Monthly Archives: November 2009

2010: What Will the New Year Hold for the Garage Door Industry?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that several family-owned businesses have been struggling during the recession, and that some are making the difficult decision to close up shop for good. This could have far-reaching effects on the economy: according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), as many as 90 percent of all U.S. businesses are family owned, from the small businesses to the Fortune 500 companies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 4.3 million small businesses (with 19 or fewer employees) have closed from the end of 2007 to the end of 2008.

So, how do some family-run businesses perish while others survive – or even thrive? Experts say it has to do with tradition – many of these types of businesses are not flexible and/or don’t have plans for crisis situations. Many turn to offering specials or steep discounts to drive up traffic, but the decreased profit ends up hurting the bottom line. However, some family-run businesses are at an advantage because the have older family members, who have been through previous recessions, to turn to for advice, and because they don’t have as much debt as a start-up or younger biz.

In the garage door industry sector, there is talk that some dealers are strategically pooling their resources and merging companies to keep up with the changing economic climate. Others believe more stable and established dealers will completely buy out other businesses. Others are simply quitting. This has also led to companies offering to buy parts of businesses from those who have experienced setbacks. Established telephone numbers, Web addresses and customer databases are the most actively sought-after resources.

It can be challenging to navigate a company through a sluggish economy, and many dealers are forced to go on the offensive. This cooling period is driving many to reevaluate how they do business and focus on the most successful areas. In effect, it’s forcing them to get their heads in the game. Those on the defensive are losing.

Historically speaking, recessions have been relatively short-lived. It is the door dealer who plans to succeed over the long haul that will “recession-proof” their business. There is a common pattern among door dealers who are doing more with less as they face mounting pressure to stay afloat — and profitable. Most dealers have learned to keep things in perspective and positioned themselves to survive. They have the experience to know that the ways of the past are not necessarily right for the future. These dealers tend to meet challenges with similar solutions and consequences.

So what are some assumptions we can make for 2010?

• Many dealers will continue to be frustrated by their competitors’ lower price points, resulting in losing sales and earning less; money that could have been earned and “left on the table.”

• More successful dealers will manage to overcome the economics as they are more prepared for economic downturns as they’ve seen them before. They still believe in high quality at a fair price.

• We will see the merging of more dealer business and closure of several more.


• Employees released of employment from companies will enter into the market and offer products and services at prices that established companies cannot compete with.

• Manufactures will find it increasing difficult to meet the pricing demands of their dealer base, impacting loyalty to a particular product and company.

What will the New Year hold for you?

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Winter is Here: Tune-Up Your Garage Door

With the cooling weather, the following can you save you a lot of time and expense!

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car detergent, and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results.

Weather Stripping

Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. It is important to let your weather strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather stripping. If the weather stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Maintaining the Hardware

Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

At least once a year, home owners must check the following :
– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully. Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, they will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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Veterans Day: November 11, 2009

veterans-dayAs we celebrate this Veterans Day to honor our country’s heroes and pay respect to their service and sacrifice, it’s difficult not to get caught up with the emotions and controversy surrounding the recent massacre at Fort Hood Army base in TX. What happened was indeed a tragedy and the families and loved ones of those killed or injured will have many challenging days ahead. My heartfelt condolences go out to all of them.

On this day, we need to remind ourselves those soldiers on the battlefront today and those who served in the past are real men and women with families, dreams, and aspirations. They are about commitment, integrity, courage and sacrifice and I am a firm believer that it takes character and discipline to uphold these patriotic values.

So, as Americans, how can we pay tribute to our veterans and to those currently serving on this special day? We do it by committing ourselves to service in our everyday lives and creating an environment in our country that embraces the values and principles that our soldiers fight to protect. We should:

  • Honor our responsibilities as parents, employees and business owners.
  • Live with integrity at home and at work.
  • Lend a wing and help those who are suffering in this tough economy.
  • Respect our environment, give to charity and volunteer in our communities.

In essence, we need to set the example and live our lives with honor and integrity so that our veterans and troops abroad can truly say, “America is worth fighting for!

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