I agree entirely with Michael about the importance of focusing on marketing and the business fundamentals. The business fundamentals side of my own business, frankly, is an area where I'm not totally satisfied right now -- we need to get our metrics in place, with clear progress to much better profitability and a healthier balance sheet. Publishing/advertising can do well at the beginning of recessions as some companies, who have never needed to advertise, start spending money (often unwisely). But we need to find more sustainability.
We are hearing from more and more company owners (of the male persuasion) that they are back working part or full time with the tools. We have also heard from many of their wives, who are telling their husbands to read our blog posts and previous newsletters that talk about working with the tools.
Okay, a quick reminder. You do not make money working on job sites. You make a living, and only maybe that. The time you spend working on the job puts you that much further behind in your promotional efforts for your company. Yes, you have bills to pay and yes, yes, yes to all the other reasons you are working with the tools. But tell me this; what happens when this job is done? If you haven’t been marketing your company and selling new jobs, where will your next job come from? The referrals you might have depended on in the past are drying up. Referrals in construction today, based on what I’m hearing from many contractors, are less than 25 percent of what they were a year ago.
You must spend a certain amount of time each day marketing your company, advertising, schmoozing, letting potential customers know you are available to do their jobs. If you do not put in the marketing effort, your financial position will be worse than it was before you put the tools back on, regardless of what you charge for your time.
We are seeing more construction companies fail than we have seen since the early 90’s. It will get worse before it gets better. I personally expect this downturn in the housing market to continue through the next presidential election. If you and your company are going to survive this crunch, you must advertise, schmooze, promote and sell your company daily. That will be the difference between those that survive and make a profit, and those that go away.
Worthy of consideration: The PSMJ Resources A/E/C Pulse blog - [image: psm aec pulse blog] I’m supposed to know about the best blogs in the architectural, engineering and construction community. And I really should kn...
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