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Steps for A/E Firms to Survive Economic Downturn

November 15, 2001
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How to keep a business going in a crisis.

The events of September 11th pushed a fragile economy downward. In a recent editorial in The Zweig Letter, Mark Zweig, president and CEO of ZweigWhite, outlined five steps that leaders of A/E/P and environmental consulting firms can take to help survive the downturn:Tune up financial reporting and forecasting systems: be sure that your company is able to get accurate information that shows where the bleeding is so that the problem can be resolved quicklyTake a hard look at the markets: Airports will still be a good market, but there will be much less air-side work (runways, taxiways, etc.) in the short-term and much more on the land side (terminals, baggage handling, security). More roadway work is likely. Cut high-level people: Don’t rationalize that your backlog will go up, or that you can’t do without someone who is clearly not cutting it because he or she is the only one you have.Cut benefits: Protecting your profits has to be the first priorityMarketing is quickly changing: E-marketing is rapidly displacing direct mail as a way to position a firm as an expert in a particular market.

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