The Same, But Different?
Greetings from what has been a very warm UK. The summer is in full swing here, with the warmer weather bringing with it the usual upturn in interest for our solar control products. The phones have been busy with homeowners remembering just how hot their summer house or front room gets when the sun comes out (not as often as we’d perhaps like here in England).
While residential installations are certainly keeping us busy, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of commercial enquiries, too. As I mentioned, in a normal year, an increase in commercial solar control installations would be expected, but as we’re all aware, this year is proving to be anything but normal.
It’s with this in mind that we are looking at the summer surge in a slightly different light than usual. While we’re delighted that we’re being kept busy, we’re also trying to work out if this seasonal uplift is disguising the fact that the return to normality in our industry is some way off.
Trying to work out accurate market conditions is a difficult job, but it’s of particular importance at the moment as we try to work out the shape of the business as we move forward. My approach at this time mirrors the attitude I’ve always taken to business; cautious optimism. While I’m aware that a busy period during the summer months doesn’t mean difficult times don’t lie ahead, I have confidence that by continuing to do what we do best, perhaps with a few tweaks and slightly different areas of attention, we can look forward to a successful future.
Our approach here is that it’s the same but slightly different. We’re more cautious about forecasting and are carefully monitoring the types of jobs and projects we’re being contacted about. We’re double checking that all enquiries are followed up on time and ensuring clients have all of the information they need. We’re carefully monitoring advice from the government so we can ensure we are fully up to date and aware of any new COVID-19 policies, in turn allowing us to update our procedures and to ensure our customers can do business with us in full confidence.
We’re also exploring new avenues and ensuring we make the most of our existing ones. We work with a number of designers to provide a range of exclusive designs on window film and are currently looking at ways at using these designs in different ways. In this regard, relationships that we’ve worked hard to forge over the years are proving to be very important, serving as a reminder as to the power of working closely with people outside your own organization.
Like virtually every other business we’re also carefully examining costs and ensuring that whatever we do, we get maximum value for money; this includes making sure whatever we do invest in, we ensure we squeeze every possible benefit from it.
None of these decisions or strategies are groundbreaking, but the pandemic has brought the need for good business practice into sharp focus; the need to be nimble, the need to be open to change, the need to work well with others and perhaps most importantly of all, the need to remain positive and optimistic.
We’re in the midst of another challenging time, but it’s one I know our industry can flourish in.
Until next time… toodle pip!