By Seth Weisblatt, AVB/BrandSource

Who would have thought one year ago that we would be dealing with what 2020 has wrought?  I think The Grateful Dead summed up the kind of year it was in one sweet stanza:

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
Other times, I can barely see.
Lately, it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.

The lights of opportunity are clearly shining on the home furnishings industry, and there is certainly much to be grateful for. Business, for most of the home sector, has seen a record level of consumer activity, and when can any of us remember a “sellers’ market”? No doubt the light is shining brightly on the dealers.

But the reality of the supply-chain nightmare we all face is blinding us from that optimism. The woes are real — how can there be so much demand and so little supply? You can safely call this one of those “perfect storm” scenarios that no one could have predicted. 

Most forecasts for the first six months of 2021 are for much of the same as most of 2020: tight availability, booming demand. If you choose to look at the glass as half full, then we will again be presented with a huge opportunity within this industry. But in order to take advantage of it, it is imperative as business owners that we take the time to step outside the chaos of the moment and plan accordingly.

We must look beyond the day-to-day to strategize how to navigate the tide and set a course for where success and profitability will lie. There are great opportunities in front of each of our businesses. Can you see them?  You owe it to your family, your employees, and, let’s be honest, to yourself, to have a game plan for tackling whatever 2021 will bring. I urge you to add it to your New Year’s resolutions.

Because as Jerry Garcia knew, every now and then you need to patch your bones and get back truckin’ on!

Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home
Whoa, whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones
And get back truckin’ on.

Seth Weisblatt is Director of Merchandising /Home Furnishings for BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc. He previously served as Executive Vice President at Sam’s Appliance & Furniture and Vice President of Digital Marketing at Ashley Furniture Industries.