I am writing this post with my installation company hat firmly on right now.
I can report that times are good. We had a bit of a slow start to the year, but a rapid turnaround has seen us end the first quarter ahead of where we wanted to be, and 29% up on sales in comparison to the first quarter of last year. So certainly no complaints on that front.
We got to this point however through damned hard work. No tricks. No gimmicks. Just creating leads and doing our best to convert them, the way we know how. Our average order value is high, probably higher than it’s ever been. We’re making good margins as well, which is of course the most important factor in business.
But make no mistake. It’s been very hard work.
Time, or lack of it
We’re a small business compared to our local competition. A lot of regional and national window and door companies operate in the same area. Still, we do a lot given our size, and we’re probably a pain in the back side to a lot of other companies, which is quietly satisfying.
We do a lot of business because we put a shift in. We work long hours every day. We’re a family run business too, which means things like marketing, product portfolio, research, maintenance and all other things required to run a business are things we do ourselves. This takes time.
Add to the mix the fact that on the leads front, we’ve never been as busy as this in quite a while. A total turnaround in comparison to the first weeks of the year. So if I could ask for anything right now, in terms of business, it would be more time.
I suspect that other firms of the same size and type are finding that time, as a commodity, they could do with more of. Perhaps this is a good thing. A sign that if business is doing so well you can’t keep up, you’re doing the right things.
Installers in a position like this could look to expand, but, speaking from experience, it’s a difficult thing to do when you don’t have enough time or resources to run your business already. Or, they could seek help. Namely, from their suppliers.
In order for installers to make the very most of their time, they need the tools to do that. The right tools. They need the right marketing tools so they can advertise their products to home owners. They need their products to be delivered on time and without faults – as much as that is humanely possible at least. They need a working relationship with suppliers that is regular, but doesn’t take up too much time.
Installers simply want to get their heads down and crack on. They do not want distractions. They don’t want to be involved with things that waste their time. They simply need the right type of support from suppliers that help them get the job done. No pointless meetings or unrealistic and fanciful “next big thing” schemes. Often it’s just the simple things that helps them get the job done.
When installers tell you there isn’t enough hours in the day, they’re telling the truth.