The Talk

  • April 8, 2014
    THE TALK...

    What is Your Company Doing to Improve Professionalism in the Industry?

     A window and door dealer that I interviewed the other day said, “We always show up for appointments on time and customers are surprised by that.” The emphasis on the latter half of that sentence is my own: I can’t believe that after a decade of writing about the building industry, of watching home improvement shows, of reading articles and books and talking with ... more »
  • Are You Keeping Pace with Google?

    At my company, we work with a lot of window and door businesses, and I make a point of telling my clients that an online marketing campaign can never be static. It has to be dynamic; it has to evolve based upon sudden changes at Google, the new ways people are accessing online information, and so on.   The online world works fast — faster than we could have imagined. That's how ... more »
  • Tackling Full-Frame Replacements

    My wife grew up learning to cook under her mom’s mentorship. She followed recipes, starting with the basics, before tackling more challenging dishes. Today, she rarely uses a recipe, and believe me I am never disappointed.  On occasion, if Jenn wants to take on an unfamiliar dish, she’ll reach for a favorite cookbook and follow a recipe. This prepares her for what to ... more »
  • Do You Blog?

    I recently read “How to Promote Your Blog Content: 40+ Experts Share Marketing Tips.” A common theme among respondents regarding the success of a blog is the importance of relationship building. As social media expert Carol Lynne Rivera puts it, “[You] need to be involved in getting to know people–other bloggers and business people, commenters, subscribers, Twitter and ... more »
  • March 11, 2014
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Following the Lead

    Like many Americans this year, I am about to take on a home renovation project. And I am both excited and terrified at the prospect.  To ease myself into the remodeling process, I recently attended a local home & garden show, where I was greeted by seemingly thousands of companies: from window dealers to full-scale remodelers to specialty businesses. First on my list: three new ... more »
  • March 4, 2014
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Yes. We install that.

    At Woodland Windows & Doors in Roselle, Ill., affirmation is king. It started in 1969 when founder and patriarch, John Mariotti, said, "Yes, I can sell that," when asked to be the specialty dealer for a national window brand. And it has carried through—literally—to the present day on the side of the company’s 10 trucks.Like a dealer’s showroom, the ... more »
  • February 25, 2014
    THE TALK... | Operations

    What are Your Internal Business Issues?

    In Window & Door’s 2014 Industry Pulse, dealers and manufacturers agreed that changes in materials pricing would present the biggest challenge this year in terms of external factors. What about internal business challenges?In my experience as a senior editor of Remodeling magazine―where for nearly a decade prior to joining Window & Door I covered everything from legal issues and ... more »
  • February 18, 2014
    THE TALK...

    Indoor Outdoor Living: What is Your Take?

    In the May 2013 issue of Window & Door, we explored the growing “indoor outdoor living” trend, a trend that was increasingly visible at the International Builders’ Show this year. Folding, sliding, swinging―you name it―large, multi-panel door systems that connect homeowners with the natural environment were on display in full force.First-time IBS exhibitor LaCantina Doors ... more »
  • February 11, 2014
    THE TALK... | Methods & Techniques

    All Work and No Play?

    Let me preface this Talk by saying that I didn’t choose the topic based solely on the opportunity to share this after-hours picture of the Window & Door staff at the International Builders’ Show last week. (Although really, how could I pass it up?) I chose the subject of social networking events because my curiosity was genuinely peaked about the role they play in the window ... more »
  • Are Trade Shows in Your Budget?

    I'm in Las Vegas this week at the International Builders' Show, where I'm always struck by the sheer size of the event. Last year, IBS attracted upwards of 50,000 attendees, and judging by the activity on the trade show floor today, I'd say that number will be higher this year. One builder went so far as to tell me the show "looked like the good 'ole days."And while that's wishful ... more »