March 28, 2009

A tale of two companies - the difference between failure and success in a downturn

There is no question but that the construction sector is fareing the worst in the present global down turn.  But, scratch beneath the surface and you will quickly see that some in the sector are suffering more than others.  The lessons are clear for all companies and all industries.

Over the past 6 months we have worked with Ireland's largest architectural practice, as well as Ireland's largest engineering and technical services firm.  Both are doing better than the average, as as blood is spilled right through-out their industries these firms have managed to maintain an even keel.  Why?

A tale of two companies...

The story is best told by reference to two leading arhcitectural practices.  Both with fancy offices  and glossy brochures, as well as international offices and prestigeous portfolios.

One however, did more business development than the other, started it earlier and involved more people throughout the organisation.   That company has met its sales targets for the last 3 months running, while the other has gone out of business.

Even in markets that appear to be in free fall there are opportunities.  It requires a lot more searching to find them and a lot more innovation to win the business, including new forms of pricing and packaging of projects.  It requires applying new skills to develop new services and most of all a concerted effort and increased sophistication in respect of business development.  That is the difference between success and failure in a downturn.

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