FURNISHING SALES SHOW STRENGTH
Riding the coattails of the housing boom these days is the home furnishings market.
ESRI Business Information Solutions, which tracks household spending, reports that Americans spend an average of $2,399 a year per household on textiles (including draperies and curtains), furniture, floor coverings, appliances, housewares and miscellaneous things such as mirrors and lamps.
Connecticut tops all states with households that spend the most on furnishings.
SUPPORTING THE EFFORT
When National Guardsmen and reservists were shipped out to join coalition forces in Iraq, their employers stateside often answered the call, too, with care packages, extra paychecks and continued health care benefits—even though they are not required to do so.
Bob Hollingsworth, executive director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, says, “The dominant response has been to pull together and make it work and to stand behind those called to serve.”
Employers are required by law to reemploy returning soldiers in the job they would have attained with the same seniority, status and pay had they not left.
TIME TO GET GOING
Joseph Kennedy is credited with saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s the same advice many business experts are echoing for when the economy and business is slow.
Keeping in touch and on top of what’s going on in any industry is key to staying successful, they say. Among their tips for staying sharp are:
• Network—use your phone list or database and contact at least three or four people on it each week to find out what they are doing and if there are ways of helping each other.
• Professional associations—join and attend meetings regularly, and don’t overlook organizations outside your field that could prove valuable in the future.
• Industry publications—these can be good ways to keep track of people and companies not on your phone list or in your database.
• Conferences—often expensive to get to and attend, but also one of the best places to meet new people or get new ideas