The pandemic has been one long tunnel, but finally, the home improvement sector is seeing the light at the end of it. The sector is bouncing back, and customer demand increases as restrictions lift across the UK.
After a year spent largely at home, many people are rethinking and redecorating their homes. There’s a growing demand for home improvement services in the UK right now, and that means there’s never been a better time to invest in the sector. In this article, you’ll discover how home improvement businesses and franchises up and down the UK have prepared for the industry’s post-COVID comeback.
How will home improvement businesses make a comeback post-COVID?
By late June at the earliest, all restrictions will come to an end in the UK. Already, many restrictions have been lifted since the government’s roadmap to recovery was announced in February. June is a much better place for most UK businesses than January, and it’s looking like a bright summer ahead. Businesses now operational again are required to:
- Complete COVID-19 risk assessments
- Clean premises regularly and thoroughly
- Ask customers and staff to wear face coverings in any indoor space
- Ask customers and staff to maintain social distancing
- Partake in the NHS Test and Trace system
- Turn away any customers or staff members with COVID symptoms
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More specific guidelines for those who provide services in other people’s homes, such as home improvement workers, have also been specified:
- Explain safety measures before entering - It’s important that all members of the household that inhabits the home in which work is taking place are aware that they should try and socially distance themselves from you or your staff.
- Avoid crowds - Identify places where people accumulate in the house, and avoid these areas. Try to communicate with your customers about which locations you’ll need to be working in, making it easier for them to stay out of your hair, too.
- Limit contact - Make sure you bring your own food and drink, and take your breaks outside if it’s possible. Avoid sharing any items with members of the household, such as pens or tools, wherever you can.
- If people are at higher risk, take extra precautions - If you’re working in a home in which someone is at higher risk of COVID-19, you should try to avoid contact with them altogether, specifically working in another room.
- Communicate and train - Whether you’re a franchisor or a franchisee, make sure that all of your staff and customers are kept up to date with how you’re handling the safety measures. Train all employees to follow regulations.
Customer demand ahead of the home improvement sector comeback
It’s no surprise that demand in the home improvement sector has increased over the last year. And it’s also a clear indication that if you’re looking to invest, it’s a great time to make your move. According to a 2020 report, 65% of homeowners have been inspired to invest in renovations to their property [Money]. Reasons vary:
- 63% of people surveyed wanted to make their home more comfortable
- 27% of people surveyed wanted to increase the value of their home
- 22% of people surveyed wanted to spend the disposable income they had spare thanks to the global pandemic
Whether it’s a home gym, office, bar or even some simple decorating and landscaping, it’s clear that lockdown has caused homeowners to re-evaluate the purposes of their spaces and gain a greater appreciation for these spaces ultimately resulting in many home makeovers.
—Nima Ghasri, GoodMove
Home improvement sector trends amid the UK reopening
One of the biggest 2021 trends among home improvement and construction franchises has been an investment in renewable energy and an increased focus on sustainability. The pandemic has given many time to think and reflect, and the importance of the environment has inspired people to change their ways, and the ways in which they spend their money.
This means that lots of people will be looking to hire home improvement businesses that are actively moving with the times and implementing environmentally friendly practices, and many more will be making actively green home improvements and choices, such as:
- Installing solar panels
- Installing more energy-efficient appliances
- Replacing windows with more energy-efficient alternatives
- Increasing insulation, especially around hot water cylinders
- Purchasing draft-proofing solutions
- Purchasing used/refurbished/vintage furniture
- Updating bathroom fixtures with low-flow alternatives
- Adding an extension to an existing house, rather than building a house from scratch
By choosing to remodel, you have already made a green choice. Instead of building a home from scratch, remodeling allows you to reuse materials in your home that are already in place. Remodeling your home with sustainability in mind will contribute to a positive impact on the world’s energy consumption.
—Green Home Guide
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What government support is still available for businesses in the home improvement sector?
If you’re a business owner struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still support options out there for you, and you can still make it out of this difficult year in one piece. Here’s a list of the government support options on offer, some of which might apply to you:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (open until September 2021)
- The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
- The VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme (open until the 21st June 2021)
- Business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year covering retail, hospitality and leisure companies in England
- The Recovery Loan Scheme
- The Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
- The Coronavirus Restart Grant
- The Coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant
- The Local Restrictions Support Grants
Improve your career with an investment in the home improvement industry
There’s never been a better time than right now to invest in a home improvement franchise. Many different exciting opportunities are available in the sector, which is quickly bouncing back from the impact of the pandemic. If you’re intrigued by the idea of becoming a franchisee and running your own business, but you’re not sure home improvement is the right industry, find the right adventure for you by browsing Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©