Building Business: Nicole and Marcos

Our new blog series Building Business is going to introduce you to some of our favourite people in Saskatoon’s building industry. It wouldn’t be fair to put other people in the hot seat without taking a turn first. 

Read on to learn about how we built our business, what inspires us, and what we’ve learned along the way.

1. How did you get into the building industry?

Marcos: I started out working in the warehouse of a flooring store and from there, I got very interested in design. Sales and design are both difficult games to play and I like the challenge of it all.

Nicole: I graduated from Business College in 2011 after many years in the hospitality industry and started applying for jobs. It was during a boom in the construction industry and I had always had interest in renovation and design so I applied at a Construction company and started in an administrative assistant position. I worked closely with the owner and learnt about all aspects of the industry and fell in love with it.

2. What services does Local Flooring Group offer?

Marcos: We specialize in residential and commercial flooring products. 

Nicole: More specifically, the supply and installation of all flooring materials. We also offer unique products you won’t find anywhere else in Saskatoon (and some are exclusive to us in Saskatchewan!) We also offer our own brand of Luxury Vinyl Plank.

3. What is your business philosophy?

Marcos: Growth and learning everyday. And of course, customer service is always #1.

Nicole: “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.” In life, things just don’t work out the way you want them to sometimes. It can be anything from material delays, losing a project, or even a sick child.  It’s natural to make excuses for why things didn’t go the way you wanted. But that doesn’t solve your problems. Instead of making excuses, focus on solving the problems. They probably won’t get fixed right away, but as long as you are making improvements, you’ll eventually get there.

4. What sets you apart from other flooring stores?

Marcos: We carry products that are mostly exclusive to Local. Another big thing is we actually create our own luxury vinyl plank, as well as making nosings and transitions in Canada.

Nicole: Yeah, definitely our products and the exclusivity we offer. I feel our environment is much different as well. You’ll have to come see for yourself! 

5. What is your inspiration for your business?

Marcos: My wife, Nicole. And of course our son, Hendrix. Owning a family business is a lot of work, but having them by my side makes it worth it.

Nicole: Being an entrepreneur is natural to me.  There is a lot of pressure knowing that I have people depending on me, but that motivates me to do the best work I’m capable of, and continually strive to improve. I thrive in that sort of environment, it’s great motivation to do the best you can every day. My inspiration has always been my family, knowing that I wanted to give them the best life possible, knowing that doing what I love will allow me to be the happiest version of myself. Since having my son it has really kicked started my vision for Local Flooring Group, he inspires me everyday.  

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in your career?

Marcos: Still being in business. So many businesses fail within their first few years, so to still be going and going so strong after five years is such a big accomplishment for us.

Nicole: I had my son during the peak of our career in June of 2019, our sales were growing, our brand was recognized across Saskatchewan, and we were expanding our sales team. I was very nervous about having my first child and how I would balance it all. If I would be the same person? If I would still want to work? 

Something changed in me when I had him and I saw things differently. I grew into a stronger business woman. I had more patience, more understanding, clear goals, I became a teacher and motivator. In my son’s first year of his life, we moved to a new location for Local Flooring Group, had our largest year in sales, but most importantly we built a team. 

7. What have been your learning lessons along the way?

Marcos: Know your what, know your why, and know when to do it. 

Nicole: Haha, too many! But one that sticks out is to “Stay curious.”

“Stick to what you know” is what we are told in many entrepreneurship circles. I believe the opposite. By keeping your mind open to new ideas and embracing them, you make opportunities for yourself. By exposing yourself to a multitude of businesses and products, your scope expands. Conversely, if you always have your blinders on, your perspective becomes too narrow and you miss out on promising opportunities. 

8. Do you have any advice for new people in the industry?

Marcos: Don’t quit. Like I mentioned before, so many business fail within the first couple of years, but it’s important to stick to your vision and keep pushing through.

Nicole: I agree with Marcos, don’t quit! The first two years are the hardest, and then the five after that 😉

 But also…

  • Follow your passion.
  • Do your research…
  • Develop a business plan. 
  • Have a one-year plan. 
  • Have a five-year plan……and a 10-year plan. 
  • Work on your time management. 
  • Hire cautiously. 

9. What are your favourite design features or trends?

Marcos: Beige is back! On the flip side, finally seeing colour again in bathrooms.

Nicole: I love minimalist design. Stripping things down to their bare basics, minimalism offers us an aesthetic that relies on the efficiency of the design. Devoid of distractions or clutter, minimalist interiors are streamlined to maximize on bold visual impacts and the underlying use of the space.

10. What makes Local Flooring Group successful?

Marcos: The people. Our staff, our customers, our trades. It takes all of us to make Local Flooring Group what it is.

Nicole: The customers! You are the best. The ones who have stuck with us from the beginning and believed in us have a huge space in my heart.

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