TZL 1469 (web)



None of these questions may seem profound, but they all merit asking and honestly answering. Questions that need to be answered

A s this year wraps up (where did the time go?), and we are seeing some signs of an economic slowdown, now is a good time for AEC firm owners to be sure they are heading into the new year in a strong position.

These are some questions I would be asking and things I would be doing: 1. Business plan for the new year. Is it done? Does it clearly spell out your mission (purpose) and vision (what you are trying to become by some point in time)? Do people actually know what that is? Are your basic strategies (philosophies) about how you will do everything you do defined? Do they differentiate you from all the other firms you compete with? Do you have clear, measurable goals for the 12 months ahead, and do you have a list of action items clearly spelled out? And does everyone in the business have a copy of the plan and understand what it is? 2. Working capital. Have you done everything you can to clear out all unbilled work in progress? How about collection of accounts receivable?

You aren’t blindly carrying old AR into the new year that should be written off, are you? How about your lines of credit? Have you gone to your bank to get those increased as much as they will allow? There is nothing that says you have to use any of this credit but you may need it at some point, and now is when you should be arranging for it – before it’s needed. 3. Unnecessary time wasters. Have you really looked at all of your processes and procedures – things such as timesheet reviews, time off requests, purchasing, travel approvals, and other things – to see if they are necessary? What can be streamlined? How about meetings? Can any of them be eliminated or shortened? Or can anyone be taken off the meeting list so they can go back

Mark Zweig

See MARK ZWEIG, page 12


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