When you look at the fenestration industry as with the world at large, you sometimes get the view that we must be looking at two different planets with entirely different consumers and different economies.
For the most part sales are good, cash flow good, profit moving on up, another great year nearly in the bag. At this time investment in the fenestration industry is at a high, both in people and machinery. That in a nutshell is the story of the companies that are running away with it.
Yet with the same resources the same prospective outcome, others see problems, excuses and put blame elsewhere, in effect they erect barriers around even the possibility of success. It reminds how at times when some people walk into a room everyone feels uplifted, while with others they cause the energy to be drained.
Is this down in the dump mode a central government thing? Good government creates a framework for all to reach their potential, and we don’t hear from them. A weak government believes things only work if they have total control of everyone’s daily life and we hear from them every minute of the day. One creates prosperity the other creates dependency.
So, it follows some feel that the government isn’t doing enough unless it forces the tax-payer to hand over their hard-earned money pay for subsidising that industry or that entity, then bemoans the tax hikes to pay for it. They mistakenly call it government money, when in reality governments don’t have or earn money they just have access to your wallet. For the most part tax subsidies favour those that have the money in the first place. Don’t get that? - Tesla model S is £72K and is subsidised by those that can’t even afford a new car!
As with everything else, there is a reasoning that suggests that if it were possible to pull a few more companies forward up there with the front runners a snowball effect would gain momentum, a real bull market for all. The market is there and its buoyant, it is the lack of energy in parts of the fenestration industry that is causing consumer money to be spent elsewhere.
From the outside looking in it would appear after many, many years in the job some of those charged with driving things forward still prefer follow my leader, wait and see if something happens then copy it.
Other than just human nature it’s not clear why this situation persists. At the retail end you could, with a ‘bean-counting head on’, analyse that 80-90% of turnover comes from repeat and recommendation business. Achieving that costs next to nothing other than a requirement to remind the existing base occasionally that you are still in business. The next 10% of sales traditionally costs 60-70% of the marketing budget i.e. a large percentage of those sales. At first sight it would appear a no-brainer, stick with what at first sight appears to be the cost-effective route and put the savings on the bottom line. What is missed is this extra bit is the next and future years’ growth caused by the additional business it nurtures, whereas not chasing it guarantees decline.
It is not much different in the supply chain, you can stick with what you have. Hope your customers can push a bit more your way while in the meantime hope they don’t wander off. Or you could listen to the market, create desires by way of new or revitalised products. To that end you have to make sure everyone knows it’s there, it’s available and it fulfils a desire. There is an aside to this that is often missed, while having sky blue outers with pink sashes is not everyone’s cup of tea, when a company knows their supplier has the capability it keeps them engaged. Just as those that keep pushing keep the awareness level high become the natural magnet for everyone in the market. The market leader is the one ‘me-to’ brigade copy, forgetting of course the market gravitates to the original ignoring the copy.
In simple terms you move forward using marketing, more marketing and even more marketing.
Causing things to happen and achieve great results is straight forward, nothing clever about it just very hard work.
While its human nature to protect what you have, there is also the contradiction it’s human nature to sow seeds and nurture growth. So, do you let fear from losing the former inhibit tomorrow’s ambition.
The real impediment to growth is us, in allowing others to train us how to think.