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By Kate Tyndall
April 10, 2020
This is normally the peak season for LG Kramer Flooring in Sarasota, FL, but these are not normal times.
With Florida on lockdown, Lance and Gianna Kramer are doing things a little differently. While construction is considered an essential business in Florida, the type of the work their company is doing has changed somewhat. Where residential jobs are reduced as some clients already on the schedule are asking to postpone work for a while, real estate investors are now renovating, a real shift from the nature of installs Kramer Flooring would typically be doing this time of the year. Small commercial projects are also up, as local businesses, shuttered from the lock-down, are taking the opportunity to have work done.
The Kramers have made it a point to be the conduit of reliable information for their employees in a state where there was a lot of confusion regarding the rules, as some southern counties had instituted a lockdown before the government called for a statewide order on April 3.
Early on in the pandemic, Lance instituted a no-handshakes policy, and insisted employees maintain a safe distance from customers. “From my perspective, we need to stay safe to protect everyone, so minimizing interactions is crucial, he says.” Walkthroughs with the clients once a job is completed are now done virtually.
Lance constantly preaches the gospel of hand sanitizing to his install crews: “It’s hand sanitizer before the gloves, and after. I just hope I get one hand sanitizing out of them,” he jokes.
In late March the couple had a scare when Gianna found out that one of their local suppliers was sick. “I was in contact with her that week, and so was Lance, and we were concerned that we would have to make a phone call to every one of the clients we had seen the past three days.” Gianna advised the woman to get tested, which she did, and was found to have bronchitis. In the 72-hour period before the supplier received her results, both she and the Kramers self-quarantined, and Lance and Gianna put their crews on standstill. “Our clients’ health is of the utmost importance to us,” she says.
The Kramers are still running five crews, and were able to offer a part-time worker in their office a full-time position when the other three jobs she was working laid her off.
Her help has actually been invaluable as Gianna says she has been able to train the woman to do a lot of the social media posting, upload job site photos to the website—normally a time-consuming task that Gianna doesn’t always have time for—and call clients once a job is completed to find out how things went, and to ask for reviews.
Lance started his career in luxury carpet installations as an apprentice at 16 years old. He spent his 6-year apprenticeship learning the different installation processes for each type of flooring, and in 2009, he started LG Kramer Flooring. The company installs carpet, luxury vinyl plank, hardwood and tile flooring, and offers design consultations. They do both residential and commercial work.
The Kramers try to aid other local businesses as well, passing along information and job resources. Gianna uses Marketing on Main, the networking group she founded in 2015, to get that information out quickly. “We flex and blend,” says Gianna. “Now we utilize our business owners who have production companies to feature local businesses on Zoom and Vimeo. We are staying focused and offering support.
“The wife of one of our main carpet guys got into an accident, and she ended up passing away. That was really tragic, and it put things in perspective for us. It’s really our mental state that moves the company forward. I feel like we are blessed at this stage in life, and we want to put out what we want to see in the world.”