The remodeling industry is in a time of prosperity. I know this by the numbers from groups like Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, and I also know it from talking with industry friends who say they are too busy to keep up with demand.
And why not? We have low unemployment, a bullish stock market, and the consumer confidence index just reached one of its highest readings in 18 years.
In Dallas, where I live, there is a nearly audible hum, almost a vibration, that permeates the city. It’s the hum of a strong economy. It’s the sense, almost everywhere you go, that people are working, making money, and buying things, including updates for their homes.
For remodelers, this is a time to expand your business providing you have the right staff and systems in place. It’s also a time to think on a more personal level about what you want your company to accomplish. Who do you want to be? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
For many business owners, increasing profits is a primary goal. And why not—money is a good thing. But during these times of plenty, it’s also important to think more broadly. Small businesses are one of the foundational pillars of our country, and have a huge effect on the lives of their employees, their employee’s families, and their local communities.
I believe that truly great company owners make decisions based partly on a financial framework and partly on the human values at play. They take seriously a mandate to improve people’s lives whether it’s a client, employee, or another member of the community. And they engage in activities that create a societal value even if it’s not directly related to the company’s core function.
When thinking about business in this way, a few superstar remodelers come to mind immediately, and one of them, Ciro Giammona, CEO of Harrell Remodeling, wrote a powerful column that appears in this issue.
You may be thinking, “What does this mean exactly? What is she recommending that I should do?”
My answer to that is once the mindset is really there, the actions will follow. Maybe it means instituting a profit sharing program that’s meaningful to your team, or maybe it’s working with a charity event in a larger, more ambitious way than you’ve done in the past. The point is not to think of it as checking off “Charity” on the list, but instead, to internalize certain ideals. We are astonishingly fortunate to be alive and in business at this time and in this country. Few people are as lucky.
Putting attention on human value belongs right up there with attention to profit regardless of market conditions. But this concept holds especially true during times when there’s so much prosperity that remodelers are turning work away. Give of your abundance.