Since the 1980’s, Mike Hall has constantly been adapting his business. Not only has his business stayed relevant, but it has also been hyper-successful, to the tune of 40 million in annual sales! This founder of Georgia Furniture Mart knows what it’s like to change your business model and even rebrand when necessary. Did you know Georgia Furniture Mart was formerly Underpriced Furniture? We talk about Mike’s history in the business, we talk about the importance of sleep, and we really get into the overall customer service experience Mike’s team has developed at Georgia Furniture Mart. We talk about advertising and marketing your business, plus so much more, on this episode of The Gwinnett Podcast! Listen to the full episode now!
TOP 5: from Mike Hall on The Gwinnett Podcast!
- Know what business you’re in: “Everything is about the customer. Everything is about life improvement. In fact, we don’t even say we’re in the furniture business, we are in the life improvement business.”
- Building a Culture is key: “When people come to us, they’re looking to improve their life. We recognize that the comfort, function and beauty of a person’s home is very important to them; this is our filter! We want to make everyone happy! We also love our employees and try to meet everyone’s needs as often as we can. We have so much respect for our community, employees and customers. That, I think, has been a real key factor for us. We created a culture that breeds kindness.”
- The proper sleep can be a superpower: “I don’t think we understand how important the quality of rest is. That’s our rejuvenation time. If we don’t sleep well, when we awake in the morning, we go through our day and it’s easy to be aggravated. You’re tired, and your productivity rates go down. You never want your relationship with people such as your family or coworkers to become strained. If you’re tired, you’re not affective. If your performance level goes down, you could get looked over for promotions. If your body is not in alignment, or you are in pain, that can drag on you all day and you will lose focus. It’s important to take care of yourself, inside and out.”
- Don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working: “Our former name, Underpriced Furniture, was intended to imply value furniture at a low cost. However, we were finding that the name got misperceived, and that people were thinking we were a secondhand store. A used furniture store. I’ll tell you that the industry of so-called experts, people that have been in the business for a long time, said, ‘Don’t change the name.’ Every single one told me not to. Even the marketing and advertising experts and consultants we dealt with said, ‘Do not do it! You’ve built a brand.’ Do you know that we rebranded right as COVID-19 hit? We reached out to our customers to let them know what was happening, and we haven’t missed a beat. We’ve actually grown our business in that time. When you know it’s the right thing to do, sometimes you just have to go for it.”
- If you get knocked down, get back up! : “In life, it’s not what happens to us that really makes an ongoing difference in our life. It’s how we react to what’s happening. So many people get paralyzed by fear and they complain about the circumstances that are out of their control that they’re having to deal with. If you let yourself become paralyzed, that’s when the real trouble begins. You just have to take the circumstances you find yourself in and find a way to win. Find a way to push forward. But not accept defeat.”
In this episode, Mike shares some really great advice for business leaders. We also learn a lot about Mike himself. One of Mike’s favorite things to do is fly. I asked Mike to give our listeners and readers some leadership advice from the pilot’s perspective. And so, we’ll end with this:
“I would say don’t break down in your procedures. Follow the checklists. None of us are good enough to remember everything every single time. So the process and the procedure of really checking the aircraft out, checking yourself to make sure you’re fit to fly on any given day. Checking the weather, checking the conditions, all the way through your flight. Planning all of that out and taking extra time to be cautious about it is absolutely critical. Most accidents happen because of pilot error.” – Mike Hall