I don’t think I need to inform anyone about how bad the weather has been so far this year. I don’t think I can remember a sustained period of sunny, warmish weather. It’s been dank and dull since the start of the year and I think it’s fair to say that it has been having an impact on the way our industry has performed so far this year.
I’m now fully expecting plenty of comments saying how busy they are. Let me make this point, new showrooms, new IT systems, new offers, new ‘schemes’, open days, marketing pushes are not things that keep a company busy. Leads and sales. The bread and butter of any company is what I mean by busy, and I think this year, with the poor weather and the tougher than expected economic conditions have caused a drag on what we all thought was going to be a much better year.
At the start of 2013, myself included in this, the positive news from our industry was literally pouring out on Twitter. I’ve found Twitter to become a fairly reliable barometer on the performance of our sector. The drop in good news and positive tweets has been profound. In fact I think I have seen less than a dozen since the start of February. We personally had a very good start to January, but that wasn’t followed through into to the next few weeks and months as we expected, and judging by comments from others, performance has been distinctly under-whelming up to now.
At the end of 2012, and the unusually positive results from the third quarter, stalwarts of our industry like FENSA were floating the idea that our industry may have turned a corner. Unfortunately, I think a poor start to the year, utterly depressing weather and miserable budget has meant we may have just reversed back round that corner.
That is not to say that there isn’t any business out there. As was during the worst of the recession, a great effort is still going to have to be made to secure it. I think positive periods like the last 6 months of 2012 may be fleeting. Something that isn’t going to stick around for as long as we’d be like. But make the most of when those times do show, as there seems to be plenty of choppy water still ahead!
Never fear though, it’s the first day of Spring soon!