The Business of Land Surveying: Three Strategies for Long Term Growth of Your Firm
Experts forecast the robust spending on construction during 2017 to continue in 2018. How can you leverage the current boom times to ensure the long-term growth and viability of your land surveying business?
The most recent report from the United States Census Bureau about spending in the construction industry indicates that the level of spending in this sector continued to tick upward during the last quarter of 2017. During November, the seasonally adjusted level of spending reached $1,257.0 billion for both public and private construction projects, which represents a 0.8 percent increase month over month and a 2.4 percent increase when compared to November 2016. In addition, experts anticipate continued growth in all segments of the construction industry through 2018, which suggests the demand for land surveying services will continue to boom. While tempting to focus on the immediate financial gains, realizing during this time of economic expansion, business savvy land surveyors will look for ways to harness the benefits of this boom to ensure the viability of their firms during the next inevitable down turn. What are the commons challenges facing land surveyors as their businesses grow and what are the possible solutions?
Challenge 1: Shortage of Land Surveyors
With fewer people choosing land surveying as a profession, the United States is facing a significant shortage of qualified land surveyors. As a result, land surveyors find it difficult to accept new projects due to a lack of staff. In a December 2017 Point of Beginning article, Logan Campbell and Daniel Katz outline how using drones reduces the need for land surveying firms to hire additional staff in order to take on more work. According to Campbell and Katz, by increasing the efficiency and productivity of an existing team, employing drones may allow a land surveying firm to take on five times as many projects as those who opt not to use this technology.
Some of the ways drones allow land surveying firms to do more with less include the following:
- Reducing the staff’s field and office time by 90 percent
- Decreasing the number of site revisits required for a project
- Facilitating data collection for future projects on adjacent sites
- Ability to outsource data collection and analysis
- Increasing the ability to quickly resolve client disputes
Has your firm used drones to grow your business without the need to hire new staff?
Challenge 2: Maintaining a Loyal Customer Base
When your land surveying firm is busy with projects, it can be easy to lose track of past clients; however, repeat business can make or break you during lean times. In the December 2017 issue of Point of Beginning, Elaine Ball, a technical marketing expert, provided the following suggestions for keeping up with former clients:
- Identify the common market sectors of your clientele along with the typical challenges they face
- Develop a clear, concise, and consistent message to communicate how your land surveying business can solve your clients’ issues
- Keep your message focused on your clients’ needs and interests
- Disseminate your message on platforms where your clients are most likely to search for information
- Include a clear call to action suited to the client’s position in the sales funnel
How does your land surveying business foster client loyalty?
Challenge 3: Avoid Business Stagnation
While tempting to sit back and enjoy the profits your firm is generating during the current economic expansion, this is not the time to stay in your comfort zone. According to a column in Point of Beginning, Daniel Merritts, PLS, you can ensure the long-term viability of your firm by expanding into new market sectors and making capital investments into new technology. By using tactics, the foundation for growth is set for the time when you need to expand your business the most – the inevitable tough times.
What long-term growth strategy are you using for your land surveying business?