Analysis reveals ‘golden year’ for trades

Ben Dyer, CEO pf Powered Now

New analysis from the company behind the field service management software for trades, Powered Now, has revealed that the home improvement boom during the UK’s lockdown saw small-to-medium enterprise (SME) sales increase by 35% for construction companies, compared to 2020. Figures from almost a quarter of a million invoices recorded by 915 trade SMEs showed the average invoice value in 2021 to be 6% higher than those recorded in 2020, with sales for the first eight months of 2021 amounting £111m compared to the £82m for the same period last year.

Originally prescribed to the national lockdowns witnessed in the spring of 2020 and early 2021, the explosion of home improvements has continued to become more valuable throughout the summer months, this new analysis shows. Usually a quieter period for the trades, the significance of this increase is further emphasised by the growth that has continued past ‘Freedom Day’: the average value of an invoice amounted to £1,233 last month, reaching total monthly sales of £15.1m.

Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, said: “Since the reopening of the construction sector after the very first lockdown in 2020, there has been an unprecedented boom period. Sales in 2020 surpassed those in 2019, which was totally unexpected, as we learnt how to deal with the pandemic.

“The year 2021, by all accounts, has taken us by surprise even further. Starting the year with an equally restrictive lockdown didn’t dent the appetite of the British public for home improvements, and even the very well documented shortages of labour and materials couldn’t deter Brits from going on a renovation bonanza.

“The knock-on effect of this golden year for tradespeople has meant that the trade has become a hugely popular sector for job seekers, and we’re seeing training courses becoming over-subscribed as education centres are inundated with new apprentices.”