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The Economy Sucks. So Now What?

Mark Busse – 5 Comments

I sense a long article coming on. This happens with me sometimes as things rattle around in my brain, and if I don’t write something—often something snarky—it haunts me to the point of distraction. As someone who has always been rather opposed to most RFPs, I have found myself writing up umpteen proposals of late and suddenly scouring the online RFP bid websites looking for that next project.

And I know I’m not alone as one piece of work we recently won had 70 respondents (let me spell that for you in case it wasn’t clear: SEVENTY). Hey, if this is what we have to do to differentiate and win work in this crappy economy, then so be it, but It’s  frustrating how inconsistent and poorly constructed most RFPs are. Grrr.

That reminds me, a little while ago the smart folks at FunctionFox called, asking for some thoughts about how design firms can not only survive, but thrive in a recession for an article they were writing called “What You Really Need to Run Your Business During Tough Economic Times“.

We discussed staffing, sales, culture, and how to right-size the team to keep things manageable. This often means responding to things like RFPs, but it also means that each member of the team needs to understand where they fit into “the machine” and contribute. From cleaning the office ourselves to help quote projects and write up RFPs.

Heck, to survive in business—especially in the design industry—means making some tough decisions and hard hard work for everyone. That might mean letting someone go, or cutting back on some of the more luxurious items we’re all used to. But keep your pants on and your eyes on the goal.

What did the English say during the war? “Keep calm and carry on” wasn’t it? We’ll get through this.