F R OM T H E F O U N D E R
You and your business
F or some reason, I feel compelled to express my distaste for so much of what I read on entrepreneurship, management, and business these days. But if I do that, then to some I will sound either willfully ignorant or just like a bitter old guy. If your business requires so much attention from you that you don’t have the overall quality of life you want, it’s time to do something different.
So, let me say this: You don’t need a lot of this stuff. The AEC business is not that hard to make a decent living in these days. Demand exceeds supply. Put that extremely high demand on top of a labor shortage – combined with basic competence in what you do – and you have a formula for making money. But my two questions for you are these. First, do you have a business that will succeed without your continuous high level of personal involvement and attention? And secondly, will you be able to extract the value you have built in your business when you decide you want to get out of it so you can do something else? Those two questions have always been top of mind for me when working with any firm in this industry. So let’s talk about my questions. Does your business require continuous attention from you such that you don’t have the overall quality of life you you want and
you haven’t set the stage to be able to sell it internally or externally some day? If the answer is “yes,” it’s time to do something different. These are the six things you need to be working on: 1. Having the right people working in your business. That involves both recruiting and retention. Every time I talk about recruiting, someone has to show me how smart they are and remind me retention is critical, too. I know that! But you can’t retain anyone good if you don’t first hire good people. That takes your willingness to commit real resources (time and money) to the problem. Most firms in this business really aren’t doing that. Look at the percentage of net service revenue going for recruiting in the typical firm in this business and tell me if you don’t agree. There is little that is more important today than
See MARK ZWEIG , page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER FEBRUARY 14, 2022, ISSUE 1428
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