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Three Things You Should Do Now to Prepare Your A/E Firm for the Economic Turnaround

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Along with all of the recent economic doom and gloom, there have been a few small signs that the sky is not actually falling. The downturn continues to affect most of us in one way or another, and although it has definitely created hair-pulling times for the A/E industry, it does seem like a small light at the end of the tunnel is appearing.

Now that things are beginning to pick up, it’s time to start laying the ground work so your firm is in the best position when recovery arrives. So how can you begin to prepare?
1. Plan your rehiring strategy – now.

This is a great time to determine where more people will be needed when demand picks up. Firms that are prepared with updated job descriptions and a clear hiring process will have their pick of the best-of-the-best applicants who have either been laid off or delayed plans to job hop.

2. You know that business plan you wrote eons ago? Dust it off and re-write it.

Rewriting your business plan makes you sit down and think about the direction you want to take your firm. Understanding your company’s unique value proposition is the key to standing out from your competitors.

3. Monitor, measure and take action

Think about what you’ve learned from your mistakes, and how you’ll do things differently as the economy improves. In the last two years, firms have learned to squeeze every dime out of every project. Make sure you have the right people and right tools in place to continue this practice. Consider purchasing project management software to allow you to monitor and measure a project’s progress so you can quickly identify scope creep and act on it.

It’s easy to blow off these suggestions when you’re busy dealing with today’s economy and today’s problems. But keep in mind if you don’t prepare for the rebound now, you might miss one of the greatest opportunities to change your firm’s culture in the way you’ve always wanted.

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