The Talk

  • December 16, 2014
    THE TALK... | Management

    Keeping Employees Motivated During the Holiday Season

    It seems as though the holiday season ramps up earlier and earlier with each passing year. When we’re buying Halloween candy, holiday decorations are in the next aisle and Christmas music is playing over the store’s speakers. Americans have holiday shopping and celebrating on the brain earlier than ever. Following suit, most businesses lose the majority of their efficiencies in ... more »
  • December 9, 2014
    THE TALK... | Management

    The Labor Pool

    It’s hard to find good help these days, especially in the window and door industry. It’s particularly challenging to find skilled labor or even simply to find applicants looking for work in this trade, according to industry professionals.I recently exchanged dialog on the topic with Jennifer Lawler, president of Fenessco Inc., a California-based window and door dealer, who had an ... more »
  • December 2, 2014
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Groupon and Related Deals: Good or Bad for Business?

    Groupon and other deal-of-the-day services, such as LivingSocial and AmazonLocal, have been big business the past few years. Many consumers love them because they can get huge discounts, typically ranging from 50 to 70 percent. But they can be a mixed bag, at best, for the local businesses that contract with such deal-a-day websites. Every business that partners with Groupon is required to cut ... more »
  • November 18, 2014
    THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

    Energy Star v6.0: Installation Instructions?

    With the activation of Energy Star Version v6.0 just around the corner (Jan. 1, 2015, for all but the Northern Zone), we will be pulling up new qualifying criteria tables for U-factor, SHGC and now Air Leakage. For anyone who has not yet read the new version, the meat of it is in these tables. Beyond that, is much else new? Indeed. New for Energy Star v6.0 is Section 3D: Installation ... more »
  • November 11, 2014
    THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

    Will Energy Star Affect You in 2015?

    While most of the population will spend this week and next finalizing Thanksgiving menus and plans—and trying not to get too far ahead of this holiday by focusing on next month’s festivities—we are already entrenched in the New Year, planning the January/February issue. As part of our coverage, we’ll continue the discussion on Energy Star 6.0 that Rich Walker started in ... more »
  • November 4, 2014
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    A Taste for the Finer Things

    At trade shows, exhibitors put their best foot forward, displaying the most glamorous options and premium products they have in their lines. Turns out, this isn’t just a wow factor or a foot-in-the-door tactic to lure attendees into their booths. These higher-end products are reportedly seeing an increase in demand, according to exhibitors at the recent AMD Annual Convention and The ... more »
  • October 28, 2014
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Making Friends with Yelp

    Yelp has become the default option homeowners check out for third-party reviews. Plus, both Bing and Yahoo Local now pull reviews directly from Yelp, which has greatly expanded its power, making it, by far, the most influential online review platform.It’s safe to say that getting hit by a number of negative reviews—legitimate or otherwise—can be extremely damaging to your ... more »
  • October 21, 2014
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Estimating the Unusual

    In my latest From the Field column, I discuss the challenge of consistently estimating replacement jobs for different home conditions. The practice in our industry is to specify a base rate for a certain type of replacement (insert or full frame, for instance). This assumes reasonably accessible openings and sizes. Add-ons are then identified and bid by a qualified, experienced estimator. The ... more »
  • October 14, 2014
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    TV Advertising

    In a modern marketing space dominated by short attention spans and immediate gratification, the former king of the advertising castle—the TV commercial—has seemingly been overthrown by a younger, faster medium we all hail as the almighty Internet ad. Couple this transition with the advent of DVRs in the late ’90s and we get a good picture of the hurdles TV ads have been ... more »
  • October 7, 2014
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Increase Your Website’s Credibility

    In 2014, homeowners who are interested in window and door services do a lot of online research. And, they’re far more likely to select a dealer that clearly conveys credibility in a variety of ways. Some key ways to do so: Create a clear “About Us” pageThis isn’t the place to merely plop in a couple of brief biographical sentences. Instead, make sure this section ... more »