Volume 14, Issue 1- January/February 2010

Dear Reader

As They Say …

As the Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Every one of us can take those words and apply them to our own day-to-day responsibilities. I, as a writer, might say, “The completion of every article begins with the first word.” You, as a tinter, might say, “The completion of every film job starts with one roll.” Whatever your interpretation, the point is this: if you want to get something done—anything at all—you have to tackle it one step at a time.

Last September I took a step in a new direction when I began working on Window Film magazine. Knowing very little about window film, I’ve spent the past few months trying to learn as much as I can, and can’t say thank you enough to all those who have provided me with “Film 101” lessons, guidance and, oh yes, patience, as they’ve tried to explain their products and the film industry.

While I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of learning all that there is to know, I’ve given a lot of thought to the new-found knowledge I’ve acquired and see that there is a lot of opportunity and potential for window film products—even in these sluggish days. A couple of words come to mind: diversification and energy-efficiency. Let’s tackle them one at a time.

Diversification: We’re all familiar with the old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” meaning don’t focus all of your resources on one possibility. Today, more than ever, some individuals and companies have been able to manage through because they were not focused on just one business plan; perhaps they had skills in other areas that they were able to utilize to help make ends meet. If we can be talented or skilled in other areas aside from our core competencies we might just be able to take that skill set, apply it to our businesses and still be profitable.

As a film installation company, think about what you can add on to your standard offerings that might be another avenue of income. Perhaps it’s paint protection film or a detailing service. The answer is different for everyone. The key is to hone in on the things that you are good at and then find ways to apply it to what you already do well.

Energy: With more and more businesses and individuals focused on “going green,” finding energy-efficient products, goods and services has become more important than ever. Luckily, window film products are also energy-efficient products. In fact a provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 increased the tax credit for residential window film installations from 10 percent to 30 percent of film cost with a maximum total credit of $1,500, up from the previous cap of $500. This new policy is effective until December 31, 2010. What does this mean for you? It means (if you are not already) it’s time to start selling homeowners on the energy aspect of film and not the aesthetics. Once they are aware of the tax credit potential, it could mean more business coming your way.

Whatever your next move, be it diversification or energy-efficiency, it has to start with one step. And while the journey back to a favorable economy may be a long one, taking the steps toward staying competitive and profitable now may help see you there a bit sooner.

Ellen Rogers is the editor of Window Film magazine.

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