January 4, 2008

Bad News for Builders is Good News for You

The media is having a field day with the latest economic figures released by the government. All the business commentators are talking about the country going into an economic slow-down (no one wants to use that bad word "recession" just yet).

They love to sound the alarm and play on the public's fears. It's good for ratings. When housing starts slow and home prices slide backwards the construction industry is the first to feel the pinch. People start cutting back their spending because of the bad news, and sure enough, the economy slows. Many practitioners see their numbers drop and start crying the blues, blaming it all on the economy.

However, well-prepared practitioners have nothing to fear. If you have had a good marketing program going all along, you might have to turn up the heat a bit to keep on the same growth curve. If you have no regular marketing program or if you just do it hit or miss, you could be in trouble with no quick way out.

Getting a good marketing program in place takes time. It requires testing for results and then tweaking to make improvements gradually. When you first start out with a new plan it's like the flywheel on an engine. It takes a lot of effort up front to get it spinning, but once it gets going it has momentum on its own. The time to get it in place and working is before the economy gets rocky.

Successful people don't sweat it when the real estate market and the construction industry are down. That usually means interest rates are down too, so they can see opportunity where others see lack.

What are smart practitioners doing these days? They're out finding new space to lease or buying an existing building or land for a new building. Contractors have had a long run of fairly good times and high construction prices in the last few years, but now that's all changed in most parts of the country.

For people who have all their ducks in a row this is a great time to build a new office. Contractors don't have as much work as they used to, so there is more competition for the work that there is and bids are lower. That's good news for the customer.

Let the rest of the world run scared. If you have worked hard to make your practice successful and are ready to take a step up, 2008 could be the perfect year to build the new office you've been wanting!

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