08 June 2021 Giles Keay


So I got chatting with a client this week about how business was and what they were tendering and working on and it turned out that the challenges across completely different industries of recruitment and construction were so similar.  I find this often in many conversations that I have with people across many different sectors and as such I firmly believe that it is possible to learn and improve by seeing how they overcome them and then applying the same thought process to your own.

In this particular instance it was about the return that you get from individual projects or assignments and the business owner I was chatting to was discussing how much of a better margin they were able to achieve on the smaller quicker jobs, I also heard this the month earlier from an owner of a piling contractor and that the larger jobs very often overran, were under quoted and almost always delivered a lower profit % return.In my personal experience working in recruitment it was the larger senior placements that were most attractive but again often the time and effort compared to the quicker smaller placements just didn’t add up financially.

It was interesting feedback that I was hearing and that by focusing on these BIG FISH rather than smaller ongoing projects they were then left with a huge void where other work could have been done and made some better profits.

However, what was equally interesting was that in every case the workers on the construction sites and the consultants including myself all preferred and enjoyed the larger more senior assignments and projects.

So the important point is that every business no matter which sector you work within should take time to strategize and analyse the work that they do and see which type of work and projects are most profitable.Then build your sales strategies around that rather than leaving it to chance.  This can be unique for different businesses dependent upon the staff, resources, operations and market positioning.  For example a tier one contractor Looking at a $100k project is probably going to lose a lot of money… but for a smaller business it might be their sweet spot.

Larger projects and assignments can create lumpy revenue and profits and often a balance of different sized projects can work best, but it really is down the individual business.

The BIG FISH might look sexy to land and fun to run but in reality will you actually make the return that you need from it? Take a look at your metrics and work out for yourself….