Silly season in our industry is that period of time where home owners who have intended to buy new windows and doors all year but have put it off, leave it until the very last moment to get it done before the end of the year. These are the people who will “sort it next week”, and so on, and are then panicked into getting their backsides in gear just as their preferred installer tells them they’re about to be fully booked.
It happens every single year without fail. And it does always make me wonder, even though I have done this job for 11 years, why some people are just so lethargic when it comes to home improvements. But that’s a discussion for another day.
This year’s silly season isn’t that far around the corner. We’re already into the last third of August, which means in a couple of weeks the kids are back at school. How that time has flown. And once school is back in session, the parents can get back to working on the house before the worst of the Winter weather and Christmas sets in.
An early season
I do think that this year’s silly season will start pretty soon, in fact probably once the kids are back at school. Normally it really only kicks into gear late October, about as far as possible for home owners to push it in order to have a pre-Xmas installation date.
But, our industry is busy, the economy is chugging along at a fairly steady rate despite the Brexit vote, and according to my current poll, there are plenty of installers with lead times upwards of 6-8 weeks. This means companies will be telling home owners the before long they will be fully booked for the year. They can’t afford to sit on their quotes and then hope for a last minute installation date.
Once we hit early September, I expect the machinery of the industry to step up into another gear as home owner demand starts to peak.
A reliable pattern
The last minute rush from home owners is about the most reliable thing about our industry. No matter the state of the economy, or the general mood of spenders, you can guarantee your last quid that there will be home owners rushing their window and door orders in at the last minute.
Yet it’s the attitude of those last minute buyers that always stagger me. There will always be one or two customers who rush their order in at the last second and then start getting very shirty about wanting a pre-Xmas fitting date. Most installers will try to accommodate them of course, but some will have to say no because they’re full already.
These are the kinds of home owners who put in a conservatory order in around late November, with the plan to have family and friends round at Christmas to have dinner in said new conservatory. Thus giving the installers about as little possible time to organise the various trades required, fitting dates that work, surveying time, manufacturing time etc. Installers reading this will know exactly who irritating this sort of thing is.
And yet, this pattern is as reliable as Mo Farah winning Gold in the 5k and 10k events.
End of year boost
Whilst silly season provides a logistical headache for most installers, there is comfort in the knowledge that there is a big boost to business as the year starts to draw to a close.
By the time November swings around, you can see a visible slowdown in the industry. It is those frantic few weeks before that help to fill the order books both pre and post Christmas, providing a decent spring board into the new year.
So, as the school holidays come to an end, we could be in a for a fairly long and frantic silly season. Time for installers to fill their boots!
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