American Society of Civil Engineers

Preparing for a Slowdown

by David Elvin, (Freelance Writer)

Civil Engineering—ASCE
, Vol. 71, No. 2, February 2001, pp. 62-63

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Document type: Feature Article
Abstract: The economy may not be heading for a downturn, but it is likely to slow in 2001 if early results are any indication. Smaller businesses are often hardest hit by slower growth, but there are concrete steps that engineering firms can and should take now, while times are good, to prepare. First, make sure your company’s staffing needs are met, and train or cross-train employees to perform multiple job functions in case there aren’t funds available to hire new experts in the near future. Consider mixing government clients with private ones, since government spending is often less affected by slowdowns, and add private clients whose needs include meeting government regulations, which won’t change with the economy. Consider renting some equipment so that if business does decelerate, unneeded items can be easily returned. And thoroughly examine your company’s financial plan for the year to see if there are extras that can be trimmed or processes that can be made more efficient.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Client relationships
Economic factors
Engineering firms
Financial factors
Small business