It’s now March. Any festive season hangovers should now be well and truly put behind us. This is the month where homeowners should be starting to venture outside to take a proper look at what home improvements need doing, including new windows and doors. So traditionally this should be a time of year when things start to pick up. Yet when I put my ear to the ground and start taking on board what other people are saying, that energy still hasn’t arrived yet.
Nothing like last year
When I look back to the first few months of 2014, there is a stark difference. Right from the get go I was far busier than I was able to cope with. Quotes coming out of my ears, constantly behind on paperwork. I remember many on social media saying very much the same. My timeline was full of positive tweets saying that 2014 was shaping up to be one of their best years ever. Yet up to now, there has been a distinct lack of positivity on my timeline in comparison to the same period last year.
From a personal viewpoint, our family run business was rammed. To the point where we were creaking. A think we were expecting some level of increase on the year previous, but not to the extent that it was. In fact the first 6 months turned out to be mental. The second 6 months though not so much. We still beat our yearly target though and all was well. The start of 2015 has been patchy at best. A poor January followed by a well above target February and now a sketchy March is making 2015 an unpredictable year. The first ten days has been poor again. Although the coming ten days looks like it will wield better results.
Earlier on mid-Wednesday, I put out this tweet:
Some industry honesty please, is it dead out there or busy? Plenty I’m speaking to say it’s very quiet.
I have also been speaking with a few suppliers and they have all openly said to me that their results are mixed. Some of their customers doing really well. Some doing poorly. Therefore their own years so far are average. Nothing like this time last year.
Tougher than first thought
The one key set of stats that will confirm suspicions is going to be the first quarter FENSA report when they release data on the number of installations registered with them. If they’re flat, or worse, below 2014 Q1 figures, then we may have an indication as to how the rest of the year may pan out.
I think it’s fair to say that for the industry in general it’s going to be a tougher year than we thought. For some, it’s going to be a great year, for some it won’t be. For some it’s going to be a breeze, for some it’s going to be a grind to keep the doors open. It’s fair to say that the economic recovery the UK is experiencing is certainly only being felt in certain areas. It’s definitely not shared equally.
What are your thoughts? Are you busy? Quiet? All comments welcome in the section below.
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