10 Trends: Harvard Business Review July/August 2009

“…there will be no going back to the precrisis world.”

HBR [page 57] cites 10 trends you have to watch in the July/August 2009 issue.  Only some of these trends relate to remodeling.  I’ve noted the most vital below.  Download the article, Reprint RO907E, at hbr.org.]

“Trust in business running out:  The relationship between business and civil society was showing signs of strain even before the crisis.

“… a low-trust environment makes everything about doing business more difficult.

“The strategic imperative for most companies is to do what they can to regain the trust of stakeholders and to more effectively manage relationships with them.  This starts at the top.

“Regaining trust also means dispensing with the view that the only objective of management is to increase shareholder value.  Broadening the list of key stakeholders to include employees, customers,suppliers, communities, the press, unions, government, and civil society will help companies rebuilt credibility.”

“Shifting consumption patterns: Crisis or not, it was inevitable that the US consumer-spending growth would slow.

“Focus on older consumers:  Within five years, more than half of all consumer spending in the US will be by consumers over 50.”

“Find ways to offer luxuries on a budget.  Tighter household budgets don’t mean lower aspirations.  Our research shows thatt stretched consumers in slow-growing economies will still want to feel that they are living the good life.”

What do these trends mean for remodelers?  For one thing, we’ve all got to get back to executing on a higher level.  Take complete responsibility for the client experience, add personal touch and value to every contact: with clients, employees, vendors, consultants and suppliers.  Reach out into the community as well and be sure that you and your company name is known for commit ed involvement year round, not just when things are slow.

Develop depth in your offerings to older homes and to older homeowners, become CAPS certified, investigate home performance contracting – starting with upgrades to insulation and house envelopes.

Seek out and provide ways to add fun, sparkle, excitement and a sense of ‘luxury’ on even the smallest budgets.

Read everything you can, talk you everyone you meet with the point of view of an investigative report, question past clients, and slowly you’ll develop a plan for dealing with the future.

Trends look forward to the longer term – these are ideas to implement, starting today, which will help your company move forward in the future.

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