Working in tough times

Written by Gavin Rajah on . Posted in Blog

If I hear that word recession one more time I might as well just shoot myself! Working in tough economic times brings a whole new dimension to the word ‘budget’ but at the same time presents one with difficult choices to make. A colleague the other day said to me that a very good client (high end institution in the banking and financial services industry) wanted to throw a year end party and sent through a budget of R175 p/p all inclusive – i.e entertainment, venue, food and beverage, staging infrastructure etc etc.

Whilst everyone out there is trying to secure work and businesses are waging a war against each other in cutting costs on their quotes in a bid to secure business………..one must actually still retain some business sense in whether one should pursue these type of jobs or not.

For us the answer is pretty simple – is this making us some money and in executing this job are we meeting client’s expectations? What’s the point of taking on these jobs if they are not financially viable? As an industry are we not setting a precedent indicating that we are prepared to stoop to any level to get in work even if that means compromsing delivery and quality of the work that we produce? Despite the relationships we have with clients (which in times like this should be to our advantage rather then disadvantage) I think that we should all be able to say NO to ridiculous budgets or entertaining clients playing us off against each other. Cheaper is not always better………

What happens post this recession? Would we have set a benchmark in terms of pricing? I think that many clients will want to enjoy revised costings which will compromise the standard of work out there. This is a quid pro quo situation that we are in and if we come to the party in assisting clients to meet their budgets then longterm there should be a benefit to us as suppliers. Instead what’s happening is that supplier loyalty is dwindling and a host of us are sharpening pencils to the point that there is nothing left to sharpen.

My decision is simply to assist my clients where possible even if it means compromising a bit BUT not to the point that I am not being paid for my services or where I have to disrespect my suppliers by giving them impossible deliveries on shoe string budgets……….

So think before people present you with R175p/p budgets for year end functions and expect you to move mountains…………….if you are able to then please would you contact me because I can sure do with the enlightenment!

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