You can almost time it to the day when the kids go back to school. Silly Season, that period of a couple of months, usually September and October, is that short space of time in which many home owners decide to get back to home renovations once their children are back to school and they can focus once again on other things.
Given the chaotic nature of events outside the industry, this year’s Silly Season some might expect to be less silly and a bit more serious.
Better than I thought
I have to say, when we hit September I wasn’t too sure what to expect this year. Brexit and UK politics is in all sorts of chaos never seen before. The domestic and global economies are on the slow down. Consumer confidence levels aren’t great and there’s a general cautious feel to things right now.
So bearing all that in mind, at family run installations business we have been pleasantly surprised at how busy we are right now. In any normal year this wouldn’t really be worth noting. Most of us fully expect September and October to be rammed with home owners rushing to get their new windows and doors installed before Christmas. This time round though there’s plenty of reasons why home owners might feel compelled to hold on to their money a bit longer and put the big ticket purchases on the back burner until things settle down.
But as of the time of writing, we have a just a few weeks of fitting weeks left to fill until we’re booking into 2020. I have looked at our figures and we’re well ahead in sales revenues compared to this same period to last year. Lead levels are healthy, and sales continue to land in a brisk pace. What I have also noticed and is worth noting is that the sales we’re getting are for large contracts. Not just a few windows or a door here and there, but full houses of windows and doors. Obviously we’re happy about that, but more importantly, its a sign that there is a percentage of the buying public out there with money and they are prepared to spend it, no matter the state of current affairs in the UK right now.
This should be good news for the industry. Remember, FENSA reported a drop of over 8% in volume from their members not too long ago. I am sure we’re all hoping that a busy end to the year can offset some of that drop.
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A rough end?
Generally speaking, Silly Season is September and October, which can occassionaly run into Novemeber, but then we see a marked slow down as we head towards Christmas.
This year is most certainly different though. PM Boris Johnson continues to promise that the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal by Halloween, despite legislation being passed in Parliament forcing him to go to the EU to ask for an extension of Article 50 if a deal as not been reached by the end of October. As it stands the PM is set to defy that. Should that happen, you can only imagine the hype that would unleash via the media and then around the country. There will be confusion for sure, businesses may not fully understand the lay of the land, there will be half the country unhappy about the outcome, with some predicting trouble on the streets if so.
So whilst some of us may well be thinking that the usual end-of-year rush feels like a normal one right now, come the end of October the mood may well feel very different depending on what the PM decides to do.
Naturally, this is a question that I feel needs a poll, which you can find below. Business is good at our place, but I want to get a feel for the bigger picture overall. So please take a moment to cast your vote in this latest DGB poll. As always, I will report back in a weeks time with the results where hopefully we’ll get a sense of how the business environment is right now.