A belted review I know. It’s been such a busy start to the year on all front that’s I’m only now finally getting to my first monthly review of the year. It won’t be long until I have to do my February one as well! Also, I do fully intend to do my 2018 review before the end of the month. That is going to be a very detailed and long article so it’s taking some writing.

We are where we are and there was plenty to talk about during the opening month of the year. So before we start to look ahead for 2019 it’s time to take a look back at January and how it might set the tone for the rest of the year.

Slow start?

At the end of 2018 we were discussing in the office that the start of 2019 could be a really slow starter. Christmas always affects people’s spending habits, and then there was the B-word looming. There was every reason for home owners to halt spending on big ticket items for a while. That was also the thinking of others during my private conversations with other people in the industry.

Remember when I wrote about how Q1 of 2019 could be a total car crash? Well, happily I was being proven wrong, at least in January. The industry appeared to hit the ground running in high gear when we all opened up for the New Year. Testing the air with things at our own company, we had a bumper number of leads come through online, with plenty being translated into sales of products of all kinds. Doors were popular yes, but some home owners were spending very good money on total house replacements, roofs and roofline too.

As I spoke to suppliers and other friends of mine throughout the industry I was getting the same kind of feedback. Plenty out there thought that things might be stagnant at the start of the year, but have since found that business has been far more brisk than any usual January.

So no slow start to 2019, at least in the first month. Whether that lasts as we creep up to Brexit day remains to be seen. My guess is that things will slow down as home owners decide to wait and see the severity of the fallout.

Big talking points

I wouldn’t say there was any single earth-shattering industry news in January, but there was a few topics that got more page views than others.

Perhaps the best example I can give was when the SafeGlaze story resurfaced in Bradford’s Telegraph & Argus website, in which they reported on the money owed to the founder of the business by the company. This story features in my top 5 most read list further down so feel free to scroll away and catch up on that one. Short version is that he was owed lots of money, as were the creditors of the company. All in all a very sorry saga for the people who worked there and the industry as a whole.

On a more novelty level there was the debate in Parliament in January about legislation banning low-level letter boxes. Given what else is going on in the country right now this kind of debate raised eyebrows for the mere fact it was taking place at all. But, it got it’s reading in Parliament and I have heard that rather than being thrown out it is going for a second reading with the intention to make it law. So door manufacturers and installers might need to start adapting how they sell doors in the future. You can catch up on that story here.

From a business point of view, Panoramic Group acquired Epwin Glass from the Epwin Group for an undisclosed sum. This marked the first major M&A deal of the year and marked the start of another company forming a group and buying their way into a new part of the market for them. You can catch up on that story here.

DGB Tech

How DGB did

I do like to start the year strong when it comes to site performance. It sets the tone and momentum for the rest of the year. I wasn’t disappointed:

Given that there was no major breaking news, rather just a strong flow of new news and posts to write at the start of any new year, these were good figures. Any month-on-month growth is great, and I think what these figures show is that new visitors I picked up from last year have carried through into the new year. I am still putting together my full 2018 DGB review, where I will show you full yearly stats compared to the year previous. Once I have done that I will then set out my own personal targets for this site during the course of this year. Naturally it will all be about expansion and growth, but I have some fresh ideas I want to try this year as well, which I may or may not mention in that particular article!

Top 5 most read

Here are the top 5 most read articles published in January:

  1. My Top 10 Companies To Watch In 2019

  2. SafeGlaze Creditors Owed & Ex-Safestyle Co-Founder Loses Court Battle

  3. 5 Big Industry Moments Coming In 2019

  4. My Top 5 Products To Watch In 2019

  5. Ignore The Future At Your Peril

Looking ahead to Feb

I appreciate we’re two thirds of the way through February already, but, there is time left to see what I think might happen in the weeks to come. Brexit unfortunately is going to start to have an affect. More than anything else it will be the uncertainty rather than the act of Brexit itself. We don’t yet have a deal. Talks with the EU continue to go nowhere. No-deal still looks the most likely. I can already see signs that home owners are starting to sit on their decisions to upgrade their windows and doors, which is what we found to happen before the EU vote three years ago. Things sort of ground to a halt up to the event. But, normality returned after and the pent up demand saw a very busy second half to 2016. I am hoping that any slow down up to the end of March is minimal and that any pent up demand being stored up now is released back into the market as soon as possible.

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