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BC&E—”No time to hide. Renewed business development efforts are key to surviving difficult times”

“May 28, 2020 – In a flash, the construction industry embraced telework and virtual collaboration; implemented new protocols for cleaning and social distancing on job sites; and dug into the challenges of deciphering federal aid programs and rapidly shifting construction schedules.
Now 2.5 months into the coronavirus crisis, the industry is developing additional, altered, core business practices that companies will need to succeed in our ‘new normal.’
“While we might be at the height of the medical crisis…we are at the beginning of what will be the economic crisis,” said Tim Bojanowski, President of Zest Social Media Solutions. “This will be the greatest market correction of our lifetimes. There will be a lot of big businesses that get smaller, small businesses that get bigger, and businesses that go away… There has not been a more important time in modern history for American businesses to think about what your business is going to look like coming out of this period.”
To navigate the challenging months ahead, companies will have to evaluate how their core strengths will mesh with changing market conditions. They will need to develop and consistently execute a robust and adaptable marketing/business development plan. And they will need to achieve all that outreach during a period when crab feasts, project tours and other networking events are suspended.
In a spot poll conducted during a BC&E webinar last week, participants reported major changes in their business development plans. While 64 percent of respondents reported relying heavily on face-to-face meetings for business development in the past, just 20 percent said in-person meetings will be a major part of their efforts going forward. Similarly, 61 percent said they relied heavily on networking events in the past and just 13 percent expect events to be a major business tool in the future. Survey participants expected to rely much less on word-of-mouth referrals in future – down to seven percent from 42 percent previously. Instead, respondents expect to rely much more on electronic communications – up from 22 percent in the past to 47 percent in future. Respondents also expected to make slightly more use of phone calls, direct mail and advertising.”