It has been a busy several weeks for me, which is always encouraging for business. But perhaps what has been even more encouraging is the type of client contacts we have seen as of late. Particularly, we have been called upon to engage in discussions about upcoming projects – as opposed to just taking specifications and providing estimates.
This is important because it shows that clients are looking to review what they are doing, not just doing what they always have done before. Challenging times call for carefully structured plans and proactive strategies. Questioning what you have done before and then embracing outside opinions prior to starting is a great start.
I have said before that our best clients are those that engage us to work with them, not just for them. We become part of their planning process, and also can be called in to review the results. That is not to say that we know everything or that our ideas are better, just that teamwork can usually lead to better success. And teamwork is more than just your internal staff – it can also be made up of external resources as well.
After 29 years in this industry, I have gained some good insights and have had the opportunity to learn from many individuals much smarter than I. Sometimes the information is from entirely different market segments, and other times we can adopt what others in our own industry are doing. We have all heard the concept that “there are no new ideas, just variations of existing one.” This may be more true than we first think, however if it works, then why not embrace it?
It is this experience and knowledge that can be put to use for our clients as well. Just like I seek outside advice through vendors and trade groups as well as other business owners, I would encourage you to seek out assistance from outside sources as well – you might find some good insight that will help you navigate the current market conditions.