By Chris Watson
Flooring isn’t something you think about all the time. In fact, if flooring is doing its job you don’t think much about it at all. “Let’s face it,” says Brad Mossing, owner of Family Floors LLC, “flooring is an every few years purchase. However, it is an important purchase. And at the risk of using a pun,” says Mossing lightly, “flooring is at the foundation of our lives.”
The problem, of course, is that flooring is a highly competitive business. And like all capital purchases, a great deal goes into cost. Dealing with a local, reliable professional has advantages.
Growing up in the 419
“Calling myself a family business was a no brainer,” says Mossing. “I was born and raised right here in Toledo. I grew up in the Springfield area and both my wife and I graduated from Central Catholic and later University of Toledo.” While in college Mossing worked for a local flooring company in commissioned sales. “It was tough. I was fortunate that I had a knack for both sales and communicating with customers. Many of my counterparts didn’t fare as well. When selling products like flooring or other home improvement products there is a lot of external competitive interests. It is easy to get lost in that quagmire.”
Mossing decided to try a different approach to his career. He and his wife, Marissa, moved to West Virginia. “I started working with a lighting design company that serviced big, business to business clients like hospitals and schools. I didn’t really care for it but it was paying the bills. Then Marissa got pregnant. All of our family support was here in the Glass City area, so we moved back.” With an almost imperceptible nod and grin, Mossing explains, “Grandparents on both sides, a set of great grandparents and like 20 cousins…we knew where we wanted to be.”
Changing Flooring from the Ground Up
Mossing returned to a local flooring company but he started to see issues. “I began to look
at all the competitive agendas to choosing, selling, and installing a floor. Your flooring is going to be around a while so rather than have tension between customer, installer, salesman and contractor I wanted to create a great way to provide quality flooring.” With that model in mind Mossing opened Family Floors.
“The first thing we do is sit down with the customer and do a basic interview. We ask questions…not about price but about use. Do you have kids? Pets? Will you be staying in this house for 20 years or 2? This is way before we talk about product of price.” After that the sales team and designers can begin a discussion about product and budget.
“There are lots of floors out there,” says Mossing. “And we use them a lot. It isn’t like choosing a wall color. That is why we call our sit down a consultation, not a sales call.” Mossing’s team always looks at three things: Use, Look/Style, and Price. “These three things have to match, or at least align for the customer. For instance, I can get you an inexpensive flooring that will wear like iron. However, the style may be institutional and only look good in a dentist waiting room, not your dining room.”
Likewise, Family Floors will work within budgets and timeframes. “The single most important thing for us is providing good, reliable information to our customers. We may discover that a certain flooring option is what the customer wants but isn’t quite ready to install. That is never a problem. If we need to hold off on a project to allow our clients to save money or get some financing, we will work with that. One of our greatest strengths is helping a customer prepare a budget, including all the costs of their flooring. The point is not to sell a floor and get a commission…The point is to achieve a long term, affordable and desirable result.”
Taking the Long View
“Everybody says that service is their biggest competitive advantage. The question is, do they back it up,” says Mossing. Besides having access to a wide variety of products, Family Floors has a staging warehouse located right in downtown Toledo that helps get projects ready. “We work with a lot of different crews for install and I have vetted every single crew. I also ensure personally that every floor is installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. I then hold post job wrap up with the customer to correct any problems and discuss all the details of their new floor, including cleaning and care.”
This long view extends to Mossing’s overall business philosophy. “Ultimately I want to have my company employee owned. I want to move away from the sale by commission model and into a company that builds long term relationships with clients, their family and friends.”
Mossing’s experience from the start of his career in the flooring business helps solidify this vision. “I know what it means to feel the pressure of making the next sale. And I understand the that there are wide and diverse flooring products and methods of purchase. Our goal isn’t to be order takers. Our goal is to partners with our customer.” That partnership, in the long term, is his competitive edge.
“The bottom line is this. I didn’t strike out on my own to do flooring business as usual. We look at each client as a relationship not a sale. After all, when making any big decision how do you want to relate to each other? Salesperson to customer, or person to person?”
Or more broadly, family to family.
For More Information
Email at brad@FamilyFloorsToledo.com