As 2014 draws to a close, I am getting mostly very positive feelings for the new year ahead. Nobody is predicting a gigantic boom, but positive and continuing improvement seems to be on the agenda.
I was particularly buoyed by the folks I met at the first Wood Pro Expo held in Baltimore in early October. Shop owners were enthusiastic about future business prospects and anxious to learn more to help improve their businesses. I had enthusiastic audiences for two talks I gave on pricing, and I was pleased to see that the questions and reactions were less focused on dealing with cutthroat competition and more focused on ensuring increased profit. It’s hard for any business to move ahead if it is just focuses on staying afloat in a sea of sharks. Thankfully, it seems we have moved past that stage.
From the vendor side, most exhibitors were talking about a continuing stream of customers looking to improve and upgrade their facilities, processes and equipment. Again, if you are just fighting to survive in a troubled economy, you are typically less interested in investing for the future.
All of this is not to say there won’t be some bumps in the road in 2015. As reported at Wood Pro Expo and in this issue’s Industry Forecast, there are some expert predictions of significant increases in lumber prices for the coming year. That will present some challenges for many and will cost those dearly who do not plan for it in their business calculations.
But when it is all added up, it looks like 2015 will be a good positive building year for the woodworking industry, and we look forward to continuing to help you improve your business going forward.
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