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How’s business?

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How’s business?

This is Jim’s Editor’s Note from the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Renovation Contractor, arriving in mailboxes in the next couple of weeks. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up here for your free subscription. Or read the digital edition here.

Regular Renovation Contractor readers should be familiar with Will Gonell of Gonell Homes in Toronto. When the former New York City cop and U.S. marine decided to move to Canada, he got into contracting and quickly build a reputation for amazing work. He’s pictured on the cover of our Feb./March 2017 issue standing in front of an 18,000-sq.ft. home he’d built.

But in a recent conversation with our managing editor, Allan Britnell, he expressed some concerns about the current state of the industry. He’d recently had two clients pull the plug on projects – one after the permits had been pulled and the trades were all lined up and ready to go – because of uncertainty over the economy. But Will’s also well connected in the industry and has heard similar stories from many other contractors and builders that he knows.

The ongoing risk of a bigger trade war with the U.S., ever-increasing concerns about our housing bubble popping, and the recent downturn in stock markets are just a few factors that have some people concerned enough to tighten their purse strings.

Have you noticed any signs of a slowdown in your area? If so, what are you doing to adjust your business?

I’ve often wondered how some of the younger guys in the business who’ve never experienced a downturn and mass layoffs would cope with a recession hitting the renovation and homebuilding market. Back in the early 80s, getting laid off from my union job doing commercial HVAC work was what lead me to start my own business doing small renovations. It was growing when the next downturn hit in 1989 and I lost thousands on a spec home we were building that we ended up selling for what we’d paid for it.

Do you have the means to stick it out? Are you willing and able to switch gears to take on smaller projects to get by? Do you have a fallback plan? We love hearing from our readers so send your thoughts, concerns, and even the good news that you’re thriving to Allan (allan@renocontractor.ca) so he can compile them for an article in a future issue.

In our next issue, we’ll look at how one contractor turned to a business coach to help his business grow. When we first profiled Don Vloet of Dun For You Contracting in Welland, Ont., back in our Jan./Feb. 2014 issue he was running a small, successful business, but he wasn’t exactly thriving, working mostly on small kitchen and bathroom renos. At the time he said, “I’d like to grow more. I’m trying to let go of some control, and getting more into management.”

A regular attendee of our Renovators’ Roundtable events, in 2016 he met the team from Breakthrough Academy (BTA) and signed up for the program. Long-time contributor Diane Peters will speak to Don to find out how BTAs systems have help his business grow and, hopefully, ride out whatever the economy throws at him.

 

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Building Excellence

Building Excellence

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Building Excellence

HOMES Publishing Group launches new official magazine of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) in association with HOMES Publishing Group (HPG) is proud to announce that, beginning in 2018, Building Excellence is the new and official national magazine of the association.

Reflecting the dynamic energy and innovation that are the hallmarks of CHBA members, Building Excellence will provide wide ranging and timely insight into all aspects of the residential construction business. From new technology and products, to business and financial management, to marketing and sales.

CHBA shares a commitment with HPG to make Building Excellence the must read journal covering the home building, renovation and development industry in Canada.

HOMES Publishing Group is Canada’s leading source of home-related and award-winning magazines, web sites, newsletters and their 33 years of experience working within the industry will help ensure that Building Excellence is the most valued print information resource for CHBA’s members.

HPG also publishes HOMES Magazine, Condo Life, Active Life, RENO & DECOR, Renovation Contractor, and Ontario Design, as well as acting as the publisher of the Building Industry and Land Development’s (BILD) membership guide, the Durham Region Home Builders’ (DRHBA) membership guide and the programs for the National Home Show, GTA Home & Reno Show and the Toronto Fall Home Show. HPG and Renovation Contractor are also producers the annual Renovators’ Roundtable, a three-day trade show.

With a circulation of over 12,000 and anticipated readership of well over 25,000, Building Excellence is the only business magazine distributed to all CHBA member-companies, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

HPG has exclusive access to the association’s member database, ensuring new members get this great resource as soon as they join.

CHBA is very pleased to be working with experienced and talented staff at HPG in this next generation of the magazine, which is sure to be extremely popular with its members, both in hard copy and online.

CHBA member companies build more than 80 per cent of all new homes in Canada, develop new communities from coast to coast to coast, and represent the professional home renovation industry.

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