Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The competitive challenge

Las Vegas architect Craig Galati in his The Heart of Business Blog reports how intense competition has become recently in the U.S.

My firm recently responded to a request for qualifications to provide architectural design services for a library addition and renovation project in a small rural town. The project is approximately 10,000 s.f., a small project by most standards. The library district received thirty-five submittals for the project. Thirty-five submittals for this small project!

In my subsequent discussion with District staff, I was told that the District had hoped to receive 5-10 submittals. As if I needed more evidence, this is clear proof of current economic conditions — the competition is heating up.

How do you battle and win in this enviornment: You need to build relationships, he says, and you need to play by the rules. And you need to be creative, different, and be prepared to take some risks.

I have found that during slower economic times, there are always great innovative breakthroughs. Perhaps by looking critically at what your firm is doing, you can find an innovative strategy. Many firms get complacent during good times. Perhaps increased competition will get them to start thinking creatively again and take some risks. A friend of mine told me about a recent interview in which Tom Peters states that most people waste their money coming to see him: that in an audience of 500, “there are (only) four who are on the verge of doing something really interesting, whether inside or outside the company.” What are you doing that would be of interest to your potential clients?

This is solid advice. Still, I'm thankful that my U.S. relationships (and market) are in the Washington, D.C. metro area rather than Las Vegas, these days. If I'm going to go overboard in puns, if I wish to place a bet, it would be on the Government -- at least until the economic cycle rebounds.

No comments: