In my last post, I talked about how I’m seeing a resurgence of leads for business in Comments Regarding 2018. As I think more about it and speak to more people, I’m not sure I’m getting a clear picture of the year ahead. Next, I’ll tell you why.
Entire Industry or Just Services
First of all, as I speak to a variety of people in the industry, I am not certain if what I’m seeing is more of a resurgence in the need for services or in the entire industry, including initial product installations. In services, it just seems that many people are shuffling jobs, leaving temporary voids in maintaining these systems, or there are customers who are considering rewriting and reconfiguring their systems, rather than purchasing a new system. After all, they’ve built up an expertise in a specific system and these big systems can get kind of hacky-looking even with pretty good system administration and development. Some systems were never built correctly, to begin with, and it’s possibly time to take that knowledge and redo everything in order to start fresh.
Side note: At this point, software vendors will point-out that there are so many new features that customers will likely benefit from replacing some of their old code with standard features. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up with less code. You’ll find yet more requirements to fulfill that require writing code and possibly the new features still lack some critical piece you need to have. So, don’t plan on seeing less code. I’ve been in this business long-enough that I’m still stunned by the fact that we write about as much code as we ever did, regardless the newer features available in the “big” systems.
Maybe It’s Just GeoMetrick Enterprises
The other point that came to me is this: After taking a break from my business to work in a W-2 job for a few months, last year, upon my return, possibly I had a renewed interest in business development, some new ideas on how to approach getting new customers, and some other new business practices. Possibly what I’m finally seeing is the benefits of changing a few things around in my business rather than a true upswing in the industry.
The Usual Suggestion to Customers
As usual, I will tell customers to plan ahead as much as possible. It’s not worth grabbing resources in a panic, especially if you think they’ll be the wrong resources for you, but try to push your process along so that you can get started as soon as you can. The high points of the year are the start of the calendar year and the Fall, I’ve found.
As I also usually point-out, there are always available resources throughout the year. For every project that needs someone, there’s someone out there looking for new business. But the problem is finding each other. We all know about the big vendors and the big projects, but it’s hard for the smallest to find the smallest.
And, with that said, it’s not that the big projects have it easy, either. They require huge numbers of resources and it’s not easy for them to find the quantity they need.
The only way we’ll know what 2018 has in store for us is to keep at it. We all do our best to fill our calendars with projects and to staff our projects and that’s about all we can do.