Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2020

Listen to the experts during these times

As the world gets to grips with coronavirus, you can guarantee we are entering unprecedented times. Realists amongst us will look at the trajectories in fellow European countries and know what is coming down the road. It’s a time to listen to the experts and gravitate away from unqualified social media contributors commenting on issues they have no proficiency in. In medical advice from doctors, financial advice from economists and finance professionals, there is plenty of information available from such well qualified individuals. In our own field, I will closely watch social media feeds of many individuals involved in the fenestration industry. This will further develop my understanding of how companies in our sector are coping with the current situation. Our industry is also blessed with a thriving media sector, led by professional editors and journalists. I know from talking to colleagues on rival publications, we are all dedicated to helping support your businesses through our print and online publications.

We must remain positive and understand that our industry will survive and emerge even wiser allowing us to prosper well into the future. We need to use this period to reflect on our own businesses and, importantly, stay connected with customers and constantly engage with potential new customers. This has to happen in all layers of our sector, from installers communicating with homeowners, to fabricators engaging with installers and component suppliers connecting with fabricators. The wizardry of modern technology allows for all of this. Having myself engaged with many readers and advertisers over the last few days I am confident we will return stronger and fitter. The sector is characterised by resilient and forward-thinking individuals – pessimists don’t survive in the double-glazing sector! An installer gave me reason to be optimistic: “I am no medical expert, or economic guru, but I know my windows and doors. I am confident when this is all over, consumers will have had time to reflect on their own homes. They will have been stuck indoors looking at the old windows or visualising how a set of bi-folds or sliding doors will transform their property. I predict foreign holidays will take a back seat, and the focus could be on investing in their houses. For me, it is important that my suppliers keep in contact with me, and that they will be able to fulfil orders quickly when normal trading conditions return. I will have delayed jobs I will want to complete as soon as possible, and also get on with new ones I have been nurturing over the last few months.”

It’s important to have a clear strategy moving forward. Don’t shy away from the market and your customers. Enrich yourself with new products, new ideas and use the time wisely to make your business stronger when this is all over. Finally, listen to the experts, their advice is invaluable in helping society and business to long-term survival.