Leah Krueger, CEO/CFO
L.H. Krueger and Son, Inc.
5. Social media and internet networking. We have the ability to reach customers at virtually zero cost using the web. It helps customers make informed decisions while building relationships and making the construction process more personal.
Clark Renovations Inc.
Bethel Park, Pa.
2. It’s not "location, location, location in this business. It's "REPUTATION, REPUTATION, REPUTATION !"
3. The number of competitors has increased. As a result of the economic downturn, everyone and their brother is now a remodeler. Home builders, their subs, even the local lumber yards have become remodelers. Competition is stiff and "two men and a truck" are racing to the bottom.
4. Good and Bad! We were always "too busy" with our new customers to solicit the old ones (except a Thanksgiving card). Every year 65% of them just called on their own for more work (Thank Goodness). After 42 years, we finally got smart and sent postcards offering "Specialized Services" to those previous clients - with the offer to do everything on their "honey do" list. We now have very little down time, more revenue and happier marriages.
6. Previously we were kept busy by servicing homeowners in about a 15 mile radius of our showroom. We increased that to 25 miles, worked with a local radio station at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show (gave away a bathroom makeover) which also led to some radio advertising and more clients. I guess never say "NEVER!".
Meridian Restoration Inc.
2. I believe most successful companies operate sound business strategies, the separating factor is exceptional customer service and timely response to problems or concerns, that’s how companies succeed above the competition.
3. The greatest challenge is finding the skilled labor to operate a first rate business, the dwindling labor pool has become and will continue to be a problem. More kids need to be introduced to the construction trades through technical schools, kids need to be introduced to skilled trades that do not require a college degree, such as, carpentry, trim, welding, plumbing, electrical, etc.
Engstrom Siding & Window Co.
1. This is different. Normally when new construction is down, remodeling gets stronger, haven’t seen that trend. The future looks difficult.
3. We return all our phone calls!
5. Yes, steel roofing, customers want a product they can count on over time.
6. Fewer employees, tightened up.
Lee J. Brown, CEO
Storm Tight Windows Inc.
Boynton Beach, Fla.
2. It boils down to two things in economic tough times "How well do you market? and how aggressive is your approach" I preach to our entire staff about positive growth and I put the money behind it to make it happen. We've grown every year, and the bottom line has grown as well!!
6. Technology has come along way in the last few years, that has changed my business ten fold! I travel far less due to the fact that my offices are set up through telepresence. I hold meetings, conduct interviews when needed, and can even do sales training from 800 miles away. I’m not talking about Skype, I’m talking about a direct link to my offices from anywhere in the world! I’m in all my offices every day and couldn't do that effectively just a short time ago.
Jim Stringham, owner
South Beloit, Ill.
1. Yes, the business landscape has changed dramatically over the last 5 years. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to stay on top of the advanced technology and offer top of the line products/services. Technology will continue to change the landscape and eco-friendly products will become more available.
2. Those remodelers who are willing to adapt to the ever-changing environment, are able to learn from mistakes and who are consistently looking for different avenues to succeed are the ones who will remain competitive in this economy.