One skill that the best of the best have is the ability to predict better than others. Besides considering objective elements and measurements, strong predictors have a high level of EQ. They go as deep into “why” as they do into “what.” While predicting is about looking forward, you also need to know where you are and where you have been to make more meaningful predictions.
Most of us were wrong about 2020.
Before I make mine, I want to say I, and many of my Thought Leader friends and business leaders, were wrong more than right in 2020. In March, I predicted that we would be back to normalcy by July. I was wrong. In May, I predicted that 20 to 30% of remodeling businesses would fail by year end (0% failed). Most of us were wrong about 2020, so be careful. Plan for 2021 based on a) what you know, b) what you have, and c) what you can control now.
My 2021 Predictions
- A good year. Remodeling and Home Improvement will have a strong year driven by the pandemic, interest rates, the stock market, and pent-up demand.
- Production and installation will drive success and profitability, not marketing and sales. The businesses that crack the code on the labor will be the winners.
- Employees will have a greater influence on work environments. They will require more flexibility, more empathy from owners, and will want a voice in decisions. Failure could result in team members leaving.
- We are not just working at home: We are “living at work.” In 2021, the amount of office space and how it is designed and used will change.
- Zoom selling will be mastered. While it may only represent a moderate level of the sales in 2021, by 2025 it will be the norm. Think of how Amazon, Uber, and AirBnb changed retail, taxis, and the hotel industry.
- Remodeling will need to find talent in industries where lay-offs were prevalent. Airline mechanics could become window installers or hotel workers can clean/sanitize/work job sites. Restaurant professionals are a great fit for customer service roles.
- Homeowners will make remodeling decisions based on health and safety considerations. This will impact the products they select and the companies they hire.
- Seasonal thinking should be dismissed. Based on 2020, you should attack each month according to what you are seeing, not on historical trends such as “Winter is slow” or “Lead flow in August is light.”
- Plastic surgery will do well. After spending time on Zoom, you may want to improve what you and others see.
- Due to material shortages, you will look at the “vendors” with new respect. You will stick with vendors based on who has your back, not just the product price.
My most important prediction is that many predictions will be wrong. It is imperative to be able to pivot, to listen more to your team, and to not get too far ahead of your skis. Wishing you all the success for 2021.