours to get great advice on how to proceed. Follow industry leaders and model their progress.

Thank you, Troy!

Comments, questions, feedback?

How might you rethink your business and add social elements to better connect with customers?

2 comments:

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Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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