It is hard to believe kids are starting to go back to school and the fall selling season is just around the corner. For many of us who experienced a long, tough winter, the summer just flew by.
Whether it was the harsh winter, the uncertainies of an election year, numerous wars and political conflicts taking place around the world, business in the first half of this year was not what most people expected.
Many owners came into 2014 with extreme optimism due to the amount of success experienced in 2013. And reasonably so, as last year was, by nearly all accounts, the best since the Great Recession hit. Nonetheless, 2014 has not been a total washout and with the coming fall season the industry should still see an increase over the previous year.
This increase will not be close to what was achieved in 2013 over 2012, but here’s the thing: It will still be an increase. I understand we would all love to see business booming, but an increase is still an increase. And considering for a handful of years only the very fortunate had positive earnings—remember the saying, “flat is the new norm”?—the fact that coming off what was one of the best years in nearly a decade people should view the year with glass half full eyes and not the other way around.
Yes, the business climate at all levels is extrememly tough; the amount of competition has not only grown in ways never before seen, it is ruthless in undermining the way a professional retailer and contractor operate and, as a result, margins are tighter than ever.
What that means is we have to work harder for every dollar we make. In fact, what really needs to be done is for people to wipe from their minds the boon years that preceded the recession, as they were the true aberations and not the norm when it comes to business—especially in the flooring industry.
Historically the industry has grown at a relatively steady rate with some jumps and bumps every few years depending on the overall state of the economy. So, at least for this year, it apears the historical norm will be met.
We shouldn’t be looking at this negatively. Remember, the industry, the country—and most of the world—fell into an incredibly deep pit, mainy due to the fact we scaled higher than ever but in ways that just about everyone knew could not last. In fact, looking back most will agree that growth was done essentially with smoke and mirrors. So while we would like to be able to just jump out of this hole, it has been said by many the climb out will be much longer than the fall. Just like when one climbs a moutain, it is much quicker going down than hiking up.
Going into this fall season, many people I’ve spoke with said they were slightly up from last year. That means there is a good chance to finish 2014 even better. All the economic indicators are still pointed in the right direction: Up. End users want to redecorate—just see the exclusive story in our digital edition about the Houzz survey of more than 135,000 consumers.
You just need to give her a compelling reason to do it with you—and there is no better time than now. Help her create the home of her dreams and she will respond.