If you were to ask anyone in the industry about how they thought this year has gone, chances are they might tell you that 2014 has been a year of two halves. If you were to ask me, I would say the same as well.
A year of two halves
I think when we all planned our monthly targets for 2014, we might have put some of the larger months in the second half of the year. I know we did at our place. Yet right from the off, the level of business we all seemed to be doing caught us well off guard. Personally at our place, we had really over shot our targets in the early month. The first four months saw us increase sales month on month, with June being our best month of the year by a fair distance. We hadn’t planned on June being the best month, that was in the second half of the year. Not that we were complaining. By this time we were well above target and were confident that we were going to reach our overall target sooner than we thought.
Whilst the increase in business created problems of it’s own, the second half of the year I think we could call a little…anti-climactic.
After a stonking six months for many of us, I think we all got a bit carried away with how we thought the second half of the year would perform. Yet, as soon as the school holidays hit in July, the second half of the year never really got going like the first half of the year did. Don’t get me wrong, the second half wasn’t bad by any stretch, but it didn’t seem to have that zip or energy that the first half did.
Why? Well it’s probably a combination of factors. I feel the school holidays played a part. For six weeks business always dies down and after such a sustained period of inactivity on homes for a lot of people, I think it is difficult to get that energy and zip back after a prolonged depressed spell. I also believe caution remained in the market. Although people were spending more, it’s not as thought it was being spent like it was pre-recession.
2014 was a year of two halves. So what can we expect in 2015? Well, looking at some of the signs at the end of this month, I think we could see another very busy start to the year. At our place we have increased our yearly target by 20% after we had increased sales by 28%. I should think that most of the industry is anticipating 2015 to be better than 2015. What pattern that might take, well, I don’t think you can predict trends any more. All I will say is that I think the first six months will be busier than the last six months, just as in this year.