Say the word commercial and most people immediately think of those two-minute breaks between their favorite TV shows to run to the restroom or grab a bite to eat, and more recently, the 15 to 30 second spots prior to watching that video of a cat doing something cute.
But for those in flooring, commercial has a totally different connotation, as it represents a major section of the industry—basically everything outside the realm of remodeling/upgrading a single-family home.
And though the commercial arena does not represent the same amount of sales as the residential sector, it provides far more opportunities and, depending on the job can be far more profitable. And right now, when it comes to the ability to make money, the commercial segment in general is offering lots of opportunities as there are many areas where it is not only growing, but that growth is expected to last into the foreseeable future.
Consider the healthcare industry. While the millennial generation will soon outnumber baby boomers, the latter still represents over a quarter of the population and it is getting older and in more need of medical care every day. Stroll around any neighborhood and you are bound to see medical centers, urgent care units, specialty clinics and assisted living facilities popping up all over the place. By the same token hospitals are expanding or upgrading in order to remain competitive and up to date with the latest in patient care.
This is no a fad, because as the country’s population continues to grow older, more and more of these types of facilities will be built. And just when you think they reached their peak, it will be time to remodel them because in the commercial area the replacement cycle is much sooner than it is on the residential side, especially in the more competitive areas such as assisted living, where they are fighting to get and keep residents on a daily basis.
Speaking of the millennials, it’s a known fact many are not in a position to purchase a new home and instead are opting to rent when they get the chance to move out of mom and dad’s house. And, they are usually renting in urban areas, or multifamily complexes. Like the healthcare industry, this segment is not expected to slow any time soon and offers numerous opportunities, from high-rise, multiuse facilities that include retail shops at the street level to various types of living quarters—from affordable to ultra high-end depending on the size and location of the building. Then there are the specialized complexes, the 10 to 20 units springing up in neighborhoods across America.
With the economy starting to pick up, hospitality is another area one can look to for opportunities. While many hotels, casinos and other businesses catering to this area put off projects during the recession, they are opening them back up as they realize they must present themselves in the most favorable light if they are to capture the new wave of business coming.
For the specialty dealer, don’t overlook Main Street. Many small businesses and other local facilities are also starting to make themselves over with the realization business is picking up and if they are to compete and win they have to look professional.
The point is, whether you’re a small dealer looking for ways to grow or are a large contractor seeking the next big project there is a reason to be optimistic—you just need to get out and look around.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…