Owner Shares His Journey & Why He Takes The High Road
There’s a saying that life is ten percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. If that’s the case, Ron Benton has reacted with 110 percent of positive energy to every curveball that has been thrown his way. The fact that the 53-year-old Benton recently opened a Floor Coverings International of Bend franchise on April 30 is certainly news worth sharing, but the real story is in the journey he took and the decisions he made along the way, because when Benton says “making lemonade from lemons is what life is all about,” he has done just that.
But first a quick primer for the unknowing: Floor Coverings International of Bend visits customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of samples from top manufacturers, offering an unmatched selection of flooring products including carpet, hardwood, ceramic, tile and vinyl, as well as specialty products such as bamboo and slate. Floor Coverings International of Bend serves customers throughout central Oregon from La Pine to Madras.
Benton describes his path to becoming a small-business owner as moving from “being a school educator to a home educator, helping people get the flooring they want and deserve.” Indeed, Benton spent the majority of his career in education as a teacher, principal, lead administrator, college administrator and even the CEO of an education company. And along the way, by his own admission, he reviewed, selected and inspected thousands of yards of carpet, tile and hardwood installations in schools across California and Colorado as part of his duties in overseeing campus development and building construction projects. Later, Benton and some friends whom he had known for more than a decade started an education company together. But during this time, Benton’s brother developed early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and Benton knew what he had to do. “I felt it was important to be near my brother during this extremely difficult time in life,” he said. Leaving Colorado was difficult, but after visiting Bend several times, Benton realized it was perfect for him. “I’ve come to love Bend and feel like I’m finally home,” he said.
But ten months after relocating to Bend, Benton had to, as he said, “turn lemons into lemonade” when his partners restructured the company and eliminated his position. During the process of looking for new job opportunities, Benton found Floor Coverings International and discovered the company’s values espoused by their CEO, Tom Wood, were in lockstep with his. Wood stated, “At Floor Coverings International, customer satisfaction, community service and social action work hand-in-hand. Our commitment to community involvement captures the essence of who we are. We believe that by being socially responsible we can encourage others to want to pay it forward. And in turn, we can create communities of involvement that work together to achieve the greater good for all.” This is why I chose Floor Coverings International,” Benton said.
Floor Coverings International has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.