Loyal Employees, Loyal Clients: Building Your Business The Old-Fashioned Way In The New Cut-Throat Market
The Great Recession hit the design and construction industry hard. Many companies have gone out of business or trimmed back their operations to the bare bones. Those still afloat are frequently competing for fewer jobs and are up against more fierce competition – often large offshore firms – in markets long considered home turf. Once-loyal clients are now considering new partners and demanding ever-lower fees, switching from design-build or other negotiated delivery methods to the traditional design-bid-build option. Many contractors across the country are giving in to pricing pressures and are seemingly willing to work for zero return on equity (ROE), choosing to live off their healthy balance sheets in hope of a better tomorrow. But competing on price alone is a losing game for all who play: customer expectations will inevitably be undershot and the quality of product compromised. We know that most loyal clients will stick with a firm even when price is a differentiator, but how do you inspire that kind of loyalty in a fiercely competitive landscape?