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From Home Furnishing Business

From the Editor : Prepare to Win

As of press time, the country was just going into the Final Four weekend of March Madness of the NCAA championship. The four teams—Louisville, Wichita State, Michigan and Syracuse—have made their way to Atlanta, soon to be followed by ardent fans of the sport.

I absolutely love college basketball.

Some of that love comes from growing up in North Carolina where passions run deep and rivalries are hot. Back in the day, who could argue with the strength of Tobacco Road, and its majestic cluster of basketball powerhouses? Much of my love for the sport comes from spending my college years in Chapel Hill, N.C., at THE University of North Carolina. (The REAL Carolina, for all my friends in Columbia, S.C.)
While my beloved Tar Heels fell to the Jayhawks of the University of Kansas in the third round of play, I’m still watching. My bracket, chosen through loyalties to the ‘Heels and the Atlantic Coast Conference, started to fall apart weeks ago. It’s pretty much disintegrated now with none of my chosen four anywhere near Atlanta. Every year, I say I’ll fill in the bracket without following my heart. THAT isn’t likely to happen—EVER—and even if it did, given this year’s topsy-turvy, unpredictable month of games, my picks still would have gone down. I might could have improved my chances of winning the pool had I collected a few quarters and opted for a heads-or-tails strategy.

That’s the beauty of March Madness. Short of my team winning it all, the craziness and excitement of the unknown keeps me tuned in for “just one more game.”
I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck college basketball, March Madness and the Final Four has to do with the furniture retailing business.
The way I see it, retailing, like college basketball, is an extremely competitive sport.

To succeed and play well, it takes practice, the right tools and of course, some information on who your competition is. I have no doubt that each of the teams playing in the Final Four in Atlanta have been studying and reviewing the other teams to decipher their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to develop the most effective game plan. Coaches and assistant coaches are all poring over strategies that have been successful in previous games, but to do that, they must know their competitor.

Preparation is the key to success. Knowledge is power.

Who is your primary competition in your market? Is it Amazon? Your neighborhood pharmacy? Walmart? Target? The local bookstore? The Best Buy in the local shopping hot spot? Look around, you’re likely in the fight of your life with someone other than what we think of as a “traditional” furniture retailer.

Duking it out for those elusive consumer dollars, and the consumer’s time and attention.

So jump in with both feet, figure out who your competition is and be ready for the big win. Find the tools that make the most sense and put them to work in your operation. You’ll be thankful when you come out on top.

Now, back to basketball.

Thank goodness for Cinderella teams, underdogs, enthusiastic players and coaches with the desire and will to win. Going into the weekend of play, my heart lies with the Wichita State Shockers—a fabulous mascot given the circumstances.



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