P R O F I L E
Perseverance: Karen Purcell Founding principal of PK Electrical (Reno, NV), a women-owned, small business electrical engineering and design firm founded in 1996.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
P urcell wears many hats. She’s the Electrical Engineer of Record for many projects, oversees and does project proposals, marketing, financials, mentoring, hiring, quality control, customer service, and meets with clients. She’s also the author of Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mat h. “As a woman engineer and a business owner in a field that is strongly dominated by men, I know what it is like to be the only woman in the room and not feel included,” Purcell says. “That shouldn’t happen to anyone.” A CONVERSATION WITH KAREN PURCELL. The Zweig Letter: What measures are you taking to protect your employees during the COVID-19 crisis? Karen Purcell: Everyone has been working remotely since mid-March. As we re-open the office, guidelines regarding social distancing, in-person meetings, sanitizing work
areas, etc. have been issued. Additionally, any employee who does not feel comfortable coming back to the office may continue to work from home. TZL: What are the three to four key business performance indicators that you watch most carefully? Do you share that information with your staff? KP: Our key performance indicators include proposal dollar amount per month/quarter/year; percentage of won/lost proposals; revenue growth company wide and by office; revenue diversity (what industry is the revenue coming from) and profitability. We do not share actual dollar amounts in terms of revenue with our staff. The metrics that we share with our staff are mostly in terms of percentage. TZL: How far into the future are you able to reliably predict your workload and cashflow? KP: I’m sure we all wish we had a crystal ball to help us
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