Okay, those questions won’t get answered in this one short blog, but diversification of your door and window business is a valid question to consider. On the other hand, you may not need to expand. But even if you have only offered doors and windows, I’m sure at some point you have at least considered diversifying, whether you ultimately took that leap or not.

There are many door and window dealers who offer other home improvement services such as roofing, siding and gutters. Those seem to be the most natural extensions of door and window businesses.

For example, just because carpeting doesn’t fit into the “most likely extension” box doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. But if you do, consider it carefully before jumping in. I mention carpets because of Tom Adam Window and Carpets in Churchville, Pa., a well-respected company that seems to be thriving. It also sells major door and window brands such as Integrity and ProVia. The company even appeared on Inc. Magazine‘s Inc. 5000 back in 2006—one only of a handful of home improvement companies, I might add.

Yet when compiling a DWM magazine diversification survey to send to door and window dealers, two door and window companies told me I needed to take carpets off the list—but I didn’t. I mean, if it works for Tom Adams, who am I say it won’t work for someone else?

When looking for input, I also asked a few dealers to look at the list of diversification services I had listed, and one dealer told me to remove pergolas. But I didn’t. Because one major door dealer who just appeared in our list of top door dealers earlier this year told me he is in the midst of adding pergolas. He did his research, so if this is a natural extension for him, maybe it will work for someone else?

Then again, maybe it won’t, but who am I to decide?And if it doesn’t work, maybe he can share those stories, too, and help another dealer who may be making that consideration.

So I encourage you to fill out the DWM diversification survey and tell us what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you. It will only take you a few minutes to fill in, but the information may be valuable to the thousands of door and window dealers across the U.S. who face this dilemma: do I diversify?

If you are currently considering this question, you may want to check out a few recent articles. One from Inc., 8 strategies to diversify your business; another from Entrepreneur, and another from Harvard Business Review.

Finally, be sure to check out the upcoming October issue of DWM magazine for the official results from our diversification survey. In that issue we will also talk to that door and window dealer expanding into pergolas, as well as those offering gutters, siding and more. How does it add to their bottom line? Why did they choose that business? If they could go back would they?

And if you have a story to tell, we would love to interview you for our article. Send me an email at ttaffera@glass.com or post a comment here.

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