After a long period of COVID restrictions, the home services industry is set to recover. Learn which services are likely to be the busiest in 2022.
The last couple of years have been challenging for contractors. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have stopped many families from being able to invest in renovating their homes.
Now that life is somewhat returning to normal, many homeowners are revisiting their plans to revitalize their properties. This means contractors can hopefully expect to see a resurgence in trade. Here, we look at some of the home service businesses that could see strong growth during 2022.
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Home Service Businesses With Strong Growth Opportunities For 2022
Working from home has become more commonplace in the last few years, and that's encouraged many people to invest in making their homes a nicer place to spend time. This means contractors and home renovation professionals in a variety of specializations have the opportunity to build their businesses.
Home Cleaning Services
One particularly promising growth area is home cleaning. When people were spending a lot of time in the office, that meant they weren't using their kitchens or studies as much. Now that people work from home, their houses see more wear and tear. They cook in their own kitchens instead of eating in the office. They're getting work-related papers delivered to their home, and they're more likely to notice the general accumulation of day-to-day wear.
The lack of a commute may save people time, but who wants to spend that time cleaning? Many homeowners feel that using the money they've saved by commuting less often to hire a cleaner makes both practical and financial sense. There's demand for cleaning services year-round, but taking advantage of the traditional "spring clean" to build relationships at the start of the year could lead to long-term contracts. From maid services to one-off carpet cleaning, there's likely to be an increase in demand for time-saving services.
According to market research from Blue Chip, 84% of homeowners are likely to take on a remodeling project in the next 12 months. While many homeowners love to try their hands at simple remodeling jobs, some projects require the help of a professional. If you're a home remodeling contractor, the next few months could be a good time to start a social media campaign to take your business to the next level.
Finding remodeling contractor leads can be tricky because of the DIY mindset so many people have. However, the increase in the number of homeowners taking on projects for themselves, and out of a desire to sell their property and relocate, means now is a great time for remodeling companies to start marketing.
Painting & Decorating
Another area that's expected to see strong growth is painting businesses. Painting and decorating are time-consuming jobs that many homeowners don't enjoy or don't feel comfortable doing themselves. Painters and decorators weren't allowed to work inside people's homes during the recent lockdown periods, so now there's a rush of homeowners looking for contractors to do long-outstanding jobs.
In addition to those jobs that have been put off, there's likely to be ongoing demand from people who've had major remodeling work done and want to see the finishing touches put on that work. This means painters who team up with local remodeling companies can find a steady stream of new clients. By working together with other home service contractors, a local painting company can grow its reach, and everyone wins. The customer gets better service, the remodeling company builds goodwill because it knows its clients are getting a fully finished job, and everyone benefits from more business.
Landscaping services are another area that could expect to see an increase in business over the next year. The pandemic made many homeowners appreciate their gardens as they found themselves spending more time at home. During the warmer months, people opted to entertain friends in their gardens instead of going to bars, restaurants, or nightclubs.
Landscaping contractors can take advantage of people's increasing appreciation for green spaces by offering a variety of packages, from ongoing maintenance to seasonal renovations, to help people manage their spaces, whatever size they are and whatever their budget. Consider working with other contractors to get landscaping leads and increase your reach.
Challenges Faced By Home Service Contractors In 2022
Just as with other businesses, home service contractors experienced some challenging times in the last two years. While business is picking up in many areas, that doesn't mean the challenges are over. Contractors face new challenges in the form of:
- Cash flow issues
- Area-specific budget/economic issues
- Uncertainty about future lockdowns
- Supply chain issues
- Labor shortages
Cash Flow Issues
Many contractors spent several months (or longer) unable to work and were forced to dip into their savings to stay afloat. Stimulus packages softened the blow somewhat but weren't enough to allow a family to avoid touching their savings. Some independent contractors may have taken funds out of their businesses to pay short-term bills, leaving them unable to cover the costs of materials or hiring labor to take on new jobs.
These challenges can be overcome. Asking for deposits or milestone payments or even taking out a working capital loan could help a business net the first couple of contracts it needs to get into a more comfortable position, but they're challenges that previously comfortable small businesses might not have had to deal with.
Area Specific Budget/Economic Issues
The U.S. economy saw a drop in GDP of $2 trillion in 2020. Some states, such as Nevada, were hit far harder than others. This means local contractors in some areas may find it takes longer for interest in their businesses to bounce back than their counterparts in states that felt the effects of the pandemic less severely.
Marketing campaigns can only get a company so far if their prospective customers have limited budgets. Those who are finding their traditional services aren't attracting much demand may need to find new business ideas that are more budget-friendly and don't require significant overheads to run.
Uncertainty About Future Lockdowns
New variants such as omicron are causing fear and uncertainty in the economic markets. At the time of writing this article, little is known about how severe omicron is. The WHO reports that the virus may be more likely than previous variants to bypass immunity in those who've already had other versions of COVID-19, but the transmissibility and severity of the infection are still unknowns.
Politicians and state leaders are unlikely to push for more lockdowns or place trading restrictions on businesses unless it's absolutely necessary, but the uncertainty is still there. Homeowners may not want to spend money hiring a home remodeling contractor if they're worried about their jobs. Contractors themselves may feel unable to start major construction jobs if they believe lockdowns could leave them unable to finish the work. Getting people to invest large sums of money in a major project during such a time of uncertainty is never going to be easy.
Supply Chain Issues
Supply chain issues are something that's been plaguing all kinds of businesses, from supermarkets to independent retailers, car dealerships, and even home service contractors. Unfortunately, the causes of these supply chain issues are numerous, complex, and unlikely to go away in the next few months.
Supply chain issues are caused by infrastructure problems, labor shortages and foreign production issues. Fires, droughts, political instability and other disruptions all come together to cause delays and stock problems that mean businesses across a variety of industries simply can't get their hands on the goods they need to carry out their trades. Even when the goods are there, pricing can be unpredictable. It's likely these problems will carry on into 2022, making a huge impact on the bottom lines of home renovation businesses.
Contractors who work alone or run family businesses are well-positioned to grow in 2022. Those who rely on casual workers, apprentices, or small teams may find it hard to find staff due to economic pressures and ongoing COVID concerns. Each state has its own rules about COVID testing, tracing, and isolation. Even in areas where the rules are relaxed and cases are relatively low, there are still people with vulnerable relatives or their own health concerns.
Workers may be forced to take time off if they test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms. Some employees may already have left the business due to concerns about working in a stranger's home, and finding new staff could be difficult. Of course, health and safety always come first, but it's hard to run your business when you can't find enough staff to meet demand.
Meeting These Challenges And Growing Your Business
Home service contractors will need to get creative if they want to take their businesses to the next level, given these challenges. After all, it would be heartbreaking to have lots of orders but be unable to get the materials or labor to meet the demand.
Don't forget that painting, decorating, landscaping, and cleaning are all skilled jobs. The main thing you're selling is your time and ability, not the paint, bleach, or wallpaper. So when you're setting up a social media marketing campaign, think about the services you can offer right now with the supplies you have available.
If you're a landscaping contractor faced with supply chain issues that mean you can't turn someone's yard into a stunning Japanese garden, focus on the things you can do. Many homeowners have overgrown gardens and need some help to tend them. Home remodeling contractors might not be able to build an extension if key materials are stuck in a shipping container, but their existing tools and skills are more than up to the job of general repairs and maintenance.
For new business owners, take this chance to get creative and think about the pain points your friends and relatives face. Are you always being asked to fix leaking toilets or wire up a new plug socket? Can you do odd jobs to grow your customer base so that when things calm down you can turn those existing smaller customers into people who'll hire you for those lucrative bigger jobs? How much cash flow do you need to keep your business healthy over the next few months? Could you spend some time today building your online presence and showing off your work on Instagram?
CraftJack Is Here To Help
Online marketing can be an intimidating job for home service contractors. We're here to help you manage your online reputation. Choose CraftJack to help you with your marketing efforts and we'll follow up with your past clients and ask them for feedback, helping you build up a reputation on review sites so that prospective customers can get a true picture of the quality of service you offer.
We save you time so you can focus on the most important part of your business: helping your customers create their dream home.