Case Studies

Contract Carpet Sales Company Inc.

Building relationships from the ground up

When Belinda Yoder decided to start her own business, she lacked financial support from investors and chose not to place herself in debt with a bank loan. After operating her own carpet contracting business out of her house for a year, Belinda experienced enough success to purchase Contract Carpet Sales Company Inc. (CCC). Located in Nashville, Tennessee, CCC specializes in commercial floor covering sales and installation.

“We sell and install anything that goes on a floor,” says Yoder.  Commercial sector jobs make up 90 percent of CCC’s project. “We also work in remodeling, real estate and some residential insurance work.”

Yoder started her career in the carpet business as a salesperson for a local floor covering company. “I was getting out of the fashion industry from a high-end women’s clothing store,” explains Yoder. “I met a gentleman who owned a floor covering store and he thought that I would be a good carpeting salesperson. I guess he was right.” At the time, Yoder knew very little about the floor-covering industry. “I didn’t know if the fuzzy side went up or down”

After working as a salesperson for 10 years, Yoder decided it was time to venture out on her own. “Through my experience I really felt that I had built up some great relationships that were connected with me and not necessarily a company,” says Yoder. “In 2006 I decided to acquire CCC.”

More than carpet services

CCC offers more than carpet sales and installation. The company thrives on relationships with customers and offers an exceptional value of service to its clients. These business practices along with expertise have sustained the longevity of the company. “We don’t rely on bid-business,” notes Yoder. “We rely on our great relationships.” The dedication that CCC shows its clients helped make for a smooth transition for Yoder when she acquired the company.

“When I purchased CCC, for the first few years I had more customers than I knew what to do with,” says Yoder. “I had retained all my clients from my previous business and also gained most of CCC’s clientele as well.” Yoder emphasizes that the top-seller of her company is the customer service. “Our service is what sets us apart from other companies. That’s really what we sell.”

As the owner of CCC, Yoder remains heavily involved in all aspects of the business. In a single day, she will be involved in numerous projects in the office or on multiple job sites. As one of the primary salesperson at CCC, Yoder remains the face of the company. “I’ll bid on jobs in the morning, go measure a job in the afternoon and then come back to the office and work on accounting. My great team is a major factor of my success.”

Enduring partnerships

CCC is currently working with general contracting firm Barton Malow/Bell/Harmony, A Joint Venture, LLC on a new baseball stadium for minor league baseball team the Nashville Sounds. “Part of that joint venture is Bell & Associates Construction which is a great general contracting company here in Nashville,” says Yoder. “I’ve been doing business with them for more than 22 years. I like to think a big reason we got that job is because of the great relationship we’ve had for so long.”

CCC is also staying busy with municipality work. The company has completed jobs for local metropolitan libraries in collaboration with Messer Construction and is currently working on a project at Nashville State Technical Institute. “They have a brand new academic & support building where we are doing all the floor-covering work,” says Yoder. “We also do 90 percent of the work at the Nashville International Airport as well.”

With five full-time employees in the office, CCC subcontracts 20 to 25 mechanics and installers who exclusively work for the company. CCC maintains a network of skilled craftsmen who have worked with the company many times over the years. “The people who perform the work for us out in the field are great at what they do and have experience with us,” explains Yoder. “There is one gentleman currently working with us who worked for me 20 years ago.”

Yoder attributes much of her company’s reputation and success to the mechanics and installers representing her company. “Most of the people with us have been around for a long time,” says Yoder. “They’re our last impression on a job so they are what makes or breaks us.”

Moving forward

Gaining new clients and continued progress is what the future holds for CCC. While very content with the current clientele, Yoder is always looking for a challenge and a way to create new, lasting relationships for CCC. “Interaction with my customers is my favorite thing about what I do,” says Yoder. “I have great clientele.”

After successfully establishing a business from the ground up, Yoder is able to reflect on the challenges she faced when starting her own business. “Without a chunk of money in the bank to get started with, I had to learn things like how to ask customers for deposits and build my reserves just to pay the installers,” explains Yoder. “I was forced to learn how to manage cash flow. It was all quite challenging but I did it without borrowing money. Anybody can be successful with enough drive.”

In anticipation of another successful year, Contract Carpet Sales Company Inc. has become involved in the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. As a current member of Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. as well as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Yoder will be networking as much as possible and utilizing all of the tools at her disposal.

Published on: August 18, 2015

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