March. A month that usually sees our industry really start to wake up and spring into life. After a busier than normal January and a bit of a sleepy February, signs were that March was going to step things up a gear. I think those signs came good.

As we look forward to what is sure to be a rip roaring April, it’s time to take a quick look back at how the industry fared in March and if DGB kept on track to reach it’s 2017 goals.

Marching back to life

I try to speak regularly to the suppliers we use and my friends within the industry to try and get some sort of gauge on how the industry is faring. In February the feeling I got was that things were a bit sleepy. Still in Winter mode despite a very brisk start to the year. However, the end of February saw signs that things might be starting to move.

Indeed, March did appear to be much more lively on the business front. From my conversations sales picked up across the board, and lead levels continued to be strong. At our place we had the best month of the year so far, with plenty of prospective business out there which will stand us in good stead for April. We’re where we want to be for this time of year, with home owners really starting to get into home improvement season.

From my little chats with our suppliers and friends around the industry all seems to be doing well, despite Brexit and creeping inflation. This sort of confidence is key. Much has been made of the risks Brexit brings, and the UK economy relies heavily on consumer spending to keep it going. Not exactly balanced and it does leave us open to dips more than most other countries. However, so long as the UK consumer remains confident, we’ll do just fine.

Article 50 and Brexit

Yes, Brexit. Trust me even I’m getting bored of that word now.

At the end of March Article 50 was finally triggered. The starting gun legislation that now allows the UK to negotiate it’s terms of exit from the EU. A historic day on a political front. Economically nothing really changed. The FTSE and Sterling swerved up and down a tad, nothing dramatic, as most had already priced in Brexit by now.

This was where the real work now began, and we have seen since both sides doing some pretty rigorous political posturing in the run up to talks. Although Brexit is a much wider economic and political subject, I will continue to cover it on DGB. From what I have seen this is the only online publication which has such a section dedicated to it. And it matters because the decisions made in the coming two years will have a profound impact on our industry.

Not much is known about the outcome yet. But there are certain things that we as an industry and population in general will learn more about in the coming years. For example, we’re all going to know a lot more about currencies like Sterling and what things affect it, what causes it to go up and down. We’re going to know a lot more about how our Government and legislation works in the UK. We’re going to find out how the EU works a lot more. Politics is going to become something that is much more relevant in our daily lives and will become less of a stuffy conversation topic and more of an engaging and energetic subject.

These are not bad things. We as a nation should be more aware of how our systems and economies work.

DGB Business

How DGB did

I’m very pleased with how DGB did in March…

To start this was the first month that beat it’s previous year’s month. March 2017 comfortably beat March 2016 on all major metrics. Importantly, it was well above it’s monthly averages to stay well ahead of schedule to beating my own imposed 2017 targets.

I also hit a brand new monthly visitors record, breaking over 16,000 visitors for the first time. It would have been nice to hit 20,000 page views, but I got close and I know I’m being picky. I am well on track to beating 2016’s figures and beating my 2017 overall targets too.

I’ll be looking to keep the traffic flow solid through April,  although Easter always tends to put spanner in the works. I think so long as I beat last April’s figures I’ll be happy. I’m already ahead of schedule.

More M&A

Acquisition season continued in March as it was announced popular trade counter business Truemans Windows had been acquired by Stevenswood. You can catch up on that post here.

Stevenswood has through this acquisition expanded it’s reach of trade counters across the UK. One thing I wrote about in that post was how impressive the rise of the trade counter sector was in UK fenestration. Most certainly a disruptor.

Top 5 most read posts

To round things off, here are the top 5 most read posts published on DGB in March:

  1. We’re Going To Ruin The Bi-Fold Door Market

  2. What Is The Glazing Industry’s Biggest Problem Right Now?

  3. Stevenswood Acquires Truemans

  4. How Much Would You Charge For This Door?

  5. Glass Systems To Purchase Pilkington AG

It was a busy old March, with April set to be just alike.

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