Get in shape

04 Jan, 16

It’s not all about squats and lunges – tone up your business

So the festive season has drawn abruptly to a close, signalling the end of paracetamol and Andrew’s Salt as an acceptable breakfast supplement. Awards have been handed out, trophies gathered (some perhaps lost in the taxi home) and dinner jackets are back at Moss Bros or languishing in the dry cleaners.

And how many awards ceremonies have there been? There have been awards for design through to franchises and regional business performance. There were even awards presented for the best home extensions! I kid you not. And if you managed them all, you deserve a rousing round of applause or, at the very least, a lie-down and (potentially) detox.

So that’s, that then? Well, not if you’re heading to KBB Birmingham, in which case, it all starts again! Those in the kitchen and bathroom industry truly have the constitution of a serving SAS officer, yomping miles through exhibition halls with sleep deprivation from late nights.

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But the New Year is also the season of new beginnings, new opportunities and setting goals. And I’m not just talking about starting a new gym membership and tramping the treadmill in a bid to be leaner and fitter. It’s about taking a retrospective look at business performance to see where you can tone, cut or bulk there too! It’s time to ensure your business is in shape. And the time is right, as industry experts seem to agree 2016 should reap rewards for the industry, as the economy continues to improve and consumers increasingly opt for bigger budget projects.

However, there are some issues that as an industry we must be concerned with too, not least business succession for those set to retire from retail, but also encouraging young people into the industry with a career progression. Okay, the latter has been on the list of New Year resolutions for some time now but – just like my obsession of smashing a 5k run – there has been some progress.

Manufacturers are introducing apprentices into the world of kitchens and bathrooms and must be recognised for that but shouldn’t more retailers consider it too? The iKBBI has launched an apprenticeship scheme for kitchen installers and of course the KBBNTG has been working to promote courses, such as the Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design at New Bucks University. Surely employing apprentices, and setting them up in a career, is the solution to the business succession, future-proofing both their retail business and the future of the kitchen and bathroom industry? Perhaps it’s all time we took a long, hard and critical look in the mirror?