Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Balancing power on the backs of manufacturers
    In a recent installment of Industry Watch, we examined how the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule has unnecessarily hamstrung many contractors and increased costs without proven benefit to public health. Turns out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In the last year, the outgoing administration has focused on what it sees as flaws in the labor market, forcing the pace of labor... more »
  • Eight tips to contend the weather
    As I write this column from the comfort of my home, I occasionally glance out at the house under construction next door. The framers, bundled up from the fierce wind in hoodies and coveralls, brush snow off a stack of lumber. Just two days ago they were wearing shorts, enjoying the sunlight as they started in on the construction. Yet today they seem to march on, as always. The postman’s... more »
  • We all know how important SEO has become for window and door businesses. Homeowners are flocking to the web to do research on companies, products and contractors before they ever make a purchasing decision.  Now, mobile devices are rapidly changing the game. In fact, more than 50 percent of all online searches are occurring on a mobile phone. To keep up to speed, the following are five... more »
  • Winter was a bit slow coming this year for most of the country. I’m not complaining about the delay, yet I’m reminded of my field days when the cold would finally snap and I’d sigh about the days ahead as I dug out my flannel and long johns. I don’t mind reasonable cold for normal activities and find it even refreshing if I’m not working in it. But installing or... more »
  • Like many specialty retailers, we have great relationships with several fine window manufacturers who care about their reputation and have taken steps support great products. Several are the most important partners we have in our business. Of course, we are always looking at options and are approached by companies who want our business. We take these opportunities to meet new folks, too, and... more »
  • When it comes to successfully marketing your company, your domain name matters—a lot. Domain names have an extraordinary impact all over the internet in regard to click-through rates, search and social media results, referring links, branding and even offline advertising. While changing your domain name will affect SEO and related matters in the short term, if your current domain name isn... more »
  • Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon an old Window & Door article that questioned the end of independent distributors. The article was written in 2004 and our world has greatly changed in the last decade. E-commerce is booming. This gave me pause. Are distributorships on the way out?  Fortune recently reported statistics that indicate consumers are now making more than 51 percent of... more »
  • It is commonly said that holidays can bring out the worst in people. However, I choose to focus on how the holidays bring out the very best in all of us. With the blessings we said at Thanksgiving behind us and with Hanukkah and Christmas right around the corner, we’re at that magical time of the year where we’re inundated with good cheer and warm, happy feelings.   But why does... more »
  • Shopping for windows and doors is rarely defined as a simple process. The options can be daunting, and more often than not, customers leave the process tired and apathetic. This must change to increase the positive referrals that the industry needs to thrive. As discussed in last week’s Talk, the often overwhelming and lengthy pricing process is a big part of the problem. Even though... more »
  • When it comes to estimating, why not both?
    One of the most important precursors to landing a sale in the window and door industry is providing a good price estimate. Unfortunately, giving any price at all can be a monster feat. When paper-based catalogs are the exclusive pricing tool, salespeople curate at least a basic understanding of how much different elements of a window or door treatment could cost. They’re likely able to... more »