The Talk

  • February 3, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Improve SEO and Conversions with Better Load Times

    Improving the page-load time on your website might not sound like the most exciting tool in your window and door marketing game plan. However, a fast-loading site is one of the greatest advantages you can have over your competitors.According to surveys by industry experts Akamai and, almost half of Internet users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and they’re likely ... more »
  • January 27, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    The Next Generation of Customers

    At last week’s International Builders Show in Las Vegas, many conversations about marketing and new trends in windows and doors took an inevitable turn toward the latest challenge for the industry: millennials. Specifically, how to market to them, what trends they’re attracted to, and how to get them to participate in the housing market were among the topics of choice. As ... more »
  • January 20, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Mobile Is the Future—and the Present

    “Mobile” is a word everyone knows, but it has a specific meaning regarding online marketing. But what exactly does mobile mean in this context and how can you optimize your website for mobile devices?Responsive DesignMobile refers to the way potential customers are receiving information online via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Not only did sales for this category ... more »
  • January 13, 2015
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Ordering Liability

    A few years ago, I was contracted by a dealer to perform the take-off of full-frame replacement windows for a very old home. This was my only role for this job. A general contractor would hire out the installation to a crew with window replacement skill-level unknown to me.Most of the existing windows were double-hung wood, old-generation weight and pulley, with very robust exterior casing and ... more »
  • The Labor Talk, Continued

    In a recent Talk from last month, we started a discussion on the labor issue—that is, the lack of qualified candidates for work in this industry. More than 70 percent of poll participants reported that they cannot find skilled laborers to hire. We received some more insight on the subject, and it seems that the topic has yet to be exhausted, so we’ll finish it here.We received a ... more »
  • 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 »