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Fire-Rated Glass and Framing Blog from TGP

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Locked and Loaded: Is your company ready for action?

It could be the altitude, or it could be the approximately 28,000 people in the construction industry that lost their jobs last month, but I’ve spent a few too many hours on airplanes this June thinking about the state of the glazing industry.  On the one hand, the outlook is dismal.  The consistently slow construction market means many companies are still feeling the effects of growing unemployment claims, tight profit margins, higher healthcare costs and slow client pay.

But not all is doom and gloom, as a recent Glass magazine article points out.  Fifty percent of the top 50 glazing companies in the publication’s special report said they’d experienced an increase in sales from 2010 to 2011.  This 50/50 sales success split is encouraging.  It provides proof that positive gains are possible for many, not just a few. 

So, how do you become one of the successful?  How do you coax yourself to breathe new life into business in a down economic climate?  Here are my thoughts on five ways to take action: 

1.      Innovate when business is slow.  No one likes it when the clock strikes five and they have little to show for their work.  But if you have extra hours in the day, use them to your advantage.  Companies that find the time to innovate and differentiate their product offerings will remain more competitive.  

2.      Network and learn.  You may not be a social media buff, but you can still talk to people the old fashioned way.  Speak with glaziers, code officials and architects – anyone who is involved in your day-to-day processes – and find out what is and isn’t working.  New methods plus new relationships often equal new business. 

3.      Shake it up. For a company or project to be truly successful, it takes the right mix of people in the right positions.  To improve and grow, that may mean some of the people in the mix need to shift their roles.  Don’t be afraid to find that perfect combination. 

4.      Give rewards for accomplishments.  It’s been a long haul, but don’t lose sight of the importance of morale.  Simple rewards can go a long way to boosting employee outlook and job satisfaction.  If you’ve reached a goal – treat yourself.  My guess is you’ve earned it.   

5.      Don’t compromise.  It’s true that we must “adapt or die.” Just don’t lose sight of your company’s integrity during the process.  Cutting corners to get new business almost always results in a net loss in the long-term.  

What are you doing to ready your company for action?