Allan presents Ray Ventura, Ventura Uniform Service, a special award for exceptional service to the textile industry

I love a good meal and if you ever get a chance to visit Charleston you’ll have plenty of opportunity to experience good food. But food wasn’t the only thing on the menu at the 2014 Business Development Conference in Charleston. By all accounts the event was a great success as Members and Suppliers alike enjoyed the opportunity to share “what’s working now.” For those who didn’t attend, we are bringing you just a taste of the conference in this issue of The Advantage.

Alex Smith, Senior VP of Dickies gave an outstanding keynote offered strategies for expanding your business in mature markets. “It is vital that we have the difficult conversations with our executive team to be sure we don’t get left behind. Check out the highlights.

Member Bill Muske, Mid-City Services, showed how, with a little creative thought, Google’s on-line advertising strategy can be done effectively and inexpensively. In very popular concurrent focus groups, Member Terry Southern, LogoBranders, shared tips for winning big in under-served markets while Jim Sanford, American Eagle Imagewear, outlined the important role strategic planning and solutions selling have in his firm’s amazing growth. Other outstanding presentations included former Member, Robert Yurman, on how to position your firm for selling; attorney Joseph Shelton, on protecting your business and the ever popular, Steve Kallenbach on emerging opportunities for growth.

Adam Seigel, Textile Rental Partners; Donna Bruno, Logistics; and Larry Dishmond, Carpet Rentals, shared ideas about maximizing opportunities in facilities services. Dishmond’s case study (from zero to $800,000+) clearly illustrated the financial return of selling solutions rather than price or products. Bruno outlined the savings and tools a wholesale partner brings to the Member just entering facilities services while Seigel emphasized the importance of training and the valuable role the right vendors can play in training your sales team.

Also in this issue are great new suppliers as well as a list of those offering additional 4th quarter savings or rebates. Watch for eUpdates, The Advantage Online and check the website often for closeouts, new suppliers and new programs to help you make 2014 a great year for your business.

My goal is that all Members finish the final quarter of 2014 with gains in sales and profit. By working together, we can build business and competitive advantage for the independents. Thank you for your support of Universal Unilink in 2014.