Dec 21, 2012
Absolute Hardwood Floors is laying down a Central Oregon small business success story through hard work and a commitment to excellence. The company, which began in 2006 just at the tipping point of the recession, has established a reputation for artistic craftsmanship. Owner Sean Dunker, has been in the flooring industry for over nine years, having gained experience with local developers and as lead installer for Select Wood Floors. Sean gained certification in sanding and finishing techniques from the Bona Hardwood Flooring School. This owner-operated business is known for attention to details and genuine care for the client.
How has your business been impacted by the economic downturn?
We weren’t significantly impacted until last year, when we saw a temporary dip in new clients. We had two years of building our brand before 2008, when the industry hit a plateau. While our growth slowed, we didn’t lose any ground. However, we have seen the recession bring some less-than-qualified installers out of the woodwork without the training and skills to do it right. This only reinforced our ethic of a high level of craftsmanship. With something as important and lasting as a floor, it has to be about quality of product and craftsmanship, not just a number.
How have you reinvented yourselves to stay in business?
To stay competitive and help our clients get the most for their budgets, we have developed more efficient sanding and finishing techniques, without sacrificing quality—and in some cases, actually adding to it. Regarding our brand, we revamped our logo, sharpening and refining it to distinguish us from the competition and reflect our professionalism. We applied the new logo to our vehicles, and plan to use it in the future on Facebook and a new website.
What are your goals going forward in our present economic climate?
Ultimately, we would like to open a showroom, which will allow us to offer distributor pricing on materials, and showcase work samples. We anticipate growth that will allow us to give good jobs to more people, and we are seeking more builder-developer relationships. Building is making a comeback, and though it’s going to be different than it was pre-2008, we are looking forward to a more consistent workload for our company and the building industry as a whole.
What have been the keys to your continued success?
It’s pretty simple. We do exceptional work, as evidenced by our customers’ satisfaction. That generates word-of-mouth referrals. Attention to detail produces results that speak for themselves.