Time to Plan Ahead

Do you have a long-term strategic plan in place? The remodeling market has enjoyed so many great years in a row, it would be understandable if many of you didn't. After all, who needs a plan when the phone has been ringing off the hook with leads, and backlogs have never been longer than they are right now? Unless you've been living in a cave, you already know that the U.

September 30, 2006

Michael R. Morris
Editor in Chief

Do you have a long-term strategic plan in place? The remodeling market has enjoyed so many great years in a row, it would be understandable if many of you didn't. After all, who needs a plan when the phone has been ringing off the hook with leads, and backlogs have never been longer than they are right now?

Unless you've been living in a cave, you already know that the U.S. housing market has been going through a corrective process in recent months. Just how that will affect your local remodeling market is anybody's guess, although experts predict the national remodeling landscape will remain strong for several years despite a significant slowdown in new and existing home sales.

This would be a great time to get together with your management team and devise a long-term plan that makes sense for your company in your current local situation. This month's cover story "The Next 1000 Days," (page 22) highlights the specific steps that two different companies undertook in making plans for the future.

One of the key points revealed in this article is that no matter what plan your team comes up with, it can always be modified if needed as the future unfolds.

Both of these companies point to marketing as one of the most important elements in sustaining their recent success moving forward, and I couldn't agree more. By increasing your marketing budget, you can be certain to continue to generate a lot of leads even if your local market becomes a little bit soft. This will allow you to keep a higher number of field personnel and subs you've gained during these good times busy.

It will also ensure that you're able to take full advantage of the brand strength you've no doubt built in recent years so you can continue to produce strong profits in the years ahead.

Clarification
Last month's column about how Blackdog Builders delivers an exceptional customer experience, ended with the following quote from Blackdog president Dave Bryan: "[Customer satisfaction is] a million little things like that. It isn't building the addition. It's building the addition while delivering an experience that makes them feel upset and disappointed when you leave." Bryan wanted to make it clear that he meant that the customer was sad to see his crews finish the job and leave because they had enjoyed the remodeling experience Blackdog provided.


630/288-8057, michael.morris@reedbusiness.com

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