Confidence Has A Lot To Answer For
2 July 2012
June has ended with another bumper month of new orders for the company. I am both grateful and surprised. The constant drip of bad economic news means that few in small and medium sized businesses can have much confidence about the future. However, June marks not just another month, but the half way point for the year and we now have to believe what our results are telling us.
Sales over the six months are 20.3% up on the same period last year and if we were only looking at the figures in front of us, we would have already been making significant new investment in capacity and infrastructure. Only now when we can no longer ignore the size of the order book are we (still somewhat reluctantly) are taking on new staff and kick starting capital expenditure. We shouldn’t really be surprised by what has happened and in normal times we would have predicted this surge in orders. After all as the purveyors of sales jargon keep telling me, “it’s a numbers game”.
We have had record conservatory enquiries since the beginning of the year and these should be expected to translate into orders at a fairly predictable rate of conversion. However, such is the “Confidence Thing”, nobody trusts normal rules to apply in the current climate – especially if its good news. We can speculate about the reasons for our success and as with all explanations of complex systems, there will be contributions from different inputs. The theory of “Can’t Move – Improve” must be having some effect and helping to insulate us from the general lull in construction projects.
Then there is “Recession Fatigue”. I think that those who can want to get on with their lives rather than waiting forever for conditions to be right. In addition several high profile competitors were taken out of the market by the savage downturn in 2008/9, and the survivors were always going to do well when demand came back. Finally I think we continue to learn and constantly improve our performance!