More Sales + Labor Shortage = Bottlenecks and Backlogs = Unhappy Public
2) We are very small but we have had a sales increase for the last 4 consecutive years, due mostly to a rebuilding effort after sales fell dramatically years ago to 1/2 of our highest volume.
To me, it's all about budgeting, and building a war chest of cash in the good times, to be prepared for the bad times. We can't hope. We have to know our numbers every day. We have to cut, cut, cut, then add, add, add. Keep monitoring and adjusting.
Marketing is an important function to keeping leads coming in. We have embraced the technology, and are trying to keep up with the ever changing marketing arena.
Asking for help has been good for us - through consulting services, etc.
3) No major changes for us......
4) Lowered everyone's pay, including myself, by 30%, and no-one quit!
5) Our best new opportunity was increased market share in our area, due to the failure of the competition. Until more people open up businesses, we have the upper hand.We also were able to raise prices, since the low ballers are the first to fail in a tough economy.
6) Better, Faster, Stronger, Smarter, Braver, Ready for Growth!
Nevada has been 3rd in the nation in foreclosures and 1st in loss of construction jobs since the downturn in the economy. It was so bad two years ago that we were just glad to have a job as we saw other remodelers and suppliers close their doors to long standing businesses. We were lucky and count our many blessings every day. We have a niche in the business-insurance restoration, taking care of the customer and the adjuster. In essence, we work very hard keeping everybody happy. Insurance restoration has kept us working but the extra spendable money for upgrades/change orders has not happened. Our customers are not opting to spend a little more to get those upgrades and our insurance companies have not increased their prices even though loss of suppliers and the high cost of transportation have increased the price of all of our material. We haven’t been able to give out well deserved raises and we watch expenses around every turn. But, we have not laid anyone off and recently we hired two new carpenters. We are optimistic when we see permits applied for new construction, bidding wars over older homes and road construction every where we look. It has given us hope that we’re coming out of this-cross your fingers!
Raymond J. Wiese, CMKBD, CR
The Wiese Company, Inc
1. I believe that the remodeling industry has been changed dramatically over the last 4 years primarily. Boom and bust were present in more sectors than housing; combined with the depth and length of the recession- consumers changed more than discretionary spending- they changed the way they think. I do think that eventually there will be the forgotten history and other trends that affect consumers- But depression era children are the ones you see saving gift wrap paper… and the households that were affected deepest in this recession won’t soon forget to be more frugal.
2. I think there are a few groups who prosperd- smaller projects or specialty products like siding, windows and energy were boosted by tax advantages and consumers who would have previously made larger improvements were still able to do smaller ones. Also, younger companies with lower cost, overhead and paradigms about overhead(LOL) fed better on price driven consumers.
3. Job size… every good remodeler I know that is full service has shared a similar story. Our firm went from $350k avg. jobs to $75k avg jobs wile total revenues dropped. This created the need to quickly re-strategize our process and overhead in regards to how we staffed. We went 3 PM’s and 5 Leads to 1 PM and 3 leads and we currently run smoother with one manager of field ops. And a few great minded carpenters… Better company, better attitudes, better service and better profits.