Columns

Editor's Points: Reach for success.

January 1, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Remember the good old days, when business often just seemed to fall from the sky? 



Remember the good old days, when business often just seemed to fall from the sky?

Maybe you placed a few ads and did a little marketing, but you probably didn’t have to exert much effort to make a profit. It seemed like everyone needed a survey, and they weren’t concerned about how it would be done or how much it would cost.

These days, the surveying profession is quite a bit more challenging. No one has the money to pay for anything, least of all a survey. And if they can’t get by without one, they want it done cheaply and they want it done yesterday. How can anyone make a living in this environment?

I’ve been talking to a number of equipment dealers and surveyors to get their perspective on what 2010 might hold, and the conversations have been interesting. No one expects a quick rebound, and many don’t expect a rebound at all--at least, not in the traditional sense. As technologies and expectations have changed, some markets have disappeared completely. Others require a different approach or a more technologically savvy presentation just to get your foot in the door.

But the most successful individuals and firms aren’t focused on traditional markets. Instead, they’re constantly looking at how they can create new opportunities for themselves. “You have to take a hard look at your strengths and figure out how to capitalize on those strengths and use them to help people,” says John Matonich, PS, president and CEO of Flint, Mich.-based ROWE Professional Services Co. and NSPS president.

That might mean partnering with other firms to share expertise and resources, which has been a successful approach for ROWE. Daryl Huffman, regional sales director for Duncan-Parnell, notes that it might mean serving markets other than land surveying, such as forensics or homeland security. And Ed McCaffery, marketing director for Positioning Solutions Co., points out that there are opportunities in building information modeling (BIM) and in data prep for machine control.

Many firms already have the necessary skills to tap into these and other markets; they just need to think more broadly. Other firms will need to re-evaluate their expertise in light of the changing technologies and markets. J. Peter Borbas, PLS, PP, owner of Boonton, N.J.-based Borbas Surveying & Mapping, president of the Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS) and ACSM Congress chair, says that increasing education will be vital to the continued success of the profession as a whole. “Technology is allowing us to get much more value out of our data and provide more value to our clients, but we have to understand how to do that,” he says. “An ability and desire to keep learning is essential. Education is the key for surveyors right now.”

So what will 2010 hold for the surveying and mapping professions? With creativity, knowledge, hard work and the right attitude, just about anything is possible. Maybe new business won’t fall from the sky--but it will certainly be within reach.

P.S. Check out this month’s Web Exclusive feature “Turning the Tables” for more insights from Borbas, Matonich, Huffman, McCaffery and other surveying and mapping professionals.


Share your thoughts on this column below.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to POB

Recent Articles by Christine Grahl

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

HxGN Live

More than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries attended HxGN Live, the annual Hexagon AB user conference, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 3-6. About 450 keynotes and panel discussions were held, and several companies from around the world exhibited their geospatial products. Here are a few snapshots from the event.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EDT

Technical Workflows on the Job Site Using 3D Laser Scanning

The purpose of this webinar is to dig into different laser scanning workflows and techniques.

POB

POB September 2014

2014 September

In this September 2014 issue of POB, we take a look at a book that reveals how a rare-map dealer made millions stealing ancient maps. Also, discover the secrets of a 21st-century surveyor and how technology enables small surveying businesses to ease growing pains and maximize their potential.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Surveying Career

Would you recommend surveying as a career to a current college student?
View Results Poll Archive

Point of Beginning Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\POB\epubsite\Statues-pic-large.gif
Surveyor Statues

The perfect gift or award for any special occasion.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Geo Locator

Buyers Guide

The #1 buyers' guide for land surveyors and geomatics professionals. Search listings for software and equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and professional services. CLICK HERE to view GeoLocator.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logoRPLS small logo

Google +