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Survival & Success

Lindy Ausburne (03-17-2012)

Over the past couple of years, many of you may have found yourself going into “survival” mode (with some parts of the country being worse than others).   There is a old saying that “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger,” which means that you (the “survivor”) must possess the drive, determination, and willpower necessary to outlast, overcome, and progress ahead in spite of the proverbial potholes and hurtles that loom in your way during challenging economic times (2010 and 2011 being prime examples).

Many of you chose to take a progressive pathway by expanding the number of professional services and surfaces you offer by learning new skills that would not only keep you afloat, but also provide you with a greater degree of financial stability. You may not have been motivation to do so unless your hand had been forced …ergo: “survival mode may opened new doors and actually made the foundation of your business stronger.”

Unfortunately a few contractors became short sighted when the chips were down; resulting in their dropping of prices per square foot, believing that some money was better than no money (it was their way of coping with the financial stress they found themselves under) … this brought about a buyer’s market and slashed pricing precedent that caused a majority contractors who didn’t cut their rates work even harder to overcome.  There were also a number of large contracting firms that took on projects at a discounted price in order to keep valued/skilled employees from relocating or straying to competitors who were just waiting to snap them up.  All this combined added up to the “perfect storm” of 2010 & 2011 regardless of the motives.

Manufacturers and decorative concrete material suppliers were hard hit as well due to residential and commercial property owners holding onto their money for what they deemed to be necessities over those that were in their opinion merely desired … a great many contractors were caught, and some buried, in this unprecedented economic avalanche.  

I am optimistic that as an industry we can work together to dig out of the riffs and drifts, with a rewarding and successful future before us in 2012.  One way to go about doing so is perhaps to change the way the public perceives decorative concrete and other types of architectural concrete surfaces … transforming their mindset to “required, not merely desired” in order to assure a healthier, easy to maintain, and sustainable living and working environment.

 

Lindy Ausburne

Decorative Concrete Forums Contributor Writer