I am sitting at my desk sipping coffee about a week after the 2023 Garage, Shed, and Carport Builder Show in Greenville, SC.  The first order of business is to say thank you to RTO National and Graber Post for partnering on the event.  RTO was a great help and combined it with their open house the previous day.  Graber Post sponsored the Happy Hour, which was a huge success.

I don’t have thoughts often, but this morning I have one I would like to share.

Know your products and customers.  This sounds obvious and simple but is frequently based on assumptions rather than data and listening to customers.  The show and this issue provides two examples related to our business.  

 In the CSI feature (inside back cover) the data possibly indicates that more targeted or specialized niches in construction may have out-performed more generalized areas of construction in 2022.  It is easier to know your product and customers in a narrower, better-defined niche. 

The show feedback makes me reconsider the 2024 Garage, Shed & Carport Builder Show location.  I was originally considering where I grew up; PA Dutch Country supports a lot of shed and post-frame manufacturing. The feedback from the show suggested staying a little further south.

We haven’t finalized a location for 2024 yet but hope to before the end of February. The feedback about locations did not match my preconceptions; a great example of the concept that knowing and listening to your customers and thinking you know your customers are two completely different things.

Have a fantastic week and a happy,  healthy, and prosperous 2023.

Gary Reichert