Editor's Note: Marketing for the Future
Fact is, for many of us, business is good. For some regions of our country, 2006 promises to be another one of those years when the main problem is deciding which job to take instead of sweating where the next one is coming from. Do not, however, allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security. Never, never stop marketing yourself and your firm.
Marketing your company in a great economic climate is necessary for several reasons, but primarily because a swift downturn always has the potential of being closer than we think. Remember what happened to the economy after September 11, 2001? Did not see that one coming, did we? Another reason is to continue to define your market rather than having random phone calls define it for you. Always, always reach out to the base of customers that match up with your profitable business model. And, for gosh sakes, if you cannot make a market segment profitable, then quit sending them newsletters or advertising in places where they will find you.
Change by ConsolidationNow that we are thinking outside the box, consider a couple of other areas that are changing. Consolidation continues to impact our industry, and it may impact your world directly. Manufacturers continue to fold together, further reducing the number of available options for roofing contractors. Roofing distributors continue consolidating at an even more rapid pace. Keep an eye on these moves and stay close to the suppliers whose products you count on every day to make your living. Be prepared to make shifts - even sudden changes. It's not possible to stop these things from happening, but how you position yourself with your suppliers is crucial to your survival, and it's becoming more crucial with each passing year.
A Changing EnvironmentYou may not see it in your market now, so you may not see it coming when it does, but the environmental movement has hit the shores of the building industry, and roofing is on the leading edge. Savvy building owners and managers are measuring every one of their buildings' components for their effect on human health, energy efficiency, safety, sustainability, recycling, and overall environmental friendliness. Savvy roofing contractors are busy marketing themselves as the solution to environmentally friendly construction needs.
These particular changes may not be the ones you see as the most important in your world. So be it. But do take some time to discover which ones are important and make plans now to get ahead of emerging trends. .
Noted author Issac Asimov explains it even better. Asimov says, "It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. ... This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking."