The first column of this year had me looking forward with an optimistic point of view. I must tell you that compared to some other years my numbers have actually been off in 2010, but the outlook has really worked for me. Not only with my business, but on a personal level as well. I am not a born optimist so I have to work at it.
Thing is, after three years of the nation’s economy being in the dumper, there is still a lot of hand wringing going on out there in the roofing and construction world. We have been writing about “the new normal” and how the world around us is changing and how we may just have to roll with it - perhaps for a few more years. And many of you have responded by retooling your enterprises and taking chances and changing direction.
In the few years since the Great Recession began, we have borne witness to growth in a number of new technologies that have been adapted and adopted by roofing contractors to grow their business. Social media marketing, cloud computing, take-offs from overhead digitized images are all emerging as game changers. Enterprising roofing contractors are not just bidding garden and solar roofing projects, they are setting up new divisions and are making markets where none existed.
The December issue of Roofing Contractor contains our Roofing Resource Buyers Guide, a great reference tool for contractors that is also available year-round in a fully searchable version at www.roofingcontractor.com/roofingresource. The online version now features live icons for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter that link directly to the social media pages of each company.
This issue also contains a report on this year’s Best of Success conference. It is always enjoyable for me to visit with old friends and meet new ones, but this year in particular it was really great to be with a group of born optimists from whom I drew a great deal of energy. Yes, it is part of my job to show up and help promote the event, but this time I received a lot more than I put into it. Thanks not only to a great group of presenters, but all of you who came and joined us for the conference. If you were not there, plan now to join us in 2011.
While I am in the self-promotion mode I may as well point to a new initiative by Roofing Contractor’s parent company, BNP Media. It is a microsite called Moving On and can be found on the Web at www.bnpmedia.com/movingon. The idea is simple. This site will feature brief stories of contractors and others who are “moving on” beyond the negative headlines and have found new ways to not only survive, but to thrive. Do yourself a favor and give it a look. Better yet, do us all a favor and submit your own story of how you have managed to move on with your business.
So here we are at the end of another year and the end of another column. The lesson I take away from 2010 is there is nothing wrong with an optimistic point of view, especially when the future seems dark or unclear. As a businessperson I plead guilty to being pragmatic and realistic. I’m not prone to taking huge risks. But I have learned that change is not always kind but is certainly inevitable. And this year I have learned that the ones in the roofing business who have been making changes are doing way better than the ones waiting around to figure out what change is going to do to them next.
So what will 2011 bring? I do not know but I can hardly wait!