March 20, 2011

What I Learned at the Glass Expo on Long Island

By Paul Bieber

I learned about graphical glass.

I learned about software and hardware, store fronts and glass cleaner, shower doors and front doors.

I learned that a few people do think they are getting more business at reasonable pricing. I learned that most people love to complain. I learned that not many people wake up early to hear seminars, especially after the St Patrick’s day party.

I learned that it is better to listen than talk.

And here is a story I heard that is just wonderful.

Barry Borgen has been in the window industry in New York, for a lot of years. Some years were great, others were not worth remembering. When the economy fell apart in 08, he, like all of us, said, “What are we going to do to stay in business?” Barry wasn’t sure what to do. But he had a job with aluminum that needed painting, and couldn’t get a reliable source.

So, Barry did some homework, and found out that with the strict New York City environmental laws, there was one type of painting that he could do himself. He did, finishing his job, and suddenly the moment hit when he realized that he could do painting as well as make windows.

Half of his business now is from environmentally safe Zinc Metallizing and powder coating. And he is making a buck that he never would have made if he hadn’t thought outside the box. Way to go Barry.

The moral of the story is this: Don’t cry about business being slow. Look around and see what is lacking in the industry wherever you are…and fill that need. The economy is off 10%, let’s say. That means that 90% is still there…you just have to think and then find your niche to get a portion of what is left. It won’t come to you, but it is right in front of you, right now. All you have to do is look, take a risk, and if you are like Barry, ride out the rest of the slow times with a new product line.

You have to go for it. Now.