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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The recession's human toll (2)

You can access the recession survey results in real time by completing the survey yourself (you don't need to identify yourself to participate). If you wish to see some raw data and comments, visit the other Construction Marketing Ideas blog at the new primary Wordpress location,

In the last day, we've received another 31 survey responses -- and again, the stories are disturbing (and sometimes inspiring.)

On average, it seems that most people who answered found the year was about what could be expected, and next year will be about the same (or slightly better).

But there is something more in the results -- and that is the extreme diversity of response.

"Average" is exceptional - and while many more found the recessionary year to be "much worse" than "much better" than expected, the overall results are slightly to the positive side of the equation.

Surveys of this kind are not scientific, of course. Participants self-select and we should not dare read statistical validity into the results. (Though I really also wonder about so-called scientific polls because I know that I have a simple policy whenever someone phones me to respond to a survey: I decline, and hang up!)

The survey results put my own business experience this year in a different perspective. When you are putting out your own fires, you often don't see the problems affecting others -- and we had our share of fires to extinguish.

The business balance sheet here is still not as healthy as it should be and there are other costs, in staff turnover and change (some required by the company, and others decided by the employees) which have impacted on client service and quality (not good). As well, austerity has meant that some IT and systems upgrades that really are necessary have been deferred far longer than they should, and this is causing stresses.

On the other hand, we're still here!

Despite the ups and downs, I've been able to maintain this blog and my voluntary writing (and learning) for the SMPS Marketer.

Is the blog helpful for business? We're evaluating two sales candidates with undeniable competence who both have remarked to me they've formed their impressions of this business through the blog. Our hiring and business management systems, while straining with staff turnover and outdated technology/hardware, have held up surprisingly well.

We're rebuilding our team with enthusiastic and competent employees, and continuing to develop new products/services and markets while maintaining our key current operations.
In context, it seems we are doing about as well as you.

You can still complete the survey here and when you do you will be able to access real time results.

And I've posted more raw comments on the other Construction Marketing Ideas blog (where we will move at Christmas), at

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