I often talk to integrators who believe that their companies have either gotten too big to be competitive on certain projects, or too small to handle large projects.
During a recent conversation with a 20-employee integration firm, the owner felt as if overhead had become so large that the company could no longer be competitive on projects less than $50,000.
That same week, one of our larger member companies called, looking for a company to partner with because they felt that their 250-employee firm was too small to take on the risk and bonding associated with a large multi-location project.
The small business had become too big, and the big business was too small.
In a strange way, both companies realized that the way they do business and the resources available at the time made these projects not quite the best fit.
But what is the right fit? To me, it’s a balance of size, scope, technology, and market – in a repeatable and scalable fashion. It’s when your people, processes, and products are a perfect match with the client’s expectations, problems, and requirements.
I’ll let you in on a secret: The right fit isn’t about your number of employees. It’s about managing your people and talent with available resources and schedules.
Do the financial part first, not last. Far too many NSCA members decide – after they’ve spent dozens of hours estimating/designing – that the job isn’t right. Don’t waste time on marginally profitable work. It seldom gets better as the job progresses. Also, don’t buy into the notion that selling a job at cost will win you a long-term customer. It just doesn’t work that way.
If you have questions about the size of your firm, and how to work with what you have, give us a call. We can help! -Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director