This is a critical time for the home improvement industry as recent laws are making it more and more complex to do business as many retailers have done in the past.
With that in mind here are eight critical issues that the industry is facing:
The inherent risk in using “share of profit” compensation for salespeople.
Despite it having been “industry practice” for many years, government agencies continue to crack down on retailers and levy exorbitant fines in an attempt to curb these practices.
The co-mingling of 1099 and W-2 employees in your installation department.
Frequently, this will lead to an IRS audit or citation for misclassification.
The use of a “price drop” for a one night close if followed by a rehash using the same product at the same or lower price.
Consumer protection legislation that has been enacted over the past few years leaves this issue open to interpretation and has proven to have disastrous results for many home improvement retailers.
Improper (or lack of) compliance with EPA regulations/requirements concerning lead paint.
If you perform work on houses built in 1978 or prior are you providing correct documentation (whether the job is sold or not)?
Providing the proper notice of rescission as required by federal and frequently state law.
There is a required format and number of copies of the notice of rescission required for each sale made at other than the seller’s place of business. Many retailers leave an incorrect number and are in violation.
Operating with a retail contract that doesn’t provide sufficient protection.
Collection practices may be difficult. Clear definition regarding limits of liability should include arbitration in the event of disagreements.
Failing to protect your intellectual property and proprietary information.
Your logo, brand, motto, customer/employee list and presentation material can be at risk without proper protection.
The use of a “non-compete” provision for salespeople.
May be a mistake if you don’t have one – – and in some states a worse mistake if you do.
To hear us expound upon these issues, make sure to join us in Chicago at the 2-Day Home Improvement Profitability Summit where you will hear expert analysis from our legal counsel D.S. Berenson while also being exposed to the top trainers in the home improvement industry.