Pondering the next four years

by rheselbarth@solagroup.com

Well, the election is over and some people are happy and others are not. I can’t say exactly what will happen with the economy over these coming years, but as a contractor for almost 30 years I know it’s going to be interesting if nothing else. However, from my perspective I think the construction industry as a whole is in for more rocky times, and here’s why.


We still have unemployment that is way too high, with no signs that it will come down to reasonable levels at which more people are employed and can afford homes. Many countries around the world have many monetary issues that are major problems, such as Spain, which has an unemployment rate of almost 25%. The United States is no longer a country of prosperity and manufacturing. The American dream lives on, but is harder for many to achieve. Still, it will come back as we are a resilient and optimistic people.


Taxes, fuel and medical costs are quickly eroding the incomes of the middle class, which is rapidly diminishing. Medical costs alone are projected to be growing at upwards of 10%-plus in the coming years.


Surely I could go on, and indeed prosperity for some is still a reality, but the time is now to think about how you will proceed with your business. The world has changed drastically and it would be unwise to play the same hand as you may have in the past.


If you and your business are to successfully continue, a new way of thinking must be pursued. It’s time for a different approach, better marketing and making sure the homes you build are competitively priced and offer features that people in your market are looking for, such as energy efficiency, green building products and ease of maintenance. Now is the time to stand aside and think outside of what has been your comfort zone and adapt to today’s reality.


Now, of course I could be totally wrong, things will turn around next spring and you can continue the way you always have, but that’s not my bet. What are your thoughts and what are you planning to do?

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