Forty Years of Progress

It is abundantly clear that this is an industry on the move! Forty years ago the home improvement industry was struggling to reach a projection of $2 billion annual gross revenue. Now the annual gross revenue stands at $300 billion plus (conservatively).

However, we are a fragmented industry without proper recognition or status for an industry this size. The number of regulations faced today are burdening to small businesses which are the heart and soul of the industry. Beyond the sterling efforts of both NARI and NAHB, this industry needs a lobby to represent the industry and tell our story.

Here are just a few external issues: The government’s published intent to neuter or eliminate independent contractor status as utilized today – – EPA regulation and investigation putting the contractor in the position of investigator and fulfillment agent. The regulations attendant to the Affordable Care Act which complicates the use of part time employees and higher corporate and personal taxes.

Internally, home improvement companies large and small need to upgrade their marketing techniques. They need to upgrade recruiting and retention methods. Many companies have unduly large “backlogs” – – utilize inequitable pricing techniques – outmoded compensation methods – and need to upgrade their internal accounting procedures.

Through it all the industry has great reason to be proud of its accomplishment even while recognizing the need for change. As a modern philosopher said some years ago, “In a time of great change it is the learners who make the difference. Those that believe they already know are living in a world that no longer exists.”

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