Focus on your strengths, and believe

Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin reflects on 2018, and looks ahead to what is on the horizon for the fenestration industry in 2019.

It has been quite a challenging year for the industry, both home and abroad. We know of many companies that have struggled for growth in 2018, and they feel that 2019 will be more of the same.

Brexit has obviously played a massive role in this uncertainty but, in my opinion, it is wider than just the political landscape affecting many within the industry.

The government’s commitment to build new homes has had very little impact on the fenestration industry, with the smaller, more micro-businesses still feeling the pinch. From a commercial side, many projects are being delayed or postponed, which is causing mayhem for some.

Plus, the way in which parts of the media are reporting solely on the doom and gloom, exacerbates the problem, making it seem even worse than perhaps it actually is.

That said, there are those who are holding their own in these tough times. The suppliers and partners we work with are reporting steady growth, showing that it is possible, if you focus on your strengths and believe in your products/services. The fact that we were able to launch three new products to the UK market in 2018, and continue to run our own thought-leadership research to better understand the industry and our consumers, shows that these troubled waters can be navigated.

Looking forward is difficult at the moment, with an unknown landscape ahead of us. With such uncertainty about the economic environment we find ourselves in as we prepare to leave the EU, it is harder to predict the future than ever before. What I will say is for people not to panic, and to take an entrepreneurial approach. Changes will be inevitable, so try and roll with it, and see if there are any advantages for you as a business.

There is no point in trying to second-guess what surprises 2019 will throw up, but it is important to be ready for change of some sort. If you can be as prepared as possible and be flexible enough to accommodate change, that will stand you in good stead.

We, as a business, certainly have a five-year plan in place that we will not let Brexit, or other challenges, hinder us from achieving. We know there will be curve balls and road blocks, but any business that is able to stay true to the core values behind its success has a fantastic chance of succeeding in the long run.