July 12th, 2023
We are Halfway ‘Home.’ What’s the Year Looking Like?
As we start down the back half of the year (Where did the time go?), I always like to do a review of what went right, what went wrong, what we can do to improve, at the same time examining what the rest of the year might look like going forward.
As far as the rest of the year, from talking to some research groups and fellow dealers, and looking at different economic indicators, my forecast is the months ahead will be steady—not great, not bad, but steady. This steadiness has allowed several manufacturers to get their supply chains in order, bringing lead times down, and this has flowed down through the supply chains all the way to homeowners. It’s good news as it allows everyone to forecast better and to do better planning.
My belief is that after three years of historic growth, we are going to get back to more ‘pre-pandemic’ sales growth and the seasonality of our business will return. In addition, after 10 rate hikes, I believe our economy is resilient and the replacement window industry will continue to grow. As a result, I look for 2024 to be a strong growth year.
There has been some discussion about how much business we pulled forward during the pandemic and would it be similar to the ‘hangover’ we received after the tax credits back in 2008. My answer is: We did pull some business forward, but nothing like what happened in 2008. With tax incentives in place, along with a strong market, we should not experience a pull back like we did back then.
Many dealers are experimenting with different options for lead generation and new promotions. This is exciting for our industry. We continue to reinvent ourselves and the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in our line of business. Many of us continue to expand and are hiring additional personnel.
Coming off historic growth, it is enticing to pull back and take a ‘let’s see what happens’ approach. I have found sitting back and waiting for things to come to me has never been successful. The business may not fall out of the sky like it did before, but it does not mean you won’t grow. You just have to go out there and work for it!